My cancer has been an interesting experience for all involved. I’ve been through 30 rounds of chemotherapy, often having to drop whatever I’m doing just to drive to the hospital to get multiple drugs poured into me through IVs and pills.
I’ve hated my cancer (who doesn’t hate cancer?) since I was first diagnosed, when I was only 14 years old. I was confined to my hospital room, losing all contact with my friends and girlfriend for 3 months. It was the hardest 3 months of my life, and I’m lucky to have survived it, both figuratively and literally.
My whole life has been revolved around my cancer. I’m afraid, simply. I’m afraid of everything my cancer has done to me. I’m terrified every time I go to the hospital, knowing very well that I may die in one. It’s taken every aspect of my life that I enjoy away.
As an actress, I’ve been afraid to go to auditions, fearing that they won’t accept me because I’m losing my hair.
I’m afraid that my girlfriend will hate me once I become completely bald. While I love her, and I know she loves me, I’m afraid that she’ll think I’m ugly once my hair is gone.
I’m afraid to go out on the street to even just take a walk because I’m afraid that I’ll get stared at. Being only 4’11’, I weigh only 85 pounds, and rely on a wheelchair to take me everywhere. My eyes are swollen and my cheeks are sucked in. I look like an alien.
I’m afraid I’m going to go out and scare a little kid.
As much as I’m afraid of my cancer, I’ve learned so many things because of it.
I’ve learned that someone will always be there to support me. My best friend in the entire world stood with me while I was at the lowest low in my cancer. I was irritable, lazy, and I’m sure annoying as hell. Once I got back from that 3 months in the hospital, my girlfriend was just as sweet and kind as she was when I first met her. I had never missed anyone as much as I missed her, and I’m so lucky that I had someone so special while I was struggling through multiple rounds of chemo.
I’ve learned to live every single day like it could be my last.
I’ve faced death so many times that I’ve always shied away from experiences that could harm me. That’s what I’ve regretted most my entire life. I’ve missed out on amazing experiences that I wish I had taken looking back on it now.
I’ve missed auditions for movies that I’ve watched, knowing that I would have been perfect for the role. I’ve missed things because of my cancer that I wish I hadn’t, and because of that, I’ve stopped living life like everything is dangerous. If I have an opportunity to go parasailing, which I’ve never done before, yes I’m going to do it! I’m done missing out of things just because I have a few too many cells in my body.
But most of all, I’ve learned that I’m more than my cancer.
I’m a human being. I’m not my cancer.
Yes I have cancer, but I’m also an actress. Yes I have cancer, but I have a beautiful girlfriend. I have cancer, but I have gorgeous green eyes. I sing. I’m a writer. I don’t even tell most people that I have cancer, because they’ll look at me differently than they did before. Just because I told you that I have cancer doesn’t mean that I’m a different person.