The Cancer Center’s Story Project is an effort to capture stories from our community of patients, friends, family, clinicians, and staff who have been affected by cancer in some way. This is Eve's Story.
- Eve Barkin, a recent Emmanuel College graduate, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma right before her 21st birthday.
- "Facing your mortality when you’re 20 years old is not something that most people have to do."
“I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We found out that I was sick, I had a little tic-tac size lump in my neck and I had it for a little while without doing anything.”
“I was a communications and media studies major and it was really interesting during the first few months of my treatment just noticing what I had projected on this experience just from what I have seen in movies and on television and how different that was from my actual experience. I always think about the Sisterhood of Traveling Pants when you watch a girl literally die of cancer. I saw that when I was 11 years old and that’s what I was thinking about. So I think that there is not enough representation of people who are sick living lives as normal people. That’s why I didn’t tell people."
"Everybody has cancer stuff, every single person you ask, ‘Do you have a relationship to cancer?’ They do. When I came out about being sick, it was right before my last treatment, I posted something on Facebook about it. I didn’t want to just tell people over and over again, it was so draining. I think the most important thing about that to me was showing all the people I’ve been in class. So many people that I am close with didn’t know, that I am sick and to have them see that it is possible to have cancer and still be functioning in your life. I’m not broken. I’m still me.”
“Something I’ve been realizing more recently, that I am different now and accepting that is a fact I think when I started treatment, my biggest goal was to stay who I am. I don’t want to change because of this. But I think I meant change in a negative way. I don’t want to be a more fearful or dark person. Facing your mortality when you’re 20 years old is not something that most people have to do. It did change me. I’ve been working more on accepting that and figuring out how that can be a positive thing in my life. I don’t see myself in a negative light.”
Facing your mortality when you’re 20 years old is not something that most people have to do.
This interview took place in July 2016 and has been edited for clarity.