Your names/a little about yourself ?
My name is Sherry Wang. I’m 23 years old and was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. I graduated from the Ohio State University, & was just beginning my new life in Chicago, when my life hit an unprecedented detour.
What struggles have you overcome and how?
In the summer of 2016, I made my first big move to Chicago. Within two weeks, I was in the ER from excruciating abdominal pains. My medical team had no idea what was wrong with me. After 6 months of misdiagnoses, 3 surgeries, 65 days of wearing an abdominal drain and endless proclamations of “you’re too young for cancer”, I was diagnosed with stage IIb ovarian cancer. My life was turned on its head. I immediately began 17 dose dense rounds of chemo, in an attempt to save my life.
Being diagnosed with a life threatening disease at a young age changes your life. Cancer sucks at any age, but being a young survivor comes with its own challenges. While most people my age are looking to the world to see what the world can offer them, I had to look inside myself. I had to ask myself: “Who are you? What are you made up of, really?”
I made a promise to myself that I would never let this disease define me. Every Thursday, I walked into chemo with heels on. I used cold caps, and saved my hair. I was very public about my journey on social media, because I wanted to show people even if you’re dealt a crappy hand, it’s up to you to play the hell out of the ones you’re holding. Attitude is everything.
On July 20th, I finished my last round of chemo. While my journey is far from over, I’ve realized that some of us aren’t fated to live to 100. Some of us are destined to face mountains, to show others that they can be moved. I was given a challenge, I owned it, and now it’s my turn to guide others.
Name 3 words to describe you best?
Resilient, emotional, vibrant
How do you stay positive and focused?
Whenever I feel down, I make an effort to write down all of the things I'm grateful for. Great friends and family, keeping my hair during chemo, health insurance, access to medicine etc. The truth is things could always be better, but they could also be much worse. Finding gratitude & joy every day is the only way that I’m able to fight so gallantly. Life is inherently unfair to everyone, and suffering is a part of the human experience. We’re all out here slaying dragons.
Which females influence you the most ?
My mom is my hero and biggest influence. When my dad was dying from colon cancer, she spent 72 consecutive days with him in the hospital. Eight years later, her 23 year old daughter would be diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
My mom has been there for every needle prick & every hard cry. She’s held my hand before every surgery, put on every cold cap. She’s been there for every chemo, reassures me before every CT scan. She grieves with me through all the bad news when my world falls apart around me. I am a strong woman, because I come from a strong woman.
What is one quote you stand by
I have a couple.
“Worrying is suffering twice”- Don’t ruminate on things that haven’t happened yet. Live in the present. Don’t worry about things unless they are an imminent threat to your health or happiness in the present moment.
“The comeback is always greater than the setback”- Every time you’re faced with adversity, take the challenge head on. Challenge yourself to learn all the lessons the universe is trying to teach you, and emerge an even stronger force.
“The world has enough women who know how to do their hair, It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things”- #lessthots #morethoughts.