Of Course, it Wasn’t Cancer, I Was Only 14

05/15/2019 By Beth Reed

“You don’t think it’s cancer, do you?”, I said to my parents as I rolled backward and extended my legs into an L shape on their bedroom floor.

“Of course not”, they replied almost in unison. The only people I knew who had cancer died. I was basically asking if they thought I was dying. They said no, but I found out later, that they weren’t sure.

It had been a few months of a lingering cough, that just keeps making its presence known, fatigue that hovered over my body like a dark cloud that increased over the year, matched with an innocent mindset that wondered why I couldn’t keep up with my high school teammates. Of course, it wasn’t cancer, I was only 14.

A day or two later, my dad came home early from work, (he never came home early), it was then I knew it was cancer. The sounds of the car in the driveway in the sunny afternoon told me all I needed to know.

I learned about a new kind of cancer that day, Hodgkins’ Disease, Stage 4 C, the answer to why I couldn’t keep up with my friends and why I was a teenager in bed, in the middle of the day.

Chemo started within a couple of days, I traded school for the hospital, teachers for nurses, and it was then my life changed forever. Over the next two years, my family and I were challenged and tested and we fought every day. We fought through chemo, transfusions, fever spikes, infections, long hospitals stays, the unknown, awaiting test results, a double stem cell transplant, radiation, we continued to fight until it was gone and I will continue to fight now that it is gone.

Although cancer might be gone, for now, my anxiety and worry have never left. Now I am faced with a new fight, this time, not physically but mentally to live to be my best, share positivity, and appreciate the days I have without cancer.

GRYT is running your first half marathon for my 20th anniversary off treatment, when many said I couldn’t and doctors always said, Beth, you should rest.

GRYT is running my 4th half marathon, within a year, with a fractured foot, when most said I shouldn’t.

GRYT is waking up every day and fighting thoughts about getting sick again with stating 3 things I’m grateful for.

GRYT is sharing I am a survivor and ignoring the worry that it will come back and GRYT is knowing that if it does, I will fight and win again.

About The Poster

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Explore the latest Hub posts

Editorials

Top Tips for Dealing with Holiday Blues

Many people deal with the holiday blues, including several of our team members! The Gryt Health team came together to create this piece with some of our favorite tips and tricks for dealing with the Holiday Blues!

Tell Your Story

Irene’s Stomach Cancer Story

Gryt Health Community Member, Irene shares the start of her journey with Stomach Cancer.

Want Email Updates?

Get updates in your inbox when new content is posted on the website.

Find value in this post? Please share!

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email

You are never alone

View our resources for those who are experiencing, have experienced, or are supporting someone who has experienced a medical diagnosis.