On the hospital’s second floor, sitting in the lymphoma department waiting room, my anxiety was quickly building. I’m not even sure why, I mean I had already gotten the hard news. What was I so afraid of?

They call my name and my sister and I stand as if we are controlled by the same mind. I look nervously at the nurse as I walk towards her Tori by my side. We do the normal crap height, weight, blood pressure, and temperature.

Into the room, I go with a nurse who has a mouth full of questions ready to go. All normal doctor visit questions to be honest.

How are you feeling? Any pain? How’s your appetite? Are you sleeping? So on and so forth. Tori is quick to bring up anything I’ve left out and is making sure I’m giving all my symptoms.

The nurse finishes up her part and wishes me luck on her way out. Now we wait….again. it doesn’t take as long as I expect before Dr. Torka walks into the room. She introduces herself and we’re off.

She reads my intake stuff and the reports from the hospital and the other oncologist. Breaking it all down into understandable pieces as she goes. She doesn’t spoon-feed me. She lays it out in plain and simple terms and I instantly love her for it.

She mentions wanting to do a bone marrow biopsy and I panicked, I explain I had just done this for the other oncologist and that I didn’t want to do it again. She calmly tells me she will get the results from them and moves on.

We go over chemotherapy options for my type and stage of cancer and she explains how I will speak one on one with a pharmacist who will go over it all one medicine at a time. We move on to Port options and why a chemo port is best. let’s be honest I spent a long time shooting dope into my veins so maybe we don’t blow them out with chemo.

She explains to me how she wants to get my port in that Friday (maybe it was a Friday I could be wrong but it was March 8th I know that for a fact) and start chemo the following Friday.

When she says March 8th I almost die. I’m supposed to be going to the Maroon 5 concert that day ( I know not important in the light of things but it was important to me) with Tori.

I decided right then I was not going to let cancer take this from me.

I asked how likely it would be that I would be able to go. Dr. Torka explained that was a very simple procedure and that if I physically felt ok it would be fine for me to go. So I relax the best I can and we move on.

Chemo every other Friday for 8 months to start, blood work on the off weeks, and scans every couple of months. That’s 6 rounds of chemo. So we do 2 rounds then scans adjust if needed. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Next, we meet the pharmacist. He was so helpful in everything. He took the time to explain each drug and what it did. The good things it would do and the shitty with no sugar coating. He asked if I had questions and when I did. He had answers that made sense and weren’t just a rambling of medical mumbo-jumbo I didn’t understand.

Appointment over. Surgery scheduled. Chemotherapy scheduled.

For the first time since I entered the hospital 3 weeks ago, I felt hope going into this unpredictable storm.

“Cancer cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot conquer the spirit”