21 on 21

September 21, 2011

What better way to celebrate my last days of youth than in the place that holds my most precious childhood memories: my grandparents’ house in Liverpool, TX. On my last day of being a 20-year-old, I spent the afternoon outside by the bayou as I did as a kid, attempting to fish for crabs while playing fetch with one of the dogs in the water.

I have to say, I never pictured myself fighting cancer on my 21st birthday. I could dwell on all the things I am missing out on because of it, but let’s just focus on the positives: I  have a lot of free time since I am out of school and work, won’t have to fix my hair or shave my legs in the next couple of  months, get to spend a lot of time with my family, and I only have four more treatments! Four more dreaded Wednesday visits to Vanderbilt Hospital, four more bags of poison being pumped into my body, four more times waking up nauseous in the days that follow.

The reason it has been so long since I have updated my blog is simply because, well…nothing’s new. I have just been going through the motions: get chemo, recover, feel normal. The weeks go by super fast since everything is so routine. I am so thankful though, that it has been “boring”—meaning, despite my compromised immune system, I have managed to stay in good health and have tolerated the chemo very well.

Although I would have never chosen cancer to be a part of the first 21 years of my life (as anyone wouldn’t), I have a lot of great accomplishments and experiences to be thankful for like starting a new life on my own in North Carolina, completing 3 years of college on the dean’s list, designing two billboards and a restaurant logo, and helping start an amazing church in Boone. At 21, I am a college senior, a graphic designer, a fiance, a cancer-survivor, a follower of Jesus. I give God all the glory for the life He has given me and the person He has made me on my 21st birthday.

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3 Responses to “21 on 21”

  1. Kiley said

    You are such an inspiration Chez. I’m so proud to call you my friend/sister 🙂 Keep fighting this fight! Love you so much….ps this made me cry in the library. hope you are happy lol

  2. diane harris said

    I am so humbled by your faith, strength & inner beauty. I’ve been receiving these updates for a precious friend, Susan Parker. We were best friends in high school & have just reconnected thru fb. Your story, while tragic for anyone who has to experience cancer, is so uplifting and, to me, so peaceful. That may sound odd but I can feel the Spirit of God in your words. I wish you only the most wonderful blessings God has for His child…a beautiful life, being a beacon of His love for us all. God Bless You.

  3. Dr Triggs said

    Happy Birthday, Cheslie. I have been following your progress and sending prayers. You are an excellent writer with a great sense of humor. God Bless you and all your family!

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