Most people don’t worry about serious illness until they get older, but for young people still growing up, it impacts their education and their identity. YR Media’s Mela Seyoum has this Perspective.
Two years ago, I got sick. And when things were looking scary, I found myself fixating on something trivial: my hair.
I had a tumor, and I needed chemotherapy. My life changed overnight.
From the start of chemo, I was concerned with losing my hair. I know it sounds silly, but hey, I was a 16-year-old girl. I remember standing in the shower, holding a chunk of hair, and wondering what was next.
I was out of school for six months. I felt isolated and bored. The boredom gave way to anger. I thought about everything I was missing out on: my friendships, debate practice and — I know this sounds cheesy — but learning. That was the only period of my life I actually missed school. At my lowest point, I got so sick that I couldn’t eat for months. I felt betrayed by my body.