September 14th, 2017
| Supporter: All Cancers
When diagnosed with cancer as a young adult, your world gets flipped upside down. With a constant stream of information being thrown at you, it's easy to forget the important things, so the You Can Team wants to give you a few reminders.
1. You Are Not Alone
Chances are, you don’t know anyone else your age who has the same type of cancer as you. That is a very lonely, isolating feeling. But the good news is that Australia is big, and the world is even bigger. Somewhere in that world, there is someone else who has walked this road before you – who is your age, and has your same interests. The first step is to try and find them. Search on You Can Connect, or share your story on social media – open yourself up to the possibility of connecting with someone who truly understands what it means to be a young adult with cancer.
2. You Are Learning More Than You Think
This experience is really testing your strength. Everyday, you're learning something new about yourself. Although cancer isn't a class you signed up for, it can still teach you valuable lessons. Connect with others and share what you've learned together. Your combined knowledge base is a strong tool to use against cancer.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About How You Feel
It can be hard to open up to people about what you are experiencing, especially when you feel as though they can't relate. Know that there are people out there who do understand and are willing to help. Also remember that it's just as important to take care of your mental health as it is to take care of your physical health.
4. Your Hair Does Not Define You
Although we often use our hair to express ourselves, it's not the only way. You can use this as an opportunity to try out new looks to show off or conceal your hair loss. Remember that baldness is temporary, but the strength you get from the experience is forever.
5. You Are An Inspiration to Many
Although you may not even realize it, you're inspiring people everyday. The strength and resilience of young adult cancer survivors is incredible. Many can't even begin to imagine dealing with cancer at such a young age. You inspire people to live every day to the fullest and not to take anything for granted.
6. You Will Get Your Confidence Back
Cancer can take away a lot from you, including your confidence. As a young adult, sometimes all you want is to fit in, and having cancer can make that hard. However, as you come to terms with your new identity, your confidence will come with it. In fact, you may find that you have even more confidence than you did before diagnoses.
7. It's Okay To Be Afraid
Cancer is scary, so it's okay to be afraid. You shouldn't invalidate your feelings just because they're not positive. However, it's important to note our first and third points: you're not alone and it's important to talk about how you feel. Together, we can help conquer this fear.
8. Try To Learn To Embrace Change
Life as you knew it completely changes once you hear the words, "you have cancer". Your routines, looks, appetite, and more begin to change. It can be hard to accept that at first, but learning to embrace your new life will ultimately give you strength and some peace of mind. Young adult life is full with change anyways; your transition period just looks a different than others, and that's okay.
Have something else to add to the list? Share your ideas in the comments below.
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Want to blog with us ?
We’re the people working behind the scenes to make You Can Connect the best it can be for you. We thought we’d make our own profile to introduce ourselves in case you haven’t heard of You Can. Back in 2010, Sony Foundation Australia launched You Can to address a gap in the medical system to support adolescent and young adults with cancer in Australia. We raise funds and build You Can youth cancer centres across the country to provide a space in hospitals that is just for young people to ensure care and support is tailored towards YOU, not children, and not old people, YOU. Feel free to drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.