Imagine being 21 years old, feeling sick… for a long time…. night sweats, strange rashes, tired all the time, short of breath…. and being treated for two years for ‘chest pain.’ How frustrating would that be? Not feeling like you can have a life, cause you feel so crappy?
THEN, being told you have Stage 3, Hodgkins Lymphoma…. We’re sorry, “You have cancer.”
Mom says, “We were terrified. She’d been treated for two years for various ailments, never even looking for cancer.” Now they were facing Stage 3 cancer, with almost her entire torso filled with tumors.
Starting chemo this past spring, Hannah underwent treatments every two weeks…enduring many reactions to the various chemo and anti-nausea drugs, her mother watching helplessly at her side. “It’s hard to watch her go through this, but she’s got such a positive attitude… she even makes fun of it.”
Her self-deprecating humor was evident during her portrait session. Her inner beauty exceeds her outward beauty. “It’s not part of my nature to get down and stay down. But when I lost my hair, it was scary…. then it became ‘real’, then I LOOKED sick and like I had cancer.” Her family rallied to her side with her brother and brother-in-law both shaving their heads to match Hannah’s!
“We have hope that this is a temporary thing- I have no fear that I won’t make it through this. We have a LOT of hope.”
Her words to others going through the same trials…. “lean on your faith and take one hour at a time, then one day at a time…. set short milestones for yourself.” I suspect that it’s more of that gorgeous smile, her positive and humorous attitude and inner strength that gets this young woman through each day….