How being diagnosed with lymphoma at age 24 has affected me

The lymphoma awareness ribbon is a lime green color

Lymphoma is cancer of the lymphatic system if you don’t know, which helps keep your immune system strong. Having such a serious diagnosis at such a young age has definetly put some things into perspective for me. I think other people, regardless if they are living with a serious illness or not, might benefit from this list.

  • Stop getting angry over every little thing — If it’s not worth being angry 24 hours from now, let it go. It’s not worth it. Anger literally is toxic to the cells. Yes, there are things worth getting angry about, but holy heck, the amount of stupid/insignificant things people get mad about? IT IS NOT WORTH IT
  • Don’t expect the world to meet your expectations — people are flawed, that’s why we’re human. Stop expecting people to meet a certain standard in regards to behavior or verbal action if you want someone to “take the high rode”. YOU take the high rode and move on. Drop it, shut up about it, and MOVE ON. Expecting someone else to do it will just make you upset. BE THE ADULT in the situation, even if no one else is willing to be the adult. It’s best for EVERYONE involved.
  • Appreciate life, from the smallest insect to the largest elephant — I always considered myself a bit of a “hippie” in this regard where I did my best to appreciate animal and plant life, but being diagnosed with cancer really got me seeing the world differently. I am looking at the little creature a lot differently, I am see how things fit in the grand scheme of life with the ecosystem
  • It’s ok to say I’m too tired — Espicially when you’re in your 20s, the world expects you to be “full of life” and “full of energy”, when in reality, sometimes you’re just too damn tired for that. And that is ok
  • If you eat meat, just be mindful of where it comes from and respect the fact that it was once a live animal — I did this already, but I am extra mindful of this now. You can eat meat and be respectful of the fact that this piece of meat was once a live, breathing animal with its own aspirations.
  • Really dive into your passions — If you have a craft set that has been collecting dust, knitting needles, or any hobby/craft item that’s just been sitting there (despite how you love using it), actually carve some time out of the day to use it.
  • Get rid of toxic people in your life — Going off the first bullet point, it’s just not worth having toxic people in your life. Toxic people just want to make YOU miserable, or you feel miserable just about every time you interact with them, because of how they affect your emotions and stress levels

I’m a queer adopted healthcare worker who writers in their spare time. I have a MPH degree.