Cancer category: Leukemias
Cancer type: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
Oscar was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia at the age of 25. He is an engineer who wants to pursue his Masters Degree in Structural Engineering, something he wanted to do before his cancer diagnosis.
“I was 25 years old, working in an Engineering firm and applying to get my masters in Structural Engineering at the University of Michigan. I was focused on my dream of working for a well known Engineering firm and opening my own business. It was then that I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) and my plans had to change a bit…
One of the biggest challenges of having cancer at 25 was losing my freedom. I felt that my life was fading away, that the world was spinning and everyone around me was enjoying the ride, enjoying life, enjoying health, but me. Cancer not only took my freedom, but made my family suffer as well; my mom, dad, sister and brother joined me on my journey of physical pain and sometimes emotional pain as well. I was at the hospital for days, sometimes weeks, depending on my condition; it made the agony of the first three months of my chemo even worse. Seeing myself getting weaker and weaker as time went by, losing my hair, my eyebrows and my strength made me feel useless and scared for the first time in my life.
Cancer took my freedom, but not my life. At some point during chemotherapy, something happened; it is hard to explain, but suddenly I was not scared anymore. I felt that I was on a vacation, a long vacation. Every journey to the hospital transformed into a way to relax and get treated and of course get attended to by angels (nurses). After I completed my treatment, this experience made me mentally and emotionally stronger. When it was all over I went back to work and after 3 years I opened my own business as an Engineer.
My future goal is to pick up where I left off before my diagnosis and get my Masters Degree in Structural Engineering in the next year or so. My aspirations are to see my company grow someday and travel around the world with my beautiful wife. I would like to pay tribute to my mom, dad, sister, and brother for sticking by me through those tough days in the hospital, through treatment and beyond…and to my wife for giving me so much to look forward to!”