Current Graduate Student and GTA, MA in Literature
I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma during my final semester of my Bachelor’s degree in English literature and women’s studies in Spring 2015 at the age of 27 years old. I was living in Manitowoc, WI and going to school at the University of Green Bay at this time. I had already applied to graduate schools in Colorado when I received my diagnosis. Literally, less than a month later I received the email from Professor Zach Hutchkins informing me that I was accepted for admission to the MA program in Literature here at Colorado State University.
When I found out about the fist sized tumor in my chest (where they located my lymphoma) I was told at my university that I would be able to withdraw for a semester on health leave and return to finish my degree whenever I felt capable. Well, I took that suggestion into account for .00001 seconds and decided to switch my campus classes to online courses that same day so I could still graduate on schedule.
There was no way in hell I was giving up my dream of graduate school by letting cancer get in my way.
I talked with my oncologist and we decided to speed up the time between my chemotherapy rounds in order for me to finish in time to move for the graduate program here at CSU. I managed to maintain my high GPA during my last semester of my Bachelor’s degree while receiving one of the toughest chemotherapy regimens that exists. I received six rounds of chemotherapy treatments from February-May 2015. These treatments were five to six days long while I received a continuous IV drip of five chemotherapy drugs around the clock.
I managed to walk for my graduation a week after my fifth round of chemotherapy and was declared in remission after my sixth round in June 2015. I moved to Colorado for the program here at CSU with my six year old son the next month and I was able to start school right on schedule. I kept a blog throughout my entire treatment that was both a coping mechanism and a way to tap into an underappreciated market of cancer satire.
So currently, I now blog professionally for two young adult cancer organizations called Stupid Cancer and First Descents. One of my greatest passions since surviving cancer as a young adult is to spread awareness and advocate for issues that primarily impact this age group. We are often a gray area with a mess of issues unique to our age and it’s been eye opening working with these organizations to help spread awareness and advocacy.
Stupid Cancer is one of the largest US-based charities that comprehensively addresses young adult cancer through advocacy, research, support, outreach, awareness, mobile health and social media. More information on this cause can be found here: http://stupidcancer.org/
First Descents offers young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same. More information on this cause can be found here: http://firstdescents.org/
All of my blog posts for these organizations can be found here: https://firstname.lastname@example.org.