Yesterday I went to the Moffitt Cancer Center for the first time to meet my doctor and talk about what’s to come. Before going I had been doing research and talking to other survivors about chemo and came across what is called cold caps. They are used during chemo to help prevent hair loss and from what I had seen online and talked to others about them, they worked for the most part. I was SO  excited when I discovered this because I was holding onto the hope of not having to lose my hair. I discovered in my appointment with my doctor that the cold caps actually don’t fully work to the fullest extent of saving all of your hair. So if I were to use it I would have patches of hair which I would be mortified to see honestly, I think anyone would. I had my doctor and multiple nurses come in and tell me “unfortunately you’re going to lose your hair”… hearing that over and over again ate away at me. I not only was going into the appointment thinking I wouldn’t be losing my hair, but having so many people constantly say it felt so demoralizing. I know people will say you’ll be beautiful without hair, but I’m a 20 year old girl who shouldn’t be shaving her head at this point in life. I hate the idea of being out in public and people feeling bad for the girl who has no hair. I’m already such an insecure human being, I don’t know how I can go out in public wearing a wig or not and feel ok in my own skin. I at least know that at first I won’t be ok, but as time goes on I pray it will get easier. Leaving that appointment I cried more than I ever have before because it’s all happening so fast so soon and is becoming just so real. Six months of chemo means six months of no hair and boy do I hope I get used to it quick or it’s going to be the longest six months of my life. Today I realized that although I’m going to feel ugly for sometime and be so jealous of girls getting to be healthy and happy at school, this chemo is going to save my life and this is just what I have to do in order to stay alive. It sucks, but it is the only way. No one should have to be put through this and it’s not going to be easy, but it sure as hell is worth it. Hopefully one day as technology advances losing your hair will not be part of the process of trying to fight for your life.

Today, I FINALLY got my PET scan done which determines the stage this cancer is… after endless bad news the doctor called to tell me the tumors are only in my chest and neck. This means I am stage 2B and as tears are running down my face typing this, my prayers have finally been heard. God has put me through the ringer, but the fact that it has not spread to my organs is the biggest blessing I can get from all of this. I truly couldn’t be happier knowing this horrible thing hasn’t taken over me completely. The endless nights of crying can come to a halt because the uncertainty and stress of not knowing is over and now it is my time to kick some butt. I will have my port put in my chest next Monday and start chemo next Friday. I am ready to fight this thing. I am ready to be the strong young woman I know God believes I am. My whole life I have believed everything happens for a reason, and yes I mean everything, even when it doesn’t make sense like now. I know in my heart of hearts that every part of this process is all happening for a greater reason and I’m ready to start the process of discovering that.

I will not let this cancer define who I am.