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Tag Archives: young adult cancer

Reflecting on Ten Years of Making a Difference for Young Women Across Canada

by Lorna Larsen RN BScN, Team Shan President

 

My daughter Shanna (Shan) was diagnosed late with metastatic breast cancer in early 2005.  Shan’s symptoms were misdiagnosed repeatedly by medical professionals and the cancer had time to spread. Despite her positive outlook and the predictions of hope, Shan lost her life to the disease. Shan was only 24.

As a nurse and health promotion specialist, the issue of breast cancer in young women had not come across my desk. Encouraged by colleagues and experts in the field I was asked to consider using my nursing skills and talents to fill the information gap in breast cancer awareness for young women. I took on the commitment to support my grief journey and make a difference for young women following in Shan’s footsteps.

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AYAs: Make Your Voice Heard

clarissashilstraby Clarissa Schilstra, CKN Editor

One of the biggest challenges we face as AYA cancer patients and survivors is getting our voice heard. If were treated in pediatric settings, communication is often directed to our parents or guardians, so we often lack the opportunity to speak out.  If were treated in adult settings, we arent always prepared with the communication and negotiation skills to be able to speak out, even though we may be given the space to do so. Were in this strange no-mans-land.

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#Chemobrain and How to #Dealwithit

clarissashilstraby Clarissa Schilstra, CKN Editor

One day last week, I came home from work and spent the evening relaxing until my fiancé came home (he’s a chef so he came home about 6 hours after me)…I was just sitting on the couch watching something on Netflix when he walked in the door with a totally annoyed, borderline angry look on his face. I assumed maybe he had had a bad day at work, but instead he proceeded to scold me for leaving my keys in the lock of the front door. “Luckily we live in a safe building but you can’t do that Clarissa, you have to pay more attention!” My honest response: “I literally had no idea I had done it and had 100% remembered bringing them in with me, sorry!

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A Ballsy Sense of Tumor: Getting through the holidays

by Justin Birckbichler

 

There is something magical and special about the holiday season. However, in December 2016, instead of hanging ornamental balls from the tree, I was in the thick of completing chemotherapy to battle the cancer that had spread from my testicles to my lymph nodes.

 

My battle with cancer isn’t the only history of trying times in the holiday season. In high school, I struggled with pretty severe clinical depression. One of my lowest points during my struggle with depression was around the holidays in 2007. I was angry, sad, apathetic, and just all around down. I was in therapy and on anti-depressants to help and eventually came through a stronger person. However, the holidays were something that helped me rally and keep on living.

 

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A Ballsy Sense of Tumor

by Justin Birckbichler

 

I was diagnosed with Stage IIB Nonseminoma Testicular cancer in November 2016, at the ripe old age of 25. Along with surgery and chemo, I encountered the burden of the emotional journey that a cancer diagnosis includes.

 

Much to my wife’s chagrin, I’ve never been one to talk about my emotions. Blame it on society, my own stubbornness, or whatever other factor you want to point fingers at, but when it comes to my feelings, you’re not going to get much from me beyond “I’m fine.”

 

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