RANGELY I Sarah Hicken, a Colorado Northwestern Community College softball player from Pleasant Grove, Utah, celebrated her transition into remission on Sept. 17 after seven months of battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
When asked how it felt to hear the doctor say she was in remission, Hicken said, “I thought the doctor would come in and yell, ‘You’re cancer free.’ But he just went over it like it was no big deal. Because they do that every day.”
Hicken was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on Feb. 10, after swollen lymph nodes made it difficult for her to breath.
She claims that her reaction to her diagnostic was unlike any other cancer stories she has heard.
“Most people think, ‘Oh my god! I’m gonna die.’ But I thought, ‘There’s no way. I’m way too healthy to have cancer,”‘ she said.
Hicken was a senior middle fielder/outfielder at Pleasant Grove High School and was playing, practicing and running on almost a daily basis when she received the diagnosis.
Hicken maintained this healthy lifestyle as much as she could throughout her battle. She played in all but four games of her softball season and even played one inning with her team at the state tournament.
“I was really excited to go to state because I had never gone to a school that qualified to go,” she said. “I was only able to play one inning.”
Although Hicken maintained her healthy lifestyle, she claims some things have changed.
“Chemo makes everything tastes like metal,” she said, “And almost everything I used to hate (to eat), I now love.”
Chemotherapy helped Hicken to be cleared of her cancer. However, some advice she learned along the way helped her battle each and every day.
“I had an interview with a lady who had breast cancer,” she said. “She told me, ‘Mind over matter.’ I realize now how true that was. I would wake up feeling crappy but then tell myself, ‘No. You’re OK!’ And I would be.”
It is evident that Hicken’s positive attitude and her support system played a major role in her remission. Her smile and attitude are contagious to any and all that she meets.
Ysidrop Jimenez, the CNCC head softball coach, said of Hicken, “Sarah is a fighter. When I heard about her diagnosis, I knew if anyone was going to beat cancer it would be her.
“ Sarah has not let cancer affect her work ethic,” he said. “She comes to 6 a.m. workouts, practices and team runs. This young lady pushes herself every day.
“I see her efforts and so do her teammates,” Jimenez said. “I know she will be back in top shape in no time. I can’t wait to see her back on the field cancer free.”
By Lyndsie Conklin
Special to the Herald Times