Zach Sobiech was someone many of you never heard of a few months ago.. At the tender age of 14, Zach was stricken with an absolutely vicious cancer called osteosarcoma. After his last round, he went in for his check-up... expecting to hear good news. What he got was something out of a nightmare.
Little did my husband and I know that a mere four years after reciting our vows, we would be asked to live up to them. That was when we discovered that Alex had advanced testicular cancer, and his surgery and chemotherapy treatment would begin right away.
I am a wife, a mother and a mesothelioma warrior. I have a story to tell, one that starts with tragedy but ends in triumph.
Having been a former outpatient at a pediatric health center, it was a unique experience for me to be on the other side of the fence talking about the experience of pediatric patients transitioning from pediatric to adult health care. I had the opportunity to catch up with Mike Lang last week to ask him about his adventure therapy organization, Survive & Thrive Expeditions.
Mom and I have reacted very differently to the news of my stage IV cancer. I was online within days writing posts about the steps I was taking. As my readers know, I'm very open about this part of my life. My mother, on the other hand, is much more private.
She was my strength -- literally -- and helped bathe me just as she did 30 years ago. She was with me as I battled the nausea and fatigue from the chemo.
When you're diagnosed with cancer, there's all this pressure to get out and "live your life," and anxiety about being judged for taking life for granted now that you're staring your mortality in the face. But living life to the fullest doesn't mean the same thing for everyone.
Every day, young adults are diagnosed with cancer. Every day, people tell them it will be okay, or it isn't so bad. These quotes are some things that were said to me by various people in my life. These things didn't really help me.
Being a young cancer survivor is a paradox. On the one hand you have a long life ahead of you. On the other hand because you're younger you'll have many years of testing to make sure there are no recurrences.
Regardless of how successful your philanthropic effort is, take heart in the fact that you had the desire to change the world, and we are all better for it.