According to US News and World Report, “gravitational pull of the largest black holes is equal to that of more than 3 million of our Suns—not even nearly mass-less light can escape it. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, the force is so great, that whatever falls into a black hole is crushed beyond its very essence into a state that "crosses over" the boundary between something and nothing, never to be seen again.” Cancer treatment definitely seems to do just that, crushing a person beyond his or her very essence and pulling into it months or years of that person’s life.
Lots of scientists say that there is no way to escape a black hole. It has too much force they say. Sometimes I wonder if cancer treatment is escapable because its physical and psychological effects seem to stick around long after it has finished. Even though I am done my treatment and am half way through my twelfth grade year, I find myself struggling with several different things. I feel like I should be half way through college already, making an independent life for myself, at a maturity level far beyond that of my friends. At the same time, I feel like I’m only in tenth grade, still struggling to fit in with friends,and having a hard time knowing how to act around guys. I feel like I know so much more about life than my friends, yet they know so much more about the life of a high school student than me. I feel like I’m more than ten years older than my friends sometimes, yet I just recently got my license and I haven’t had boyfriends or gone to parties like they have. It’s a strange combination and I don’t exactly know what to do about it.
There is one researcher at the University of Pennsylvania who has figured out a way that information can survive a black hole and it involves a whole lot of complicated stuff. I don’t know those details, but I think the idea is same with cancer treatment. Some people think you can’t survive it, but really you can. You just have to think about how to go about it. Luckily,surviving cancer doesn’t involve the crazy rocket science that real black holes require. Surviving cancer treatment simply involves sticking to the mentality of the scientist who found a way for information to survive a black hole: find a way to survive.
I am still climbing out of the black hole it seems, but what pushes me further and further out is all of the work I have done to help other children and teens with cancer. Speaking about my story as a Johns Hopkins Patient Ambassador gave me confidence, writing this blog gives me purpose, helping to run a teen cancer support group makes me happy, and becoming a counselor in training at Camp Sunrise (Johns Hopkins cancer camp) allows me to lose all of my inhibitions for one week every year. Whether you feel you need to get closer to cancer or farther away from it is your choice, but you may find that something to help others, and not necessarily others with cancer, makes you feel better about yourself and your life.
Don’t let the gravitational pull from the black hole of cancer treatment crush your very essence :)