Monday, April 13, 2009


"I'm hangin' on another day
Just to see what you throw my way
And I'm hanging on to the words you say
You said that I will be OK"
"Broken" by Lifehouse

I stood in the cold and dark radiology room staring into the computer screen showing the many slices of my body. I don't think my eyes were blinking much. My brain was trying to stay focused on every word that Dr. Melodrama was saying but that became increasingly difficult after hearing the words "anterior mediastinal mass."

Probably sensing or expecting my state of shock, Dr. Melodrama found the need to repeat his sentence multiple times while placing his hands on my shoulders and looking me in the eye, "are you hearing me young lady? What you have is a superior anterior mediastinal mass." Now with my limited medical knowledge as a third year medical student I sort of knew what that was but not exactly; the words "mass" or "tumor" are generally bad and would involve numerous tests and possibly numerous doctors to determine exactly what the mass is. All I knew at the time though was that my life was going to change and it was not a change that I was going to welcome.

My mind was flooding with questions that needed immediate answers. What is this mass? Is it treatable? How drastically is my life going to change? Am I going to have to halt everything I'm doing with my life for this mass?

Oh dear God, how am I going to tell my parents? I don't want to put them through this (again)!

You see, I am not one of those people whose life has been easy for them up to "this point"; the point when something major happens to change their entire life, like say having to face cancer. I thought my life has been plenty difficult to last me my entire earthly existence thank you very much! And silly me, I honestly thought I had already faced the biggest hurdle of my life back when I was 13 and was diagnosed and treated for severe scoliosis. Well, apparently the universe did not think so; the powers out there thought that "oh maybe little Nancy has not had enough yet, let's spice it up for her a bit more!"

I am Nancy. I'm 25 years old, and this is how my story with Hodgkin's Lymphoma starts. The decision to share my story on the World Wide Web took me over 4 months to make, but I finally decided it was something I had to do, both for myself and for others out there who may be struggling through the same battle. I also figured it will be much easier to update my friends and family on my progress in this battle, which I realize is a lifelong battle, but one I am very determined to win!

Finally, through this blog I can write, and write regularly hopefully, which has always been one of my passions. Unfortunately, it is a passion that was lost and became one of the many victims of my choice of going to medical school three years ago. It is a passion that I can now claim back (however temporarily) while I "enjoy" my one year medical leave of absence from the crazy life of a medical student!

My blog will be organized into "chapters" and even though I am just starting to publish the posts (in April 2009), I was actually diagnosed with Hodgkin's back in Nov. 26th, 2008. I will try to mention the major dates in the chapters when they are relevant. The idea of organizing the blog into chapters comes from my dream of one day having my writings published into a book (or two or many ;)

I will also start each chapter with a line from a song and end it with a verse from the bible. The two things that are keeping me strong and motivated during this time in my life (besides the support of so many people around me) are my faith in Jesus and his unending love, and the lyrics from my favorite songs! I don't think there is anything else in the world right now that affects me as strongly as the truth found in the bible and the beauty and strength that I find in some song lyrics. So I hope you find solace and strength in those lines as much as I do!

Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the LORD."
Psalm 27:14


HRL said...

Ahhh my dear...I love you so much and You are so blessed and I am more blessed because I know you!! Such a beautiful writer and a talented young you will go far...I love u dear!

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy,
Your sister just told me of your wonderful news. Congratulations! I have been praying for you and thinking of you and your family since she told us of your cancer. I remember the day she went with you to pick out your first wig. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences on your blog. I hope you will be back at school soon. You will be a great healer! Love, Kristin W.