Skip to Navigation Skip to Search Skip to Content
Search All Centers

Cancer at 25: How I Stay Positive

Read Transcript Download/Print Transcript

Published on June 21, 2019

On-site at the 5th annual HealtheVoices conference in Dallas, Texas, Patient Power founder Andrew Schorr is joined by patient advocate Crystal Harper as she shares her story being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at 25 years old. Watch as Crystal explains why, after moving across the country to start her career as a meteorologist, she remains positive and predicts “sunny skies ahead.”

Featuring

You might also like

Transcript | Cancer at 25: How I Stay Positive

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That's how you’ll get care that's most appropriate for you.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you. 

Andrew Schorr:

And hello from Dallas, Texas, at the HealtheVoices fifth annual conference. I'm Andrew Schorr, and we have 140 e-patients here, myself and here's another one.  

Crystal Harper:

Hello, everybody. 

Andrew Schorr:

Crystal Harper, and Crystal, you are a meteorologist on television in Norfolk, Virginia.  

Crystal Harper:

I am.  I am.  

Andrew Schorr:

What's your connection as a patient?  

Crystal Harper:

My connection as a patient is that I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of blood cancer in May of 2017, and that was only a few months after getting my current job, so it was a lot of changing all at once and not all good changes.

Andrew Schorr:

You become a weathercaster, and then you you're getting blasted with treatment for probably an illness you had never heard of. 

Crystal Harper:

I had not heard of it at the time, but I am an expert now.  I know all about it.  

Andrew Schorr:

Okay.  So how old are you, if I may ask? 

Crystal Harper:

I—currently I'm 27.  I was diagnosed when I was 25, though.  

Andrew Schorr:

So to be 25 and told you have cancer.  

Crystal Harper:

It was something that nobody expects to hear but especially not a 25-year-old.  And the interesting or maybe unfortunate thing for me was on my 25th birthday I was moving across the country.  I got in my car, driving all my stuff to move to my brand-new job, and again on my birthday, I was thinking it was going to be the best year of my life, starting this fancy new job in this region that I didn't even think that was attainable at the time for me.  I was going to be closer to my family.  I was going to live near a beach.  So many exciting things coming, and then like that my world got turned upside down with a cancer diagnosis, so certainly not when I was expecting. 

Andrew Schorr:

How are you doing now? 

Crystal Harper:

I'm great. I went through ABUVD chemotherapy, which is the pretty typical treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma.  

Andrew Schorr:

Which is aggressive.  

Crystal Harper:

It was very aggressive.  It knocked me down.  I had to step away from work, unfortunately.  Luckily, they held my job for me, which I'm very fortunate about.  But yeah, I'm doing great now.  I'm in remission.  I've been in remission for over a year, so the chances of it relapsing go down to almost nothing after two years, so I have a little less than a year to go, and I should be home free.  

Andrew Schorr:

Well, that's what I was going to ask you.  You're a weathercaster, so do you see sunny skies ahead for you?   

Crystal Harper:

I do. There are always sunny skies ahead no matter what you're going through, and that kind of is my motto that I adapted after going through all this.  No matter how much of a storm you're going through right now, there will always be sunny skies.  

Andrew Schorr:

Amen.  

Crystal Harper:

…forever.  

Andrew Schorr:

Let's look at this conference for a second.  There's Cindy Chmielewski, one of our favorite myeloma advocates there.  

Crystal Harper:

She's amazing. 

Andrew Schorr:

And there are all these people—whoops, sorry—all these people at the conference, Cindy and then hundreds of people.  So what does this mean to you to be together with all these e-advocates?  

Crystal Harper:

I am just honored to be here.  I can't believe I was chosen to come to this.  It has been amazing.  It's just really nice to talk to other people that are in similar but yet very different positions.  We're all very open about what we're going through, and it's sometimes hard to find that. So it's been a little bit refreshing to not feel like I have to bottle things up.  I feel like I have to censor myself sometimes because not everyone is comfortable sharing a lot of details.  So it's really nice.  

And everyone here has such a wealth of knowledge, so I feel like I'm learning a whole lot that I can bring back to my own advocacy, and I'm really excited about that. 

Andrew Schorr:

Well, wow. Well, so we have really been enjoying being here, but it's just starting.  We'll do other programs as well, so stay tuned, okay?  And thank you so much for being with us.  

Crystal Harper:

Thanks for having me on.  It's great to meet you.  

Andrew Schorr:

Thank you. 

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

You might also like