I have always ignored the fact that I may have depression. Mostly because my family members have always told me to ignore the depression or simply that, my problem wasn’t depression it was that I had nothing to do.

So, I did, for the past year I have been bottling everything I feel. Ignoring my own problems and avoiding talking about my feeling as much as possible. Why? See a month after turning eighteen I underwent an exploratory surgery (after two years of being told all the pain I was going through was my stress and anxiety and that I was making it up.)

I had completely lost faith in myself, I listened to my doctors at the time, maybe I was just going crazy. I was blindsided when I woke up to find that the simple surgery had led to the removal of my appendix because it had a strange mass attached to it. I went to the doctor four days later because one of my wounds had gotten infected.

I was joking with my doctor when she instructed my mother to sit down and calm down. Somehow my mother already knew what was coming. That moment in that doctor’s office is when I lost a piece of myself. The happiness shut off and I was shocked.

My doctor told me that the mass was cancer. Everything for the next two months was the hell in my life. My sister worked fast to make sure I had the best medical treatment.

Just two weeks later I was back in the operating room to have a right hemicolectomy, in which they remove a portion of your right large intestine. For the next nine days following my surgery I suffered.

I had complications that cause major pain and nurses wouldn’t give me medicine until they got to know me because they just couldn’t understand how the youngest patient on the floor was having worse symptoms and recovering slower than the older patients.

How was it that a girl who was ten years older than me, and had multiple organs removed on the same day as my surgery got to leave earlier than me? If I look back and think of a moment where I lost myself this was it.

But today I write this because my life didn’t stop there. I am at my dream university, studying what I want, with full support of my family. I am one month from celebrating the first year of my diagnosis.

Thankfully the Cancer hasn’t returned and it’s expected not to return. Writing this I want to make the promise to keep working for my happiness. I want to be happy again. I am a fighter and I will keep fighting.