What Does Not Kill Me Makes Me Stronger

You’ve probably heard that quote before. That’s a common English translation of a line from the “Maxims and Arrows” section of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Twilight of the Idols, or, How to Philosophize with a Hammer. The original, in German, is this:

Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker. Götzen-Dämmerung, oder, Wie man mit dem Hammer philosophiert by Friedrich Nietzsche

One year ago today, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Tomorrow will mark one year since my first dose of chemotherapy. I’ve felt better every single day of the past year than I did any day of the months leading up to that diagnosis.

I went through six months of ABVD chemotherapy, the standard first-line chemotherapy regimen for Hodgkins. I’ve had three three-day sessions of ICE chemotherapy. I’m looking forward to starting a single round of GEMOX chemotherapy next Tuesday. After that, it’s on to the stem cell transplant.

Going through all of this has made me a stronger person. The cancer hasn’t killed me, and the chemotherapy has only had minimal side-effects, but I’m not quite finished with either of them. When I come out of the other side of my upcoming treatment, I’ll be stronger still, and I’ll be here telling everyone all about it.


  1. Best wishes on the chemo, Dan. Here’s hoping that you pull through this and kick the lymphoma’s ass. I’ve seen far too many people, and pets, fall to some form of cancer, and it’s something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy…if I had any, that is…

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