#WeSeeYou: “Having Cancer Was A Blessing”

(#WeSeeYou is BlackDoctor.org’s weekly series highlighting those unsung heroes of health who are doing something incredible that needs to be shown to the world. We acknowledge them, celebrate them and honor them. This week, we honor Tianna! We see you! Photo Credit: @naturallytianna on Instagram)

For many, cancer is one of those things that scares us. It’s usually a wake up call to get busy dying or get busy living. Here, one beautiful, brave young woman chose to do the latter. On social media, Tianna shares how cancer was not only her wake up call, but a tool she used to jumpstart her life to living more full. Here are Tianna’s own words below.

“I want to be an inspiration to people around the world,” writes Tianna on her facebook page. “I want someone who is not entirely too happy to look at me, and see a smile filled with nothing but happiness, and make them feel just a little more content with their placement in life. Life, that word, so short, yet so meaningful. Although my life experience was not “death,” my mindset, my appearance and everything else around me was dead. Seeing the world before cancer I swore looked so clear and appeared to be so simple. Get up, go to school, do your homework, and every now and then, let go of all the stress and worries and just have fun.”

Life, for me, in just a split second changed so quickly.

“I attended Alabama State University as a Stingette (Band Dancer). One of the best living moments, aside from having my daughter. It was audition time which would have been my 3rd year on the squad. But, lets rewind a bit. Before going back to school after our break was over, I was continuously getting biopsy after biopsy. For about four months, they kept saying it was not cancerous. Just to be safe, I went back for yet another biopsy before heading back to school.”

“My reasons for getting the biopsy in the first place, is because shortly after having all four of my wisdom teeth pulled, the Lymph node on the left side of my neck was swollen. Thought absolutely nothing of it for a long period of time. So anyway, after finally heading back to school for auditions, my neck was always hurting, but, I fought through the pain to get through auditions. And after all, ‘it wasn’t cancerous.’ Went through auditions, made it to the very last round, and boom, that was it. I did not make the squad in 2013.”

“After having my heart broken and finally being able to sit still, I started to notice the pain in my neck more and more. The swelling was getting worse, the pain started to increase, I went to the nurses office, they gave me some antibiotics and a steroid shot to stop the swelling. After a week went by the antibiotic and steroid shot did absolutely nothing. The nurse and on campus Dr. said I needed to see someone a little more official. Scheduled an appointment soon after, went in for a scan and was completely relaxed because remember, “it’s not cancerous.” After having my scan I was told to come back within a few days for them to look over everything, got a call a couple days later and was told to come in immediately. Still, thought nothing of it because REMEMBER, I was already told SEVERAL TIMES, “It is not cancerous.” After going back in to my follow up appointment, I was called to the back and I remember the nurse coming in and had this look of WORRY.”

“Having an illness literally blurred my mind from every possible thing that used to, or could make me smile. As much love as I had for dance I could not walk. As much as I loved to sing there were entirely too many difficulties that came along with that considering my circumstances with breathing. Going out with my friends, laughing, or even something as simple as seeing sunlight.”

(Photo credit: @naturallytianna on Instagram)

“The sun, whoever would have thought something so big, but yet so small, mean so much to me. I will never forget on how lying on the hospital bed, made me realize how much the small things in life matter. Smelling, running, even the ability to stand up and sit down. These little things in life, are what we take advantage of on a day to day basis. When we run we complain about being tired, when we stand we complain about not sitting. There is not a day that passes by that…