Sydney Dunham | CaringBridge

Sydney Dunham

First post: Nov 24, 2017 Latest post: Jan 20, 2018
So here I thought I had life all figured out.  I'm going to get my nursing degree and become an NP in Pediatrics. Life was good; then I got stopped dead in my tracks.  It started innocently enough with a tiny lump on my neck. I have always been a very optimistic person,  so I didn't think anything of it. Unfortunately, the lymph node didn't get smaller.  After a couple of weeks it doubled in size, so I decided to get blood drawn. The results came back normal, so no worries, right?  The doctor recommended an ultrasound "just to rule things out",  but when they found another lump, it was time for a biopsy.  The doctor explained that the biopsy wasn't necessarily needed because 99% of the results are good, but we did it "just to make sure." 

My biopsy was on Friday, November 17th, 2017.  On Monday, November 20, 2017, I received the call that changed my life. My doctor suggested that I come in to go over the results of the biopsy. At that point I knew that I would be constantly thinking and worrying about what could be wrong with me, so I said she could tell me over the phone. She told me to sit down and take a deep breath, so my mind was racing with all the possibilities until she gave me the results. I will never forget the words the doctor said, "the results came back as Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which is cancer of the lymph nodes." At that point, there was only one word that stuck out to me... cancer. In my mind, there was no way it was even a possibility. 

It took me a couple days to cry about it because everything seemed like a dream. I know it is cliche, but I was waiting and praying for myself to wake up from the dream, and it didn't happen. I finally got to the point in this process that I can tell myself, "I have cancer." I hear stories about cancer constantly, but never expected that it would become a part of my life.  I have never had anything more than strep throat or a sprained ankle until I tore my ACL this last summer. Why not throw cancer into this already difficult recovery process though, right?

I have amazing supporters in my life that will be able to make this whole process easier in any way they can, but I know it will be difficult. Everyone that knows me knows that I am an outgoing, friendly person; so when you see me anytime in the future don't look at me or treat me any differently than you did before I got diagnosed. I'm still the same outgoing person, and the only way to get through this is through humor. Once I overcome this, I will have an amazing story to tell my patients to help them overcome their hard times. I would never be given anything that I cannot overcome because I know that I am strong. I will overcome this and beat cancer. FUCK CANCER!

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