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.

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