Fun Things I Did While I Had Cancer

Fun Things I Did While I Had Cancer

overcoming adversity

After I was diagnosed with cancer, I felt like my world stopped and that I would have to cancel life to be in treatment at all times. I quickly checked myself and promised that I would do whatever it took to create some semblance of normal life as a 21-year-old while I was physically able.

Soon after beginning my 12 rounds of ABVD, I motivated myself by creating a list of the things that I wanted to do while I was undergoing chemo. Below, I share some of what I was able to accomplish and enjoy while undergoing treatment. I was determined to make happy experiences during an unhappy time in my life.

My list of things to do! (Courtesy of Radiant Racheli)
  1. Went to Disney World
    The week after my diagnosis, my family set out to take a trip to the “happiest place on earth” and do our best to celebrate life and ride roller coasters!
  2. Went to the movies
    Going to see movies made me nervous due to my low immune system, so I made sure to sit very far from anyone and had my friends who I was with protecting me from any coughs or sneezes. In cases where my immune system was a little too low, I wore a mask. I saw “Trainwreck,” “Inside Out,” “Southpaw,” “Hunger Games,” and others.
  3. Met Rachel Platten and attended her concert
    Upon being diagnosed, Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” became my anthem. After reaching out and sharing my story, I was invited to her concert and got to meet her!
  4. Painting — with a twist
    I was able to a enjoy a wonderful night with my girlfriends that came to visit me. We went to an art studio where we all got a canvas to paint an image instructed to the class!
  5. Went kayaking
    OK, I ended up in a canoe with someone to help paddle because I couldn’t exert myself too much … Regardless, any nature opportunity had me jumping for joy. I am so glad I had the opportunity to do this.
  6. Met people on JSwipe
    I was determined to continue my dating life. I went on interesting dates — some great and some terrible. In the end, I met wonderful people and continue to have fantastic friendships with many.
  7. Marlins game
    I’m close with my first cancer friend, Zak. One of our favorite things to do was see the Marlins play. Although I am not usually a fan of baseball, It was a wonderful experience to get out of the house and hang out with my close friend.
  8. Miami Heat season opener
    Growing up with an older brother who is obsessed with basketball has infected me with a mutual love for the game. I was so excited when I knew that I could go see the Heat play, especially since it was Chris Bosh’s first game back after having a pulmonary embolism (like me!) and being on Xarelto (like me!).
  9. Pole dancing
    Pole fitness was a hobby and form of exercise that I enjoyed before being diagnosed, so I made sure to get my pole shipped to Florida while I was going through treatment. I typically used my pole on nights before treatments as an outlet to let out anxiety. I didn’t attend any pole classes during treatment due to germs and my weakened immune system.
  10. Lion Country Safari
    My partner in crime (PIC) Zak and I took a trip to the local safari-themed park to visit the animals and enjoy some sunshine together.
  11. Dave Matthews Band concert
    The band makes a trip to Florida every summer for a much anticipated show. I am proud of myself for making it out and enjoying a little bit of the show, but I ended up going home early due to the amount of smoke around the amphitheater.
  12. Beach yoga
    A ritual when I felt well enough to do it, beach yoga was another physical way for me to enjoy nature and release anxiety. 
  13. Boating and snorkeling
    After getting permission from my oncologist, my family and I took a boating trip to Key West. I even got to snorkel for quick moments when my lungs cooperated. It was such a wonderful time!

Regardless of what your list looks like and what it is you feel up to doing based on your limitations, please remember that underneath cancer and chemo, you are still you. Do your best (mindful of your physical and emotional energy) to preserve a version of life that you enjoy.

(Photos courtesy of Radiant Racheli)

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Note: Lymphoma News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Lymphoma News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to lymphoma.

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Radiant Racheli is an inspiring cancer survivor looking to spread smiles all over the internet by making video blogs on how to fight adversity with positivity and raises awareness for young adults with cancer. Racheli was diagnosed with Lymphoma at age 21 and video blogged her entire journey in its raw form. She laughs, she dances, she cries and, most importantly, she reminds us that everything is going to be okay.

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