Hello, my name is Stephanie Roose, I am 33 years old, and I am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed with Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell (PMLBC), Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on December 14th, 2010 (I know, it’s a mouthful!!), and have been cancer free since July 14th, 2011. As you can imagine, when I was diagnosed with cancer I was completely devastated. I was distraught and blindsided and felt like I was alone on an island.
For the first month after my diagnosis and as I began my treatment I went through a handful of emotions: anger, sadness, depression, fear, and anxiety. Shaving my head was the tipping point, and when I saw myself in the mirror fitting the bill of a cancer patient, I was suddenly in a trance-state of shock and utter fear. One morning, about 45 days in, I woke up embraced in God’s presence. He took my “why’s” away—it didn’t matter “why” I had been diagnosed with cancer—what mattered most was how I was going to proceed and how I could positively affect the lives of everyone around me. So I did just that, and I have never looked back. I keep my head up and forward. Instead of looking at my situation as a negative thing I do just the opposite; I have decided to look at cancer as a gift. I was given a wake-up call, and I was truly blessed to be able to both educate others about the disease, and to be a ray of God’s shining light in inspiring fellow patients to never give up. I am a survivor and it is my mission to share my experience and to be there for those that are fighting. I am currently in school to be a chemotherapy nurse, and I cannot wait to use my experience as a tool to help others Stand Above.