For the past two years, Pablo Acosta has felt as if his life was on pause.
He saw his friends steadily move forward with their lives and simply asked, “Why me?”
Five months after his 18th birthday, Pablo was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in 2010.
“I am going to die,” Pablo said. “That was the first thing that went through my mind when they told me I had cancer.”
Since his diagnosis, Pablo has undergone chemotherapy and 15 painful sessions of lumbar punctures.
“The first (lumbar puncture) was really painful, I can’t even describe it,” he said. “They kept telling me to keep still but I couldn’t help it. My legs just kept doing their own thing.”
Shortly after his diagnosis, Pablo said he fell into a deep depression that lasted for nearly a year.
“Honestly, I don’t even remember a lot of it,” he said. “I just felt like a lab rat. It seemed like every day I was getting poked.”
Due to his condition, Pablo was unable to complete high school and graduate with his class.
“I didn’t even like school while I was there,” said the now 20-year-old El Centro resident. “But not being able to finish because of something like this, it sucked.”
As his treatments began to dwindle, Pablo said he slowly began to feel like himself again.
“One day, I just woke up and decided I needed to finish school,” he said. “That day I enrolled at Desert Oasis (High School). I’m about 10 credits away from getting my (general educational development test).”
Pablo said his journey has motivated him to become a nurse in order to help future cancer patients.
“Honestly, I don’t feel like the chemo, or the injections or the pills are what saved me,” he said. “I think God was giving me a second chance to do something with my life.”
In about one month, Pablo will be completely finished with his treatment and is looking forward to putting the past two years behind him.
“I want to travel,” he said. “Go on a cruise to Mexico maybe and finish school. I haven’t looked into any colleges yet, but I’m looking forward to doing that.”
Pablo Acosta nears treatment's end
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