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Tag Archives: young adult cancer

On Death and Dying: Opening the door to discussion

TaraBaysolby Tara Baysol, Living with Cancer

 

After I was diagnosed with brain cancer, I developed a desire to have really tough conversations about death and dying with my family so that I could share my thoughts with them and feel less alone on this journey that’s been full of uncertainty. At first, this was quite challenging for me and my family, but one of the things that has really helped us to be able to have these tough conversations was my realization that this topic was not something unique and exclusive to me and people like me, but rather a conversation we all should be having regardless of age, health, and condition.

 

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Confessions of a Wallflower

MarkLewisby Mark Lewis, MD, CKN Social Media Editor

 

(This article was originally published by Critical Mass.)

 

My name is Mark Lewis and I have a confession to make: I arrived late to the party of adolescent/young adult (AYA) oncology, bashfully and in disguise.

 

I am an adult oncologist, meaning that my practice is medically and legally confined to patients 18 years and older. But I am married to a pediatrician, and I understand that cancer, in all its terrible callousness, shows no respect for age; it can burst forth in the blood of an infant just as catastrophically as it can in the bones of that child’s great-grandfather.

 

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Living your Best Life in Spite of the Shadow of Cancer

ClarissaShilstraby Clarissa Schilstra, Living with Cancer, CKN Advisory Board Member

 

When I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 2 ½ years old, I never imagined it would ever come back.  For leukemia survivors, your risk of relapse decreases significantly as years go by, all the way down to a less than 5% chance of relapse by ten years after your initial diagnosis.  When that seemingly impossible occurrence became a reality for me, I was just about to turn 13.  I could not believe it.  Now that I have been through a cancer relapse, I feel that there is no number of years that will guarantee me safe from cancer.

 

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#YArally: The Financial Burden of Young Adult Cancer

StephanieMadsenRecent

by Stephanie Madsen, Living with Cancer

 

I’ve endured thousands of needle pricks, undergone painful surgeries, and have withstood innumerable grueling treatments. I’ve been sick, bald, weak, over-medicated, under-medicated, poked, prodded, pained, and simply desperate for life. I’ve been triumphant, encouraged, accomplished, fortunate, blessed, and hopeful. I’ve gained insight, wisdom, and more medical knowledge than I could have ever imagined. My perspective has flourished and evolved. I have found a depth of joy that many never will. I’ve grieved loss. I’ve suffered hardship. I’ve authentically experienced mortality. I’ve overcome. I am brave and strong and alive. Yet among those things, I am also overwhelmingly burdened.

 

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Balancing Your Life to the Fullest

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

 

One of the biggest internal struggles that I face on a daily basis is: how do I live my life to its fullest, and maintain my health and energy so that I don’t make myself sick?

 

Because of the trauma my body has incurred and the medications that suppress my immune system, my energy can be consumed much more quickly from simple tasks. And because there have been many times when the ability to pursue my dreams was taken away from me, I feel like I have to take advantage of every wakeful moment so I can experience as much as I can. Often these things come in direct opposition to each other.

 

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The Benefits of Social Media for Teens and Young Adults with Cancer

clarissashilstraby Clarissa Schilstra, Living with Cancer, CKN Advisory Board Member

 

Social media is an invaluable resource for any teenage or young adult cancer patient or survivor.  While many of us are attached to our screens these days, it’s not always clear how we can best use those apps and sites we so often look at in a way that is beneficial to us as patients/survivors.  As I have found through my own experiences, social media can be used to help overcome isolation, find support, find resources, learn about your illness, share your experiences, make a difference in the lives of others going through similar experiences, and raise awareness about the impact cancer has on a young person’s life.

 

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