Campus junior overcomes Ewings sarcoma
This is part two of the two-part series, sharing junior Lindsay Weimer’s story. Part one discusses the diagnosis and the initial reaction, and the start of the journey. To view part one, read Lindsay Weimer shares success story of cancer battle, part 1.
“There was actually a time when I considered not doing the second round,” Lindsay Weimer said. “I actually considered just leaving it. There was really no way for certain to know whether I still had cancer or not. After the surgery I was technically cancer free, so that made the second round harder because I knew I wasn’t really going towards anything.”
Junior Lindsay Weimer, after enduring her first three months of chemotherapy and an invasive surgery, was skeptical about continuing her chemo treatments. But through prayer and after a conversation with her aunt, she eventually concluded that she should continue treatments.
“I remember my aunt telling me a story about someone she knew whose son had Ewing sarcoma,” Weimer said. “He did the same thing as me where it was three months, then either surgery or radiation, and he didn’t do the second round, and he ended up passing away.”
Lindsay recalls the conversation and how it seemed to finalize her decision.
“So I think at that point I felt like, why would she tell me that story, why would God put that on her heart to tell me, in the time that I was dealing with am I going to do it or not going to do it, so that was what kind of made me decide that I was going to go through with it,” Weimer said.
The first day of her second round, she was dreading the treatment, her older sister, Jenna Weimer, was still in town, she did not want to be in the hospital while she was still here.
“First day back, I was just dreading it,” Weimer said. “Also, my sister was still home and I didn’t want to have to be in the hospital when she was still here. So actually the day I was supposed to go, my counts weren’t high enough, so I was able to be out until my sister went home.”
In the following podcast English teacher, Andrea Donaghe, discusses the respect she has for Lindsay’s dedication to her schoolwork whether she was at school or in treatments.
Jenna lives in Kansas, so she was not able to be here during all the treatments last year, but she is thankful for the variety of communications they were able to utilize to talk every day.
“It was really tough to be gone while she was going through treatments because I knew she’s a trooper and would keep a positive attitude, but cancer treatments are brutal,” Jenna said. “We FaceTimed a lot, which helped because I still felt connected and updated, but you’d rather be there in person because there’s only so much you can do to help when you’re not physically present. I’m extremely grateful for the means of communication we have today because it would have been much more difficult if it weren’t for our almost daily chats.”
Lindsay’s positive attitude was able to encourage Jenna to maintain a positive outlook on the whole journey.
“Her attitude through all of this was a real encouragement to me, because every time I got off the phone, I knew she was going to be OK,” Jenna said. “Watching her fight this and stay positive was challenging to me too because there were days when I was pretty bitter about the whole ordeal. Talking with her always helped though, because I was reminded that if even someone smack dab in the middle of the situation and not half a country away could stay up and not be resentful, I needed to maintain joy too.”
Jenna looks back and appreciates how much she and Lindsay bonded during this process and how often they talk now compared to when she first moved away.
“I feel like we have become more like best friends over this last couple of years, simply because of how much time we talked,” Jenna said. “It’s not abnormal for us to text or call each other multiple times a day now with highlights and lowlights and anything in between, and that wasn’t something we did quite as often when I first moved away. She kicked this thing like a champ, though, and blew everyone away with how few times she took no for an answer.”
On the last day of Lindsay’s treatment, she just wanted to go home, but before she got to leave she was presented with an opportunity to pick out a new member of the family: A husky puppy.
Leaving the hospital, they met a man who offered them a puppy. And much to Lindsay’s surprise, her dad, Matthew Weimer, said, “yes.” Lindsay had just completed a long journey and this puppy symbolized a new beginning.
“I was starting a new chapter,” Lindsay said. “It was just so nice like leaving that part of my life in the past. It is obviously not all the way in the past, cause there is like the three months check up and scans or whatever. It’s always going to be a part of my life but not like it was last year. And getting Juneau just kind of symbolized that.”
Despite her hair being very short, Lindsay stopped wearing her wig during homecoming week this year, and that was the first time new student, Zeke Fuller, ‘20, caught wind of Lindsay’s cancer battle.
“I was very surprised when she stopped wearing her wig because I had absolutely no idea before then,” Fuller said. “She stopped wearing it one day and I assumed it was cancer, a couple months later she told me she had had hip cancer. She seemed perfectly happy and healthy and I never would’ve guessed she had cancer.”
Lindsay believes that this journey rallied her family together.
“I think it brought us together, it’s not like this was our first round with cancer,” Lindsay said. “It just seemed like another thing, I don’t understand why it is us, but this is just going to add to our story to tell.”
Looking back, Lindsay realizes that this was true testing of her faith and she had to fully rely on God. This journey has matured her beyond her years.
“There is obviously a reason why it happened; I still don’t know why. Personally, I’m not sure what it was,” Lindsay said. “I think I’ve matured a lot. I have come to appreciate the little things so much more. Honestly none of us know what’s going to happen tomorrow or if today is our last day. It definitely was a wake-up call. I had to rely on God. If I did not have my faith there is no way that I wouldn’t be depressed right now or have all these issues.”
Lindsay’s story is far from over, but already she is an inspiration to those who know her and many who do not.
For more articles read, COLUMN: The case for nationwide student free press and The Great Kindness Challenge encourages on-campus service.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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