We must keep our heads high, stay positive, move forward, and roll with the punches. With that, trust the battle. Trust the struggle. Trust yourself. Trust it, and know you can create your own strength. You have the power to persevere.Alexa Cucchiara, Power To Persevere
I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma the first week of what was supposed to be my junior year of college back in 2017.
From the beginning of the year, I didn’t feel right. I was experiencing unexplainable anxiety, fatigue, and night sweats. I didn’t think much about it, but I started to dig deeper and seek help as soon as a lymph node the size of a golf ball popped up above my collarbone.
After months of testing, everything came back negative. I proceeded to search for an answer. I scheduled a biopsy, and a week later when the pathology report came back, it was confirmed that I had to start chemotherapy right away. This shocked me, and I immediately thought my life was going to end. It was definitely hard to come to terms with the diagnosis I was given, especially at the age of 19. I was angry, shocked, and upset because I lived a healthy life prior to the health complication.
It took a long time to process everything, but with time, I realized that cancer was my greatest blessing.
It happened for, not to, me. Although I knew that it was going to be the most challenging time of my life, I used this season as an opportunity to discover who I was meant to be on this earth. Through faith, I learned how to persevere. And with time, I embarked on a journey to help others see the purpose behind pain.
It did not come easy, but when I finally started to fight my fears and slowly share my story with friends and then strangers, I was floored by everyone’s encouragement. I knew I had to impact and inspire a wider audience. I then made the decision to share my unique perspective and wisdom. I embarked on an initiative and decided to write a book, Power to Persevere: Inspiring Stories to Help You Get Through Challenging Moments. It was just published in December 2019.
I knew deep down that we all face hardship, so I decided to share stories on how others have dealt with cancer, whether they lost someone from it or were diagnosed with it, limb loss, substance abuse, depression and anxiety, and homeless in addition to my personal experience. I also share advice from health professionals, life coaches, spiritual directors, and other certified professionals. I also include little reflection questions that I asked myself throughout treatment and a space in the back to write and author the new story you want to share about your life.
Here are some of the tools that helped me:
- Becoming Vulnerable
- Praying and meditating
- Learning how to fuel myself through food
- Creating affirmations
As senior in college approaching graduation, I am making it my mission to be the person who I wish I had to look up to during my fight to life.
I want others to remember one thing: your life is worth living. I always think to myself,
If I can beat death, I can do anything.Alexa Cucchiara
And the truth of the matter is, anyone can do anything. Remember, challenging moments are meant to mold and shape you. In order to grow, you have to go through pain. It is when you start to believe and trust in the pain that you will persevere.
Alexa Cucchiara is a commissioned artist, author, designer, speaker, storyteller, and wellness advocate. She recently published her first book, Power to Persevere: Inspiring Stories to Help You Get Through Challenging Moments which debuted as a Best Seller and #1 in Teen & Young Adult Diseases, Illnesses, and Injuries, Teen & Young Adult Physical Impairment, and Teen & Young Adult Body, Mind & Spirit on Amazon.
Alexa refuses to let any battles overshadow her life. She uses her own experience as a cancer survivor to inspire others struggling with their own misfortunes. She searches for ways to offer support to everyone she encounters so they can find the zest for life that she discovered during her treatment. She hopes that her triumphs will motivate others to work through their own obstacles while guiding them through useful tips and advice that they can incorporate into their lives.
When she is not busy with her many projects, Alexa enjoys clean cooking, Pilates, and spending time with her friends and family. She believes in a healthy lifestyle and uses her sunny disposition and life experiences to show others who may feel alone in their struggles that they aren’t defined by their current predicaments. Overall, Alexa knows she survived to help others and shine her positive light throughout the world. That’s what she aims to do every day.