L I E S!!!!!!!!!!!
L I E S!!!!!!!!!!!
and more L I E S
This weekend I attended my first YOUNG Survival Coalition meetup. The organization was founded in 1998 by 3 young woman who were under the age of 35 when diagnosed with breast cancer. Using local networks like, Pink S.H.O.E.S Inc (@pinkshoesinc), YSC provides free resources and educational materials to support and empower young woman affected by breast cancer…. For ME however, the most significant feeling I had after attending this meetup was COMMUNITY. I am not the only young woman diagnosed with cancer. I am not ALONE.
Since being diagnosed, I’ve had tons of love and support from family, friends and even strangers. I must say I have been completely blessed in that department. The encouragement has been amazing but speaking to and connecting with young woman who have actually HAD breast cancer is sincerely priceless. Sitting in a room, staring at 5 other faces that have generally had the same experience as mine made me feel like I wasn’t on an island by myself. There were so many similarities- the blow to our self esteem after losing our hair from chemo, the tragedy of having to tell our family/friends about our diagnosis, and the fact that all 6 of us found our lumps ourselves (I’ll touch on this later) but also many differences – the presence of significant others in our lives (1 of us got married to the guy she was dating during her diagnosis and treatment, while another got divorced bc of the strain cancer put on their marriage), weight loss/ gain during treatments, and our degree of “openness” about our illness to others. While sharing an experience I had with the “red devil” ( a chemotherapy drug cocktail that is bright red), I completely lost my train of thought mid story telling time. Instantly all the ladies chuckled and in their own ways squealed ” The same things happen to us girl! Don’t be embarrassed- chemo brain is real”. I A M N O T A L O N E .
Besides our personal stories and journeys, I left the meet up with some information I wanted to share some with my #CancerSlayers. Information about breast cancer & YOUNG women:
* Nearly 13,000 cases of breast cancer in women under age 40 are diagnosed each year
* Breast cancer is the most common cancer in woman ages 15 to 39
* Young women are often diagnosed with breast cancer and/or more aggressive subtypes than older women
* Race, ethnicity, language barriers and cultural beliefs may prevent some young women from understanding their personal rish of breast cancer
* There are no effective breast cancer screening tools for women younger than40 years old,so it is CRUCIAL that you are your own best health advocate.
* Nearly 80% of young woman diagnosed with breast cancer FIND THEIR BREAST ABNORMALITIES THEMSELVES
Like I said before, every single last one of us felt our lump ourselves which makes sense because we were all under 35 when diagnosed and most organisations suggest women start getting mammograms at 35. ( I was the only person in the group with close family history of breast cancer). I strongly encourage and advise all my ladies to:
1)PLEASE CHECK YOUR BREASTS EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE UNDER 35
2)KNOW YOUR BREASTS– It is important that you are familiar with your breasts this way you can tell you doctor right away if you notice any changes in your breasts because contrary to popular belief YOU WOMAN CAN AND DO GET BREAST CANCER .period