Posts by Rachel Mihalko

Survivor, Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Rachel was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma two years ago at 19, and has since been learning to live life in the “new normal”. She loves theatre, writing poetry, and crafting of all sorts. Reading has fueled her passion for writing, and you will rarely find her without a book on hand.

Man’s Best Friend

by Rachel Mihalko July 3, 2020

I haven’t experienced loss to this degree before. At least when I was old enough to remember. I had no clue this would be so hard. And throwing cancer into the mix – or even the possibility of cancer – makes this so much harder. I know what it’s like to go through that. But the difference is, I made it out on the other side. 

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Find What Works For You

by Rachel Mihalko June 29, 2020

It still hits me all over again sometimes. The fact that I had cancer. But the difference is, now I have people to turn to who feel the same way. People who are actually close to my age and have had a port, been administered chemo, gotten radiation. I might be the quietest person on those Zoom calls, but it still makes such a big impact on me. 

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When Your Life Becomes the Story: Poetry and Prose

by Rachel Mihalko June 22, 2020

The thing about the stories we read or watch is that there’s typically an ending. You can wrap the plot up in a tight little bow and be done with it. That’s not life. We are continuously growing and changing and recreating our own narrative. I definitely have trouble with that concept; if I had my way, I would just skip to the end: the parts where I’ve recovered emotionally from cancer and have put the pain of the past completely behind me. 

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This Is My Reality

by Rachel Mihalko June 15, 2020

Until now, I haven’t realized that, two years after my cancer diagnosis, once I’ve reached that state of running on empty, a lot of unresolved anger about cancer resurfaces. I’ve tried to tuck it away for so long, but I have to face it eventually. I remember how angry I was when I had to do more chemo. That was when I knew I had to take a semester off of school. I would have to miss out on time with friends and just living like a normal college student. 

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Picture Perfect is Overrated

by Rachel Mihalko June 8, 2020

I’ve realized that things are never going to be picture perfect. Some days that I thought would be not a big deal meant the world to me. And other days that I put so much into, were underwhelming. I can’t control what the outcome of anything is going to look like, and I’m learning to be okay with that. 

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Crocs and Socks: Bringing Hope Through Treatment 

by Rachel Mihalko June 1, 2020

I stood in front of my dresser with the top middle drawer sitting open, filled with multicolored socks galore, pulling them out one by one. Trying to find pairs and match them, I was reorganizing for the first time in a long time.

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Do The Thing, Even If You’re Not Exceptional

by Rachel Mihalko May 28, 2020

Do the thing. As I sit in my backyard listening to the calming music of artists like dodie and mxmtoon, I don’t know what to write. This is supposed to be my spot, my place where inspiration strikes and my writing flows.

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Without The Bad, How Can There Be Good?

by Rachel Mihalko December 16, 2019

How do I tell someone new that I meet that I’ve been through cancer? Should I? Will it come up naturally? This is one of the ways my battle with cancer plagues me on a daily basis.

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