Stop Romanticizing Cancer
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Stop Romanticizing Cancer

A cancer story WITHOUT the romance.

420
Stop Romanticizing Cancer
Nathan Pearce

Growing up, I always idolized women who had the courage to wear their hair short. My mother, for example, has had incredibly short hair my entire life. So naturally I decided I wanted short hair as well. For weeks I begged my mom to let me get it cut. When I finally convinced her to let me, I chickened out. Every. Single. Time. This went on for several years.

In 2013, I was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in my chest. Well, four of them. I went through Chemotherapy for three and a half months, and was declared officially cancer-free three days before my 14th birthday. Luckily, I didn’t have to go through any kind of radiation. In 2015, the Doctors at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital found a large cell tumor in my skull. I went through surgery to have it removed, and quickly recovered. Though my cancer story isn’t a typical “inspiring” one, I still went through a lot.

Cancer isn’t just something that happens and you move on. It isn’t romantic like in the movies or books. It’s not eating for days at a time because you can’t keep anything down, or all you do is eat because the steroids make you starve. It’s dark veins and bruises the size of Africa. It’s not being able to get out of bed for days because your bones are aching so badly that you can hardly move. And sometimes, it’s wearing winter hats in summer months; not because your head is cold, but because your face is swollen from the steroids and you’re horrified that strangers on the street might be silently judging and thinking “What’s wrong with this strange girl?” And because of all this, something inside you snaps.

Life after cancer is never really the same as life before. It takes months for your hair to grow back; not only the hair on your head, but leg hair, arm hair, eyebrows, and even eyelashes. You have to reconnect with your friends all over again because when you’re in and out of the hospital every week, you loose touch with some of the people closest to you. You have to relearn everything and try to remember how you lived before. Some days are easier than others; you go through the day without even thinking about it. Other days, it’s all you can think about and you can’t help but to feel a sort of emptiness inside you that you’ve never felt before. A feeling that makes you want to crawl in a hole and stay there.

It’s been three years since I was first diagnosed, and my life is still not the same. Most things are completely back to normal, but I still go back to Cardinal Glennon every three to six months for tests and scans to make sure I’m still in remission. I still get mistaken for a boy every so often. I also get phantom pains in my chest and head sometimes, as if it’s my bodies way of reminding me that it’s never been “normal.”

People still ask questions about my scars, and they still stare and point. But it's part of my past, and I think I'll keep it there.

I have, however, decided to keep my hair short.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Black Friday: Explained

Time to question this unofficial corporate holiday.

1418
Flickr/John Henderson

On a personal level, Black Friday has always confused me. Everyone just ate a ton and spent all day with their families—why would we want to go out and vigorously shop, fighting crowds? I totally see why other people want to go do it, but I’ve never quite understood the concept myself. While I’ve been Black Friday shopping once or twice, I don’t get that excited about it unless it’s an opportunity to spend time with family or friends. Don’t get me wrong; I am the queen of bargains. Still, I never seem to have the energy to go out into the jungle of shoppers early the day after Thanksgiving, or even immediately after Thanksgiving dinner. Many people, though—including my loved ones—are enthusiastic about Black Friday shopping, and it seems most other Americans are the same way. So, it’s worth looking at the reasons for this commercially-driven, unofficial American holiday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

#OptOutside This Black Friday

I am opting to go outside this Black Friday, and I hope you do so as well.

4510
Ross Woodhall

The day after Thanksgiving has always been regarded by many as the beginning of the Christmas season. While not a federal holiday, many people take off work, spend time at home with their families, and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season. This Friday off turned into a prime opportunity to begin the never-ending chore of Christmas shopping. Soon it became one of the busiest shopping days a year, which companies capitalized on by bringing the best deals of the year to this day we know as Black Friday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

Cereal never seemed more appealing than at 10 pm.

6235
7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

There is almost nothing more annoying in the world than waking up to the sound of an alarm. From the moment you get up until the time you get to bed, you are bombarded with responsibilities. You have to go to work and school, run errands, and do favors. But if you're a night owl then you have an advantage of getting a few more extra hours in the day. Here are seven perks to being a night owl:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

17 tasty foods to cook in an air fryer

Air fryers are becoming a staple in all health conscious households because of its delicious, yet grease free way of cooking your favorite dishes! We all love a good fried chicken dish, but this is a great alternative if you are eating mindfully.

There are plenty of places that sell air fryers such as Target, Bed Bath and Beyond and Amazon.

5128
Air Fryed Avocado Fries
Photo by: Tatum Oblonsky

Keep Reading... Show less
Wallpapers Pro

The Thanksgiving season is a time we spend with our loved ones giving thanks for the blessings we are given. Here are 20 Bible verses that remind us of what Thanksgiving is all about:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments