With a clean bill of health, Tasha Imberi, a senior at Eureka High School, is happy to be back at school.
"I was kind of excited to be done because I was ready to get back to normal life, but I was kind of nervous," Imberi said. "I wanted to see if everything was gone."
She had to wait almost one month before a CAT scan could confirm she was cancer-free. On July 10, in Sioux Falls, she and her family found out the cancer was gone.
"It was just great news," said Tasha's mother, Susan Imberi.
Tasha Imberi will continue following up with oncologists in Aberdeen and Sioux Falls, but she's back to a more normal schedule now.
The first day of school in Eureka was Aug. 22.
"It was hard to get into the routine because I was out so much," Imberi said. "I wasn't actually ready to go back, but I'm adjusting."
She said it was great having the support of her family, friends and the community as she battled cancer.
"We just stuck by her," said Susan Imberi. "We had a friend that took her to chemo, and, if she needed someone, she always had family and friends sticking by her."
Tasha, her family and a friend, Nicole Rau, will be embarking on a dream vacation thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
They'll be going on a Caribbean cruise.
She was referred to the program during a visit to Dr. David Starks' office in Sioux Falls. Imberi found out in April that she qualified as a Make-A-Wish recipient.
"We were deciding what I wanted to do and looked up some things on the Internet," she said. "I thought about how I'd never been on a cruise before or anything and wanted to involve my family."
Her hair, which Rau helped her dye pink before chemotherapy treatments took it away, is growing back.
"The hair is coming back slowly, but it could be a lot worse," she said. "It's not that long yet, but it will eventually get there. You have to have patience."
She advises other young cancer patients to stay positive.
"Live every day to the fullest and don't let it get you down," she said. "Just be yourself as much as you possibly can."
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