By Nicole D’Andrea
Trent Thompson, a senior at Sacred Heart University, from Kailua, Hawaii, has had a year with many highs and lows.
Thompson is currently in remission from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of cancer.
Although, the idea of being diagnosed with cancer may seem completely negative, he claims that this past year has actually had positive effects on his life.
His journey has been an enlightening learning experience for him and it has been something that has helped to change his perspective on even the simplest things.
“Knowing about cancer treatments and all of these health things, when we are young we do not think about this kind of stuff, unless we are forced to,” said Thompson. “Something as simple as having white blood cells, and not having to wear a mask are things we take for granted.”
Learning about what he was going through was something that Thompson was interested in, not only to be able to inform himself, but in order to help inform others.
When he found out about his diagnosis he had to go back to Hawaii in order to receive treatment. He clearly remembers when his dad came to pick him up to pack up his things.
“College life and living at Sacred Heart versus living in Hawaii are two different atmospheres,” said Thompson.
Thompson’s friends ended up playing an important role in his life and in his recovery. Being far away in distance from his closest friends was starting to take a toll on him mentally.
The mental strains of his journey have had far more effect than the physical have.
“The fear of missing out is real. Being removed from college for eight months including the summer was psychologically difficult for me,” said Thompson.
However, when he returned to Sacred Heart this fall, it was evident that his life here did not stop when he left.
A major positive in the past year for Thompson is being a Resident Success Assistant (RSA).
“This is actually my third year at Roncalli Hall,” said Thompson. “Res Life has been great. It is something I wanted to do to stay on campus and be involved, and I did not expect to make so many friends through it. Some of these people are now my best friends.”
When Thompson learned that he had to leave school, his fellow Res Life members were supportive and helped him move out.
When he was ready to come back, they were here for him, waiting with open arms. He felt as though his job was waiting for him and he was ready to go back and be involved the way that he was before, to finally be back with some of his closest friends.
Through it all, Thompson sees this experience as very influential on his current outlook on life.
“I definitely have a new outlook on life and it is very clear to me how short and how unpredictable life can be,” said Thompson.