June 20th, 2014
| Survivor: Breast Cancer
Have you tuned into the new ABC Series, "Chasing Life"? We asked two young adult cancer survivors to weigh in on the way the main character has navigated the cancer journey so far. Read more.
The new series "Chasing Life" on ABC Family has piqued the interest of the cancer community over the past couple of weeks. The show stars Italia Ricci as April, a 24-year-old aspiring journalist who is diagnosed with Leukemia, just as her life starts to fall into place.
All of the young adult cancer survivors, fighters and supporters who are tuning will undoubtedly compare their journey with April's, every step of the way. The show has the opportunity to educate millions on the reality of young adult cancer, and cancer in general. However, it also runs the risk of perpetuating the myths that surround a cancer diagnosis.
In its first two episodes, "Chasing Life" has focused on April's experience learning she has cancer and desperately trying to hold on to the life she built for herself before she was diagnosed - her career, her new boyfriend and her complicated family life.
Two young adult cancer survivors weigh in on the way she has navigated the cancer journey so far.
Rose: 27, Stage 4 Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma Survivor
Upon learning she has cancer, April seems to be grasping for control. Rather than confronting the terrifying possibility of her death, she focuses on the short term.
When she talks about delaying treatment for editorial deadlines or hiding her disease from her hot new beau, my first instinct is to grab this character by her fictitious shoulders and shout "Just let go!" Those of us who have been through treatment know that cancer permeates every aspect of your life. Like April's bleeding nose seeping into her cocktail, cancer creeps into your work, friendships and family. It can't be filtered out. It can't be pushed aside.
But I don't mind April's process, because it brings to light why young adult cancer is so unique. Those who are diagnosed in their 20's or 30's are not as established as older adults, but we also don't have the same parental care system as children do. We're just learning to take care of ourselves. Like April, I had spent years working diligently to build the life I wanted - and that did not include cancer. All of us struggle, in varying ways, to handle this dramatic disruption.
What are your thoughts on the series so far? What should ABC Family have done differently?
to continue the conversation.
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