Meet Eliza Lawrence
From the mountain of cancer I hope to remember my perseverance, the people who helped me on the climb, and know that if I was able to climb that mountain, then most other obstacles will be foothills.
My summer had been filled with so many outdoor adventures and as I embarked on my senior year I was looking forward to the best year yet, capped off by graduation. During junior year, I worked hard taking the SAT, enrolling in numerous AP classes and also balancing sports and a social life. All these things seemed extremely important and I saw them as the indicators of success. But in a few months, they would be simple numbers and nothing in comparison to the treatment I was about to start.
My senior year began and I had a disappointing cross country season. In response, I gave myself room to breathe, telling myself that it was okay because I was pouring my heart into so many things, it only made sense that some things had to suffer. The pain I was experiencing worsened and a month later, I received news I had never expected: I had cancer. I was in disbelief and knew that this was not in my plan for senior year or really, in my plan for life. I slowly learned how to cope with my diagnosis and found strength in the adversity. At first, it seemed like my whole world was rocked and for days I couldn’t imagine how the rest of my senior year would look. Would I graduate? Would I even be able to go to college next year? All these special events were now in question and I was both worried and afraid of what my life would now be like.
Throughout my cancer treatment, I was connected to so many other survivors as well as many people who are currently going through treatment. Being a survivor means getting to be part of a small group of people who know what you have gone through while many other people don’t. Additionally, being a survivor makes all these problems in your life seem so small. Not only does having a cold or runny nose seem like nothing, but whenever I’m fighting with my friends I remember the obstacles I’ve overcome and how that if I got through that, then I can settle a disagreement.
Being diagnosed with cancer was the scariest thing that ever happened to me. At first, I had no idea what to do with myself or with the fear of the upcoming months. While my senior year was nothing like I ever expected, it showed me how incredibly strong I am. Not only can my veins withstand literal poison, but I handled it with grace and poise. These past few months have tested me physically and emotionally, allowing me to become a better person for myself and those around me. I hope that in the future whenever I’m having a bad day I can have the perspective similar to that of standing on a mountain. Like last summer, I had to work hard physically and emotionally to get to the summit of becoming a survivor. I have gained insight and experience from each of those figurative and literal summits. From the mountain of cancer I hope to remember my perseverance, the people who helped me on the climb, and know that if I was able to climb that mountain, then most other obstacles will be foothills.