A Stage 4 Lymphoma at 22 years of age
By Mags Bujalski
At 22 years old, when I felt like my life was finally coming together, it suddenly fell apart. I had just accepted a job offer at my dream job and was two months away from graduating university when I received the news that I had cancer, stage 4 lymphoma – Primary Mediastinal Large B Cell Lymphoma, to be exact.
After what seemed like hundreds of scans and blood tests, I finally began my treatment – chemotherapy. I knew that the months ahead of me were going to be challenging, but I decided to face them head on and see this as a speed bump in life, rather than a car crash.
I tried my best to keep a positive mindset throughout my entire journey, on my bad days as much as on my good days. I decided that although I could not plan very much with regard to my treatment, I could still do everything in my power to make sure that I was doing my part to take care of me. This was as much emotional as it was physical.
Physically, I wanted to keep my routine as seemingly normal as I could. I would try to run my usual errands, do my groceries, clean around the house (when my body was able to, of course.) I did my research and nourished my body with healthy whole foods to keep my strength up during treatment, helping my body to recover from the chemo. Physical activity remained a vital part of my routine. On top of the obvious benefits, it just helped me feel like myself and like I still had some sort of control over my health.
Emotionally, I focused on what I knew that I needed at that time. I know that I am someone who worries and overthinks things if I have nothing occupying my mind. To combat that, I decided to find a new hobby – YouTube. Learning how to film, edit, upload videos took up a lot of my time and I would honestly say that some days it saved me from spiraling. Keeping my mind busy was something that I just knew I needed to do.
Those months of treatment flew by and before I knew it, I was in remission and had a brand-new appreciation for life. Cancer taught me many lessons; many good lessons and also many hard lessons. But I choose to enjoy the beautiful things in life because at the end of the day, this life is magical and amazing. Health is truly wealth and I will never take my health for granted ever again.