I have to wrap my mind around the fact that, unless a cure is discovered in my lifetime, cancer is going to be part of my life for the rest of my life. Cancer is my herpes. Or my diabetes or RA or COPD. It's in me and I am going to have to accept it and learn to manage and dominate it.
Once that diagnosis hit, I moved. I moved in the only way I knew how. I wrote. I studied. I made a movie. I took cancer on and I kicked its ass. I wanted to be as aware as I could be. That was my way.
So say what you will, Dr. Negativity. My dad will beat this, just like I did; and we will once again prove you wrong. Maybe next time, you should get all the facts before you dash someone's hopes into the ground.
After my divorce, I thought that there was no way any man would want to be with me because of my deformities... especially at my age. I was so very wrong.
When you're first diagnosed with cancer, the hospital is the last place you ever wanted to be. Then when treatment stops, you miss going. It's not that you miss the treatments or the crappy way they make you feel. You miss the safety net of being able to check in with your doctor and the nurses on a regular basis.
Among his many achievements, Dr. Sender developed the joint Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Program at CHOC Children's and UC Irvine Health and is currently the chairman of the United States' largest AYA patient advocacy group: Stupid Cancer. I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Sender to discuss his views on the AYA movement.
Young adult cancer is not something people dream of when they picture themselves in a romance. Illness, in general, is not socially considered a good stepping stone to finding a bright future relationship. For this couple, and for myself, though, that's exactly where love kicked in.
I am home. Back in Chicago. Gathering my wind from the Windy City. A second chance from the Second City. After one hundred and eleven days in New York City for medical treatment, I am home.
We have our work cut out for us. While it has been nearly 20 years since my own diagnosis as a young adult and much has changed, too much remains the same, and we still have too little hard evidence, both to clearly define the problems and validate the proposed solutions.
By definition, to slay is to destroy or extinguish, but in the case of 15-year-old Jordan Vincent, the moniker she has been given, "the cancer slayer," is much more heroic than the distinction conveys.