22-Year-Old Nursing Graduate Blogs Her Way Through Cancer
Katie DeMasi had it all figured out: she had just completed her intense nursing degree and landed a job at the prestigious NYU Langone Medical Center located in New York City. DeMasi had spent the summer readying herself for adulthood by ironing out every detail, from where she was going to live to which scrubs she was going to wear on her first day. She felt like she was on top of the world.
The only thing bothering her was a little bit of a sore throat and a fever that she had developed in early June. She figured it was strep throat. Nothing she couldn’t kick before starting work. Plus, she had gone to the doctor and gotten a prescription for antibiotics. The strep test had come back negative and she started to feel better. She figured she would shake what she thought was a virus. However, DeMasi was concerned when weeks had passed and her antibiotics had come and gone. Her lymph nodes stayed swollen.
In August 2017, she went back to the doctor for a physical and when her physician asked her if anything had been bothering her, she told her about this strep-like mysterious illness. They recommended that she get an ultrasound. A week before she was supposed to start working full-time at NYU Langone Medical Center, she went in for a biopsy. As soon as she woke up from the anesthesia from the biopsy, the doctors told her that she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“I was ready to start my life and then this kind of put everything on hold,” DeMasi remembered.
Everything changed in the blink of an eye. She had a long road of treatments that were laid out at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Because of this diagnosis, the job that she was so excited to start had to be put on hold so that she could focus on making her health her number one priority. When she should have been excited to start a new chapter of her life, DeMasi now had to focus on her treatments and managing her health.
To say that it was a major blow to her life is an understatement, and it even became difficult for her to talk to her friends and family about her negative feelings.
Read on to find out how Katie DeMassi learned to cope with her diagnosis.
Photo source: Katie DeMasi/National Leukemia & Lymphoma Society