Angelina Scarlet McGarry

Age: Adult
Association: Survivor
Region: Harrisburg, PA
Cancer: Hodgkins Lymphoma

"With each passing day, I am now officially able to increase the number of days that I am a cancer survivor for. I cannot wait to see how many years that gets to be!"

Two days before I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biology, I received a phone call that informed me I had the “Big C.” I spent the day of my 23rd birthday getting a PET scan that lit up like a Christmas tree. Along with lymph nodes in my neck, chest, and pelvis, the cancer also metastasized to my lungs, garnishing me stage 4: the worst stage possible. Happy graduation/birthday to me.

When I was first diagnosed, I hated the world. At night, I would scream “why me?” and “What horrible thing have I done in my short life to deserve such an awful punishment?”

My mother was there for me through thick and thin.  During my treatments, many people were “praying to God” for me to be healed. If this experience has taught me anything, it is that “God” was not the only one with me the whole time, my Mother was too.

Fortunately, my feelings towards the situation changed. Instead of saying “why me,” I started saying, “I am glad it is me.”

I am glad it was me and not my mother, brother, sister-in-law, best friend, neighbor, or even someone halfway across the globe. In other words, if someone had to look cancer straight in the face, I was glad it was me,  not you.

This past January, my PET scan showed I was in remission. It was a very happy day for me. Not because I finally beat cancer – but because I saw how happy my mother was when she smiled from ear to ear, something that had unfortunately escaped us both for the previous 8 consecutive months.

With each passing day, I am now officially able to increase the number of days that I am a cancer survivor for. I cannot wait to see how many years that gets to be!