Cancer: Overcoming the Biggest Obstacle of My Life

Tim ThiedeBack in 2008 when I decided to return to college at UW Oshkosh, I knew it would not be an easy task. While pursuing my dream of earning a college degree in Radio/TV/Film I have come upon many obstacles. Despite the size of the obstacles, I have been able to overcome them. As each month passed I felt like the road to achieving my dream was actually becoming a smooth one. I felt there was nothing that could ever get in my way until January 11, 2011 arrived. That was the day I decided to go to the emergency room, at Aurora Health Care, after experiencing abdominal pains. The diagnosis was appendicitis, and I required immediate surgery.

About a week after being released from the hospital my doctor called me and said that after examining the removed appendix a cancerous tumor was discovered. Since the right colon is attached to the appendix it had to be removed in case there was cancer in that region. After the surgery I found out, from the doctor, that the tumor came close to exploding which would have spread throughout my body. That is when the severity of appendix cancer was realized and emotions of fear, greater than before, began to emerge. With appendix cancer being so rare and a sixty percent chance of it returning made the future of my college education, along with how long I may be around, uncertain.

Despite the cancer and the negative side effects that would occur from chemotherapy I decided to continue pursuing my dream. It was so difficult both physically and emotionally that many nights I would be alone in my room with tears in my eyes and being scared from wondering if I will wake up alive the next day. What helped me make it through this troubling time was the support of my wonderful family along with support from friends on campus and back home.

Now it is time to fast forward to present day. After six months of long, tiring, chemo treatments and great care from the staff at the Vince Lombardi Cancer Center, I am proud to say two plus years later that I am cancer free. Despite the struggles I endured during that time I still attended classes and even had a summer internship at WRCO Radio in Richland Center. By continuing to pursue my dream I am now only 3 weeks away from achieving it.

I am sure many of you will endure some type of great obstacle while trying to pursue your dream. Despite how large it is don’t give up and continue trying to achieve it. Once you achieve it you also will have the same joy and pride that I do. The joy and pride that proves no obstacle is too great to overcome when you have that desire to achieve your dream.

Tim Thiede is a Radio/TV/Film major with a minor in journalism. Thiede is from Richland Center, Wis. and is graduating in May 2013. He lives on campus, and is the development director for UW Oshkosh’s radio station, WRST-FM.

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