- Cancer was somewhat responsible for having ruined my experience of a ‘traditional grad year.’ They always say that the ending of this year is like the ending of a chapter in your life, and graduation is the start of a new one... I’m not the philosophical type but here’s an example, said by someone else who clearly is:
“close the door to the past, Open the door to future, step on through and start your new chapter in your life.”
- Well, this analogy isn’t so true with me. I suppose it’s because my chapter ended a little earlier than everyone else’s. Forced to accept a matured perspective on life – apologies for using that phrase so often- But from the moment I was diagnosed, my life has been revolving around my health and that final finish date: January 29th, 2016. After my diagnosis, I made a promise with myself to never look back. Never imagine what could have been or what might have been during my ‘grad year.’ I was put on a new path and my only choice was to follow it through till’ the end. So yesterday at graduation, while everyone was celebrating closing one chapter and starting another, my personal focus was much different. I was celebrating how far down I’ve come on this diverged path. While everyone celebrated their accomplishment of graduating, I was celebrating the current success of my treatment. Graduating was but a mere bunny hill on this new path, a path that started way back in October.
- I couldn’t have been happier to celebrate with my grad class and my amazing teachers this weekend, as it was the most fun that I had had in a long time. Although it was clear, as we all tossed our hats in the air, that my reasons for celebrating stemmed far astray from everyone else’s, much like the path in which I continue to trek down.
I am now a proud Southridge graduate. As I got ready for the formal grad dinner dance on Sunday, I decided to also be a proud Cancer fighter.
"No matter what you decide to do in life, always follow through on your actions with confidence."
I’m not sure where this quote came from ... but I do know that it had a presence in my mind while I decided how to do my hair for grad. (Or how to not do my hair.)
I have just started maintenance a couple weeks ago, a phase in which so far is my absolute favorite (seeings how it is the last.) and as my hair has started to grow back, I’m hardly on any drugs, the timing for grad couldn't have been better. Although I still have a year and a half left on this path, I continue to breed optimism knowing that I have graduated with the utmost support of everyone within the Southridge community. I can’t imagine what my ‘grad year’ would have been like at any other school and I know that graduation wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing teachers that I have had the pleasure of connecting with on such a personal and emotional level.
In spite of everything I’ve been through, leaving Southridge may be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,
But as always, I will continue to breed optimism,
- Serena Bonneville (Southridge Alum)