Reflective Essay: How Chemotherapy Changed My Life

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November 21, 2003: The sound of a siren wailing, racing toward the hospital in order to transfer my immobilized body, weak and frail, to the University of California, San Francisco. On arrival to UCSF I had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a type of cancer that attacks the white blood cells in the bone marrow. Thankfully the cancer was discovered rather quickly which prevented it from spreading to other parts of the body; however, I had to endure the long five years of chemotherapy.
The chemotherapy included taking countless pills that would cause me to be bald, emotional, and produce warts on my fingers. The weeks not spent in the hospital were mostly spent at school, where I was marked as “different” or “not normal” because of the side effects of the medication. The way that I was excluded from activities has only encouraged me to become better, it has allowed me perceive greatness and gave me the confidence to believe in myself and not be concerned about think of me. My body may have been fragile but my will to continue was still strong, and I was determined to get rid of my abnormality, that separated me from the others.
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It was a dream of mine to partake in normal child activities, but psychologically I wasn’t the same. My cancer had disappeared but not the memories, or my persistence and tenacity. After the chemotherapy I began to find the wonders in science, and decided to become an engineer. My persistence gave me the goal to achieve the status of engineer so I may help others who may not be able to help themselves or improve daily life through science. Cancer hasn’t just left me with memories and scars, instead it gave me the tenacity to overcome any situation comes my way. If cancer hasn’t stopped me yet, then nothing will stop me from becoming an
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