Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week, April 3-9
If you find yourself as a young person with a cancer diagnosis, you likely feel overwhelmed, stunned, and why me? Most people in their teens and twenties are not thinking that cancer would be something they would be experiencing. This is a time when you are likely focusing on finishing a degree, getting a job, what events to attend, what outfit to wear. Many people in this age-group have a certain sense on being invincible. Yes, those things happen, but they happen to OTHER people. You may feel like you've lost some of your newfound independence if you are needing help going to appointments and recovering from treatment. Life as you were intending is on hold as you treat cancer. Now you are finding yourself navigating new territory and likely don't have friends who have had this same experience. Many people at this age face a natural shift in peers. New jobs or significant others may take friends in a different direction geographically or relationally. You may be surprised by your friends positively or negatively. Some may disappear for a while because they don't know what to do and may come back later. Others may rally and become big supporters. You might find new friends in a support group with people who better understand what you are going through. Mayo Clinic Connect has a variety of support groups, including one for young adults with cancer.
Here are some more resources that may be helpful:
- The Sam Fund Helps young adults in the United States as they recover from the financial impact of cancer treatment.
- Fertility Preservation An important topic to bring up with your cancer care team.
- Stupid Cancer Provides social support to young people who are going through cancer.
- Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Blog
What have you found to be helpful if you are in this situation?