The thing with me and my cancer is that I never thought that I could die…that this was it. Even after being diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma, it never even fazed me.

I guess I’ve always been a positive person. I like to laugh my way through uncomfortable situations, even through awkward ones. I preferred people not to know I had cancer. I never wanted people to feel for me or feel sorry for what I was going through. Probably because I just needed to get through it and getting my independence back is a huge deal to me.

My confidence was completely crushed when I lost my hair. As superficial as it is to some, losing all of it, including my eyebrows and eyelashes, was devastating. All of my femininity or what I could relate to being feminine was taken away. It became hard to look in the mirror. That in itself changed how I looked at the world, at myself and no one can change how you feel about it or the situation. It’s all in how you look at it.

Finding other things to do instead of styling my hair was a challenge. I wanted to fill that time accomplishing things that I wanted to do, but never got around to. And just try to enjoy every minute. Instead of dwelling on the negative things about my appearance, I wanted to find beauty in the world and everything around me and really appreciate it instead of being as self absorbed as I had been.

I love to create art and art projects. I love to dream and daydream and create things that are beautiful that reflect the mood I was in during that time. We can only be ourselves and it is our opinion of ourselves that we must face in the end. Being told what to expect or how to feel won’t change the reality of what occurs.

I question everything. To go on about my cancer experience would be pointless, it’s all bullshit anyways. I don’t like to dwell too much on what was or what could have been. I’d rather focus on how I can make my life more comfortable and better suited to my needs now.

I had cancer.

I beat the shit out of cancer.

And now I am moving on with the rest of my life. Whatever that may be. Adventure or mission, the choice is mine. So far, I’m choosing to be as happy as I can be. Sorry cancer, you lose.

Alexis Bondesen