I was 24 years old and dating the man of my dreams. The first year of our relationship was perfect. But when I was 25, I started to get sick. I had monthly doctor’s appointments for an entire year to figure out what was wrong.
A cancer diagnosis isn’t a reason to stop being vigilant when it comes to prevention. In fact, cancer patients have even more reason to be on guard, because they usually have a higher risk for infection or for developing other types of cancer.
Upon learning I had won the DAISY Award, I immediately thought of several different groups of people: the two patients who had nominated me, the incredible team I work with at Roswell Park, and my family.
As a teenager, I had my heart set on joining the Peace Corps. I grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands and met people from all walks of life who inspired me to give back. I wanted to travel the world and help those in need.
Everything happened so quickly—the trip to the emergency room, the diagnosis of immunoblastic large cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma, surgery to partially remove the very large tumor in his chest cavity, multiple courses of chemotherapy.