This is primarily a lifestyle blog for young cancer survivors, but I think some of my tips can be applicable for all! I want this to be a resource for those who have been impacted by young adult cancer. Family and friends often want to help, but they don’t know how. Young adult cancer is unique because our lives are just starting. This wasn’t supposed to happen to us because we are “too young” to have cancer.
Young adult cancer means that you were diagnosed between 18 – 40 years old. A lot of life happens in that time frame. College, careers, dating, engagements, marriage and starting a family. Cancer can rob young adults of all of this! I hope that I can help young cancer survivors continue to live life with style and grace. I want to share tricks and tips of what I’ve learned through this journey to help people who are currently in treatment. I also want to share real life experiences from real life people!
I’ve had a calling to share my story ever since I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2015 when I was 14 weeks pregnant. I’m finally in a place where it just feels right to finally share! I wasn’t in a good place before. I hit rock bottom during the 2016 holiday season.
A friend of mine posted her pregnancy announcement on Facebook, you know the ones I’m talking about, and it sent me into a downward spiral. One negative thought lead to another negative thought. Although I was genuinely happy for her, it triggered my own sad reality. I would never get to make another pregnancy announcement again.
My cancer is hormone positive, if I tried to get pregnant again, then there’s a chance my cancer could return. I was extremely anxious and depressed. I cried myself to sleep every night. Cancer robbed me of providing my son with a sibling. I was grieving. I felt so alone. Although I have family and friends who care and can sympathize for me, they just don’t get it.
Cancer had robbed me of so much. I didn’t get to enjoy my pregnancy the way a normal young mother should have. I didn’t get to have my dream maternity photo shoot with the long flowy dress, and the long gently tousled hair while wearing a flower crown on the beach. I know that sounds vain, but that’s just how imagined it would be. Instead, I was bald and pregnant cancer patient. That was my reality.
Ultimately, I want the best mom for my son and I just want him to be happy. I think that’s something every mother can relate too. During that time, I felt like I was not good at anything. I didn’t feel like I was being the best wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, employee, or self. If I wasn’t my best self, then how could I be a good mom to my son? I fought so hard for us to live. It was time to crawl out of my hole and be the best person I could be.
Once January 2017 came around I finally decided enough was enough! I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself and start making changes in the right direction. I started going to therapy and joined a fitness challenge with a friend. My goal was just to be happy again. Taking small steps, every day, have helped me so much. I’m so grateful for my support system. I couldn’t have gotten to this place without the support of family, friends, and medical staff.
It’s funny how life can change so fast! I was in a really bad place in January 2017, emotionally. But once I decided I was going to change, things started falling into place. Life has gotten so much better. Don’t get me wrong, I still have bad days, but I am now able to manage my emotions much better than before.
Once you have momentum, it can either take you up or down. But ultimately YOU choose which way it goes. Taking small steps in the right direction can have a profound impact on your life. I hope I can share my knowledge with you so you can live more joyfully!