Alright... well, this is the first time I've done anything like this. A blog that is. So I am not quite sure of its rules or cliche rituals or the strange options they give you to make it easier or cooler or anything of that sort. But I decided that it would probably be in everyone's best interest for me to make one so anyone who is interested can keep up with me. I have never been much of a writer so I would not expect my writing/editing skills or styles of writing to be anything too special. But I do feel that writing this would be pretty fun and I hope people will appreciate it.. I guess. (:
Okay. So... My name is Samae Smith. I am 20 years old. and I really am just a normal college girl will some interesting [slash] amazing experiences. I am very open and willing to talk about my cancer. I think it has gotten me into an awkward situation or two recently. but they turn out to be rather funny later. So I have Hodgkin's Lymphoma. It is a cancer of the lymph-nodes. I am stage 2 bulky. Which just means it is a tad bit larger than 1/3 of the area it is in. Speaking of, it is in my chest cavity. it is somehow behind my chest bone but in front of my lungs... who knows how that works but that's just what I've been told. It (and when I'm speaking of "it" I'm talking about the weird swollen lymph-nodes that seem to be cancerous) is about 4 inches in diameter total. Okay done with the logistics. So how I found it was pretty interesting.
So I got very sick about last October. Good and sick. I went to the doctor and he gave me some anti-biotic and I told him about a recent lump I had found on my lower neck just above my left collar bone. He just told me it was a swollen lymphnode and those occur when you're sick. Which I already knew so I believed that was all it was. So I got better, and things were good. Except that swollen lymphnode never went away. But I just avoided it. Thinking that it would eventually go away.
But it didn't.
So this last March, during my spring break while I was home, my mom and I went to lunch with some good family friends. Now these family friends are very smart and very knowledgeable about.. well pretty much everything. It is amazing. So my mom suggested that I ask them about some dry skin on my arm. So I did. And in my sarcastic splendor I say, "Okay doctor, since you know everyting about everything, what is this??" and pointed to my neck. After looking at it, our friend got a very strong overwhelming feeling for me to go get that looked at. So we scheduled a doctors appointment for the next day to get an xray and ultrasound.
That next day would be the day that changed my life forever. March 15th. The most good/bad/scary/enlightening/faithtrying day I have had thus far in my life.
But since then, I have grown so much and I do have a large testimony of the atonement. Not only of its power to forgive sins, but how the Savior knows our trials and can truly take the sting away. Because comparing how I felt that day to how I feel today is like night and day.
I am happy. I am faithful. and I am very confident in what I am doing and what is happening. I had the very wonderful opportunity this last year to audition for the young performing mission in Nauvoo. This is a service mission where hundreds of kids audition across the nation by sending in a video audition to Salt Lake. The executive directors then choose 20 boys and 20 girls to come back for a live audition at the Joseph Smith memorial building. (which was on the 9th of this last January for me) and then 10 boys and 10 girls are chosen to actually go to Nauvoo for the summer to sing and dance as pioneers. Walk the streets, perform in shows, and bear testimony of the spirit of Nauvoo and the church's truthfulness. A few months after being chosen for this opportunity is when I found out about my cancer. But I know the Lord has been preparing me to not go to Nauvoo this whole time. He really has. In a loving, caring way. And now I am really okay with it. The entire group left for Nauvoo on the 4th of may. I am still even okay. Depending on where I am next year, I think they are going to give me a chance to do it next year.
So that was one of the hardest things to get over when I found out. that, and my hair.
my hair... oh boy haha
Nauvoo and my hair were the hardest things to get over. Yes. as of now I am a bald woman. haha! The Lord has really humbled me because I have been very materialistic in my life when it came to my hair. I loved my hair. I almost felt like my hair was part of my identity. Ever since middle school I have always been known as the girl with long brown hair who can sing. Always. so to lose that has been a trying time. But I am honestly grateful for the opportunity now [Really!] because not only have I really been able to overcome that materialistic aspect of myself, but it has helped me to overcome other stupid problems I seemed to have with myself. Like the fact that I have larger ears.. not even a worry now. and if you knew me well before, you knew that I would NEVER show my ears to anyone! also, I would never buy those cute little sandle shoes that are super super cute in the summer time because, my foot is wide and would sometimes hang over the edge of the slender sole. But hey! now I have about 3 new pairs that I absolutely LOVE wearing. So.. in conclusion to that, if any of you might be going through a rough self image problem, just lose your hair or something!! And one might find those problems to be not so much a problem anymore.
Alright so I'm about to wrap it up for today, but I will say that this week is an off week (which is a good thing) because I go to get treatments every other week and usually the first week isn't so good, but the second week is better. it is a better week. I have had 3 treatments now and on sunday my mom and I will be traveling down to Cedar City Utah for my 4th treatment. ( I go to cedar city huntsman cancer center because my mom and I decided that it would be the best thing for me seeing as I started down there and I will be finishing down there. And.. I really love my doctor down there, I just couldn't leave him) We will drive down Sunday night and come back Monday afteroon like usual. So I am sure I will post about more things then.
But for now I just want everyone to know how genuinely happy I am. My life is so good. and this cancer has nothing on me. I know it is just a little bump in the road to my real destiny. but I do know this bump is going to make me swerve bigtime and put me in a better direction towards a better me for the future. (hey pretty good analogy). I also want everyone to know that I am NOT bedridden in the least. On the contrary, I am really actually quite busy every day of my life. I have a job currently at Vivint security systems. I work at the corporate offices. I am running a youth theatre camp this summer called Spotlight Youth Theatre. Where for 3 weeks we are going to be teaching youth from ages 5-teens to sing and dance to songs that they will perform for family and friends at the end (p.s. if any of you are interested for you or your children PLEASE let me know asap. You can check out our facebook page too http://www.facebook.com/spotlightyouth) AND I am also one of the head coordinators for my wards Youth Conference this year. That is going to be a great opportunity I think. So thank you so much everyone for your prayers and thoughts. I really have been blessed so much by all of you and by my Heavenly Father. You're all so wonderful and just know that I am pretty much happy as a clam! Well.. a bald clam! ((;