April is Health Activist Writer’s Month and brings the official Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge (#HAWMC). WEGO Health has developed a month of writing to engage the health blogger community in discussion about our individual illnesses.
This blog came from a place of initial desperation. I was hit with this disease that I didn’t quite know how to handle and needed a way of communicating my most basic needs and experiences to those around me. It quickly morphed from a health update bullhorn to a way to leave a lasting memory of my experience like breadcrumbs for others to pick up behind me on the trail. Entering survivorship had its initial hiccups, but the easing back into normalcy does not exactly foster any urgency with the blog. I have half a dozen half written essays that address long-irrelevant topics.
For any new readers that find me through WEGO, hello! A quick introduction to my experience with 5 Things about Young Adult Cancer Survivorship.
1. 72,000 young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year and there are millions of survivors.
2. I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma – one of the more common cancers for young adults. It is most commonly diagnosed between 15-30 and again over 55. The lymphoma and specifically the Hodgkin’s communities online are incredibly strong.
3. No matter what your background, your baggage, or your health, adventure therapy is where it’s at. A week of rock climbing did more good than a year of therapy.
4. We’re poor and that effects our access to healthcare. 18 – 39 year olds have not seen the increase in survival rates that other demographics have. Lack of access to affordable healthcare is one of the contributing factors and not enough is being done to help. The SAMFund is one of the great departures to that rule.
5. It doesn’t end when the treatment stops. In reality, the new normal can be just as challenging as the rigors of treatment.