Even if my cancer does return and even if it does eventually kill me, I won't spend the rest of my life in fear. And maybe someday I'll actually believe what I've just written. I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.
Why do so many groups think that $4.9 billion per year is an acceptable level for cancer research and vote to continue this year after year, even though nearly everyone will have to deal with cancer during their lifetimes? Who came up with this figure?
As a mother of two grown sons, a sister to nine and an aunt to 21, things can become blurred. When it comes to our 'children' there's a tacit agreement between us: They are priority one. So when my phone rang in late February, I listened intently.
I'm out of the darkest part of the woods, sure. But society is making it particularly difficult to forget what happened to me. It's moving on beyond me and trying hard to lose me in its wake. I, like other young adult survivors, feel lost, alone, and confused.
The amazing thing about awareness weeks is that warm and fuzzy feeling grows inside us over the course of the week, the power of community pulsing through our veins, the battle cries ringing in our ears, "You are not alone!" It's a beautiful thing. But only if we keep it going.
Three and a half years after my cancer diagnosis at age 25, I am still juggling treatments, a team of physicians and near-daily EOBs, bills, phone calls and fights. Along with fighting to keep living, I feel like I'm fighting not to lose all my money; and there's no end in sight.
One of the biggest challenges we face in the field of young adult cancer is a lack of evidence. As a researcher in the young adult cancer arena, this makes me feel like I'm chasing my tail. So today I am grateful for National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week.
Breast cancer claimed and lost an activist on March 16th, but God Himself knows she was so much more than that. A loving family surrounded by scores of close friends lost a mom, a wife, a sister, a daughter and cherished friend.
For the first time in my adult life, I truly had a fairy tale existence. But like all classic fairy tales, there had to be a villain. The villain was a faceless rogue who seemed to take great delight in slowly extinguishing any thoughts of happiness I had.
In the few years that have passed since we became a St. Jude patient family, our daughter's health has been restored. Her tumor has been significantly diminished and she has been able to lead a fairly normal life, enjoying her childhood like any child should.