My cancer treatment was filled with both good and bad days. I would say that a majority of my days were good, because I was able to stay positive and could do small tasks throughout the day. However, when I had bad days, they hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own body, my meds constantly made me feel sick, and I felt isolated and alone. None of these feelings were fun for a 19-year old college student to face.

On these bad days, I would hide away from my family, trying to get through the next minute, hour, or day. I would greet sleep with gratitude, hoping that tomorrow would be easier. In most cases, I would wake up feeling better. However, holding on to a positive attitude got tougher as I completed more rounds of chemotherapy.

Looking back at my whole cancer experience, one day really sticks out. It was a Friday, sometime after my fourth round of chemotherapy. I was feeling especially sad, frustrated by my situation and wishing to be anyone else in the world. My fingers burned from neuropathy, I was nauseous from my meds, and my body felt weak. All I felt up to doing was curling up on the couch to watch TV, waiting for time to pass. I tried not to look at my phone, because scrolling through Instagram and watching Snapchat stories reminded me that I was missing out on normal college life, adding to my sadness. I would definitely categorize this as a “bad” day.

After enduring a majority of the day, a letter arrived for me in the late afternoon. Inside was a heartfelt note from all of my college friends, telling me that they missed me and that they had enclosed money to treat me to a spa day. Immediately, I broke down crying. It was such a thoughtful gift, and it meant the world that my friends had come together to support me with such a kind gesture. Honestly, that envelope could have just held a letter that says “we miss you” and it would have reduced me to tears. This gift completely changed my mood, and helped me stay headstrong while I faced my next round of chemo. I swear that I didn’t stop smiling for a week straight. It was a great reminder that had a great support system and that my friends were always there for me.

The lesson here is that sickness is unpredictable, and you never know when a friend is going to have a bad day and need extra support. The fact that they even thought to send something like that was awesome and I was so happy to hear from them. To this day, it amazes me that the letter arrived on a day when I needed it the most. I’m writing this blog post in the hopes that this will inspire someone to reach out to a friend that needs support, even in a small way. Texts and letters of support can really make a persons day when they’re facing sickness.

Much love to all my friends who showed me endless support during my treatment, I couldn’t have done it without you!

Rebecca Hoffman
Rebecca is a Boston-based contributor who is proud to share her experiences as a Young Adult survivor of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She's passionate about healthy living + the environment, and in her free time enjoys running, reading, and exploring the city.
Digging deep logo

Subscribe To Our Blog

Subscribe to our blog to receive weekly articles with the latest advice on supporting the emotional needs of sick children and teens.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: