Today, my professor shared a quote with the class for our final meeting.
"Too often we underestimate the power of
a kind word,
a listening ear,
an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
This especially touched my heart because it reminded me of my journey this year.
When I was diagnosed, I had no idea what lied ahead. I told myself I would graduate on time, but to be honest with you, I wasn't sure. I was scared.
I doubted myself many times. I doubted myself when the dean of the College of Education emailed me to ask if I needed help dropping out of school. I doubted myself when people would look at me in surprise when I told them I would continue school. I doubted myself on the days I could not get out of bed to get to class, or the days I tried to go to class, only to leave after 10 minutes because I thought I was going to faint.
But I made it. I am graduating this weekend with high honor and I could not be more proud of myself.
Looking back, how I remained and completed a full time student course load with a 40-hour per semester placement requirement, all while undergoing chemotherapy, makes me so incredibly proud of myself.
I started to reflect on honestly how the hell I did this. I realized it was all of you. It was all of the people who supported me, day by day. It was the people who smiled at me, sent words of support, and believed in me.
Sure, I didn't ask for cancer, no one does. Especially not at this time of my life. But this process taught me a lot about myself and how life works. When life hands you something that is so incredibly overwhelming, you get through it by taking it day by day. You lean on the support of your friends and family to get you through, and you believe in yourself.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who helped me achieve something that I thought was unimaginable. You got me through my darkest days, and because of you, I can say: I MADE IT!
Congrats to the Class of 2017!