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Tag Archives: young adult cancer

Identity: Existing to Inspire

MayaStern2by Maya Stern, Living with Cancer, CKN Advisory Board Member


I was three when I learned how to absorb pain like a bike’s shocks absorb jumps. I was sitting in the phlebotomy lab, clutching my fluffy pink teddy bear. I cringed as the tourniquet pinched my skin. I have always found that part to be more painful than the actual penetration of my skin.




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Living with Cancer: It can’t all be sunshine and roses

AnneMarieCeratoby Anne Marie Cerato, Living with Cancer, CKN Young Adult Section Editor


Life is hard enough under normal circumstances, but you get thrown into the lion’s den when you are diagnosed with cancer. Its something that changes you forever, whether you want it to or not. The diagnosis and the fallout usurp every fiber of who you are before cancer. If you are lucky, you get cured, but you can’t forget. Some of us are able to shake it off or move on and become survivors. I am not one of them.


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The (Dreaded) Battle Metaphor

TaraBaysolby Tara Baysol, Living with Cancer


From the moment I was first diagnosed, I was thrown in the common metaphor of being “at battle” with cancer by those around me placing their own labels on my experience. This has never sat well for me and often left me feeling isolated because I felt the complete opposite of how people described my “heroism” and “strength”.  There was not an ounce of courage or warrior woman inside of me when I was given those labels. I was/am merely living with an illness as millions of other people do with other conditions and circumstances. I squirm at the suggestion that just living with my condition somehow equates me more to a fighter and warrior than anyone else.


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Tara’s Story

TaraBaysolby Tara Baysol, Living with Cancer


I was originally diagnosed in October 2013 with grade 2 Astrocytoma. I was 27 years old and in my first semester of graduate school at Yale, studying Health Policy. I was experiencing problematic symptoms a few weeks before classes began. After an MRI found a lesion in my right frontal lobe, I underwent a craniotomy in mid-October and withdrew from classes for the semester. A few days after my surgery, I received that life changing call informing me of my diagnosis.


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Choosing Hope

LizAndersonby Liz Anderson, Caregiver


It was our second trip to the fertility specialist in two days and her sixth medical appointment that week. The sun was warm, the windows down, and cars were whizzing past us on the highway the day when my 26-year-old daughter, Lindy, turned to me and said, “You know Mom, it has never occurred to me that I am going to die.” I gripped the steering wheel and felt my shoulders tense, I realized that Lindy dying was all that I could think about.


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