Alexsa Dietrich recently received the incredible news that she is cancer-free. After grueling battle with the devastating disease, the 21-year-old, who blogged throughout her harrowing experience, posted a video to Twitter that shows her moments after learning that she had won the fight.
I did it.
I. DID. IT.
I am a cancer SURVIVOR now!!! So blessed to be alive pic.twitter.com/3mXzis3BK5
— Alexsa Dietrich (@alexsadietrich3) August 14, 2018
“I just want to say thank you to you all,” Dietrich tells a group of family and medical staff. “And I love you all so much, and I couldn’t have done any of this without you. And it’s been really hard, but I’m all done and I couldn’t be happier.”
Back in February, Dietrich noticed a lump on her neck. Though she felt healthy at the time, she decided to get checked out just to be safe. Doctors soon confirmed her worst fear, diagnosing her with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The news was crushing, but the then-20-year-old proved from the start that she had what it would take to face the disease head-on.
In a Feb. 26 blog post, she shared the story of how doctors discovered the cancer, adding that she counted it a “blessing” that they detected it as early as they did. Even back then, with the outcome so uncertain, Dietrich’s strength and faith in God were apparent:
It’s crazy because the doctor told me that this has been going on for a minimum of 5 months and could have continued to go on for another year before I felt something serious. It is a blessing from God that that stupid tumor popped up in my neck because it saved my life. I have a scar from my surgery that is very much so visible on my chest and although when people see it they probably feel bad for me, I wear it as a badge of honor. It is something I carry with pride because it saved my life and reminds me that I’m a fighter. I wish I could be back at school in Ohio with my friends living my happy normal life, but this is my life now and I have to change this to be my normal. I never thought something like this would happen to me, but it did and this very bad thing is going to change my life for the BETTER. It already has. It has opened my eyes to realize life is so short and can be taken away from you in the blink of an eye. Enjoy this life you have because you never know what’s going to happen. I’m so grateful God gives me another day to live and breathe and walk this earth. I can’t lie, I’m scared out of my mind and cry every day, but I know I’m going to be ok and I’m going to fight this thing.
Last month, Dietrich shared the amazing update that she was cancer-free. In her July 29 post, she expressed her joy and relief, but also her gratitude for what God revealed to throughout the trial.
“Life has been crazy since the last time I posted,” she wrote. “I want to start off by saying I am CANCER FREE!!!!!”
After my last scan the doctors told me my cure rate went down because of the resistant tumors and it shattered my world. It’s heart breaking and gut wrenching having someone tell you that your survival rate went down. Throughout this whole process I have put all of my hope into God because I’m not in control of anything that is happening to me and I wanted to believe in something bigger to help me get through this.”
Dietrich noted that her “relationship with God has changed immensely since being diagnosed.”
“I remember the night before getting my latest scan I cried and cried and prayed and asked God to please let all of this pain and suffering end,” she wrote. “24 hours later I got a call from my doctor saying there are no more tumors left and I’m crying just even writing this I’m so darn happy. My whole world was flipped upside down getting diagnosed with cancer. It changes you; changes the way you look at people and the world and I know it’s made me so grateful to be alive.”
Now that life is gradually returning to normal for the college student, she hopes to help others who are still in the trenches.
“Going through this has made me realize how much I want to dedicate my life to helping people,” she wrote. “NO ONE and I mean no one no matter what age should have to endure this kind of suffering. I can’t wait to lift children’s spirits up going through this because there is always hope and light at the end of the tunnel. I want to see joy in their eyes and no pain and I know I can help bring happiness and hope to them no matter the stage. Life is so unpredictable and everyone should be endlessly grateful to be healthy and living a normal life.”
As the video above shows, Dietrich radiates grace and strength, and her hope is contagious.
“I thank God every day I am alive and I couldn’t be happier to say I am a Cancer SURVIVOR,” she concluded her post. “I am and forever will be a warrior and a survivor.”