A Letter to my Pre-Cancer Self

Zach at the Twins game

Dear Pre-Cancer Self,

You’re about to be blindsided.

You’re just about to start your freshman year of high school; it’s a big transitional period for everyone, including yourself.

People start forming friend groups and getting to know each other. You won’t get that.

Your third day of school you will unexpectedly be called out of class.

Before you even know what hit you, you’ll be on your way to the hospital.

“Don’t run any red lights to get here, but get here fast,” they said.

Aortic aneurysm, biopsy, IV’s, PET scan. Everything will become a blur.

Before you know it, there will be more needles in you than doctors around you.

When you hear the word “cancer”, it won’t quite register with you at first.

“That can’t be right”, you’ll think, “that could never happen to me.”

But it can, and it did. However, it’s not the end of the world.

You have to fight, and fight hard. It’s not going to be fun and it’s not going to be easy.

Things will be bleak, but new doors will open.

You’ll find yourself. You’ll become a better person. Most important of all, you’ll get through it.


Zach, age 17, nodular sclerosing Hodgkin survivor

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