I always thought I wouldn’t make it to 18, wouldn’t make it to see myself graduate, never go to college or have a family of my own. An enemy was coming for me ready to take me down. I truly believed I would lose the fight, but I didn’t. I won the battle against cancer, and now I look back knowing it was never the end.
As people, we aren’t always ready for new chapters to begin. The anticipation can be too much to handle. Sometimes we think our previous chapter would have been our last, that our story would end. When I was diagnosed with stage 4 Ewing sarcoma, a rare and aggressive bone cancer, at 16 years old, I thought the chapter of my life would have ended and been the last for me. It boggles my mind knowing cancer itself was just another chapter of my life. The phrase “It wasn’t the end”” will always have a strong meaning to me, because I wish 16 year old me could have known that cancer wouldn’t take me down.
Cancer has taught me so many important lessons that will continue to inspire me. The biggest lesson I learned from cancer is it doesn’t have to be the end. Cancer doesn’t have to win. You can show cancer who’s boss. Cancer taught me just because events, objects, or people seem so much tougher than you it doesn’t mean you are weak. You may think you are weaker than your surroundings, but that shouldn’t dictate whether you give up or not.
As a new chapter in my life begins I would title it “It was never the end”, symbolizing that even throughout all the hardships I’ve faced I managed to make it through and my story stands to continue. “It was never the end” would be a chapter about life, growth, and new experiences. Doing all the things I never imagined I’d do symbolizes my remembrance of thinking it was the end. Growing as a human, expanding my love for my faith, and getting to experience the joys of life shows me it was never the end. Life didn’t end when I was 16 years old just because I had cancer. I am so much stronger than cancer could have ever been. Cancer truly never stood a chance against me. I’m growing as a person and that means making new memories. Although I will be making new friends, memories, and adventures, that doesn’t mean I will put my past to rest. All new chapters correlate to the previous, making them better than ever. My previous chapter of life about cancer is making my new chapter of life more enjoyable. I’m cherishing life more than I ever have. I’m making new goals and achieving them just as quickly.
As I put the burden of death behind me, I constantly remind myself it’s never the end. When struggling with life, thinking you can’t get through it, your future self will be screaming “It was never the end”.
By: Adelina Kadriju