To offer this world since I have now faced my mortality, my life is full of meaning and passion because I know that the only certainty of life is that I will die.

In comparison to the age of the universe, my life is relatively insignificant because my time here is very limited. This understanding allows me to appreciate the present where I find gratitude for the sense of aliveness that I feel inside of me. I am thankful that I woke up this morning, for the long deep breath that I just took and the peaceful feeling I felt as I exhaled. I am grateful that I am able to go outside, feel the sun on my skin and hear the birds sing. I will never complain about having to go to work or class because I am thankful to even have the opportunity and ability to do so.

To me, there is no longer such a thing as a bad day because I find many reasons to be thankful. Life is a gift that I am not uaranteed to have tomorrow. This understanding causes me to feel connected with everything around me and motivates me to touch as many lives as I can.

My will to keep fighting came from the support I received not only from friends and family, but from my doctors, nurses, social workers, other patients, hospital staff, and even complete strangers. These people have been a positive influence in my life and their kindness was my inspiration. My biggest goal in life is to give back more than I have taken because I owe my life to what others have given me. I believe that we are somehow interconnected and it is our duty to help our fellow man for the betterment of humanity. When I am no longer here, I want to have inspired someone the way that others have inspired me because that person will continue the circle of life and help others.

People like to say, “everything happens for a reason”, but in the case of most young adults with cancer, doctors do not know why it happened, so there is no reason. I will probably never know why I got sick, but in a way I am glad it happened because it has given me my “reason”. My suffering has given me strength, wisdom, compassion, understanding, and an intense desire to help others. I am going back to school for my nursing license because I believe that I am destined to become a hematology/oncology nurse. I will use my experience as a cancer survivor to empower, nourish, encourage, provide and educate other cancer patients.