The stories and experiences are written by people after cancer treatments. These stories are written for those learning how to get back to work, college or just trying to be themselves again. Just getting past treatments isn’t enough, it is surviving and thriving that is key to being you again.
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The First ‘A’: On Loneliness as a 16-Year-Old Survivor
It was 7:31 PM on a Wednesday and as I stared into the wall that night, the last thing I wanted to feel was sorry for myself. Against every word the doctor spoke to me that dripped with his implicit condolences, my mom crying on the window sill beside my bed. With a quick post to Instagram I was showered with attention, likes, and words of encouragement—everything I needed to get me through… or so I thought.Read More...
The “Too Young’’ Club
The adolescent and young adult cancer community is one I never dreamed of being a part of. We see it in the movies, on television, or on social media, always depicted as young children or individuals ages 50+. We are told constantly that we are “too young” to have cancer. Here’s the thing, cancer does not discriminate between too young or too old, too male or too female, or too rich or too poor.Read More...
To Past Me
To Past Me:
On May 5th, 2016 your entire life is going to change. You’re going to get the news that you have cancer, go directly to the hospital, and two weeks later you’ll get released with some daily medication that will save your life. When you’re discharged, you’re going to want things to go back to normal but you will never be the person you were before.Read More...
Rose Colored Disco Ball
The question, “Will I ever be able to have kids?” fell out of my mouth without recognizing the weight of it. It was another conversation, with another doctor, about another instance of how cancer would impact my life long-term. What would be deemed an intense and difficult conversation in the real world, I ate for breakfast without batting one of my eyelash-less eyes.Read More...
Aging Out but Always Welcome
I recently celebrated my 43rd birthday. Something about birthdays just hits differently for a cancer patient or survivor. They are not just special days when you blow out your candles and eat cake. After a cancer diagnosis, birthdays are a lot more meaningful. They are a celebration of life, accomplishments, challenges, obstacles, and fears we face daily.Read More...
I’m Still an AYA
I aged out of AYA before I was even diagnosed, but I’m still an AYA.
My bladder cancer diagnosis was handed to me on August 12, 2016. I was 40 and only 100 days from turning 41.
I was floored. Utterly and completely shocked. I was blindsided and thoroughly pissed off.Read More...
The pain . . .
it lets me know
I can still feel
Everything else is numbRead More...
A Bittersweet Milestone
Remember when everyone in the oncology waiting room did a double take when you showed up alone so it was obvious you were the patient? Remember those sympathetic smiles because they were there for the same things but had grey hairs and weren’t trying to figure out how to get their son picked up from soccer practice?Read More...
The Show Must Go On & other poems
it’s easier to be written out of the storyline
that’s why my character always dies
and if they survive, it always comes back
again and again until the sickness wins
because healing is messy, hard, and
never a straight line
The Rollercoaster No One Expects
Kidney infections, kidney stones, menopause, hair loss, osteoporosis, septic shock, ostomy, depression, body image issues, and mental health struggles.
None of these words would typically be used in the same sentence when describing a young adult, but they are common when describing a young adult cancer patient/ survivor. My name is Allison Rosen, and I am a 10-year stage 2c colorectal cancer survivor.Read More...