The most difficult aspect of going through cancer was facing delays in my life. I was only 22 years old when I was first diagnosed. I had stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I was sick for a long time before that. I actually found out that I had cancer when I stopped walking and became paraplegic.
It was so tough to go through chemotherapy and learn that I may never walk the same again. So, I went through intense physical therapy, which lasted for three hours every day for a few months.
It is very hard but I pulled through and now I am walking fine.
Moreover, I couldn’t finish my undergraduate degree which set me back three years. It was definitely challenging to see all my friends graduate before me. I also wasn’t able to start a job like everyone else in my age group. The experiences I had with cancer in my 20s were devastating.
However, I found more normalcy in my life being in my 30s. I have been in remission now for 13 years and things in my life are going well. I am happily married and doing my graduate degree in a field that I love.
I am grateful for being a cancer survivor, assisting others in my AYA ambassador role, and connect with others on similar journeys through the AYA program. I am thankful for moving forward one day at a time.
"I am grateful for being a cancer survivor."- Fatima