July 3, 2021, was the day that my life changed forever. I had been dealing with odd symptoms for months, and after multiple visits with dismissive practitioners, I finally had the ear of a doctor who believed me. A tumor located in my mediastinum was discovered via a CT scan. This news was devastating. I was due to be married in one month and how could someone who is just beginning her life possibly have something like this happen? With the blessings of my oncologist and cardiovascular surgeon, I was able to celebrate my marriage, and two days after we returned from our honeymoon, we hit the ground running. Oncology appointments, blood draws, scans, surgery, port placement, chemotherapy, and radiation are all the things that I will forever remember enduring during our first six months of marriage. But all I can think of is how lucky I am to have had a partner who supported and loved me through this. When we said our vows, I never thought that we would have to endure the "in sickness and health" part so soon, but I believe this made our relationship stronger.
On January 28, 2022, I rang the victory bell three times ― once for me, once for the survivors who have come before me, and once for those whose journey with cancer was not met by the same fate I have been so extremely blessed to have. I have a life ahead of me, and I want to make an impact in this world by serving others. As a medical speech-language pathologist, young adult cancer patient, and now cancer survivor, I hope to bring empathy, healing, and a new perspective to the patients who I serve. Thank you to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) for making this survivorship possible. The research, resources, and financial assistance you have provided are immeasurable. Without them, I and many others could not have climbed this mountain and reached the summit without you.