Cancer touches every age group and demographic. For young adults it is a life interrupted.
Many move back in with their parents; leave school; lose their peer groups.
How do you connect with others? Where do you turn for support? How do you handle dating? How do you navigate the uncertainty?
Stephie Zimmerman is a young adult survivor of Ewing’s sarcoma diagnosed when she was 8 years old. She not only survived, but became an oncology nurse practitioner, married her college sweetheart, and they have a wonderful son. Stephie also underwent a heart transplant as her heart failed as a result of the adrimycin (also known as the red devil for it’s red color) included in her chemotherapy regimen. You can read Stephie’s posts here.
Some posts of particular interest are:
And here is a clip from her award winning documentary Resilient:
Charles Frederick Porter II graduated from Duke University and was on his way to a professional football career before being sidelined by an injury. And then came cancer. Twice. From Charles:
Danielle Burgess is the Communications Director for FightColorectalCancer.org. Diagnosed with colorectal cancer as an adolescent, she was re-diagnosed at the age of 25.
The emotions of cancer run deep and impact everyone in the family. Out of the Mouths of Babes looks at the personal and family impact of a cancer diagnosis.
A Life Interrupted is an Emmy Award-winning New York Times Video Series. These six videos follow Suleika Jaouad, a 22 year old diagnosed with leukemia, through her experience.
Click here to view the films.
Leslie R. Schover, PhD, is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist specializing in sexual problems and infertility related to cancer treatment and other chronic illnesses. In 2016 she received the Holland Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Psychosocial Oncology Society recognizing her outstanding contributions to the field. Her PhD research in clinical psychology at UCLA was supported by a Woodrow Wilson Research Grant in Women’s Studies. Her specialty training continued as a postdoctoral fellow in sex therapy and research at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. She became an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1982, doing clinical work and research on cancer and sexuality. From 1986 to 1999 she was a Staff Psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, returning to MD Anderson in 1999 where she continued to create and evaluate innovative treatment programs until she retired in early 2016 from her position as Professor of Behavioral Science. She now devotes her full time to Will2Love empowering cancer survivors and their loved ones with expert guidance on the journey to sexual wellness and parenthood.
Mellissa Recchia is one of #AllThingsCancer’s newest co-hosts, a young adult with the spirit of an adventurer, an infectious smile, and the gift of encouragement. Mellissa is a 3 X Cancer Fighting, social working, child life specialist-to-be who may be found kayaking the Colorado River, white water rafting with First Descents, working at Make a Dream, hanging out in Montana, or heading off to Italy.
In the #AllThingsCancer, Mellissa, her friend Cate and Charles Porter discuss varying aspects of being a young adult with cancer.
Sean Swarner is an inspiration. Diagnosed with childhood cancer twice, he has climbed the 7 highest peaks on each continent, with just one functional lung. Read more about Sean here.
Cancer Late Effects
Co-host Stephie Zimmerman talks about the impact chemotherapy had on her heart, and her subsequent need for a heart transplant.
Single With Cancer?
Cancer is challenging for everyone, but what if you’re single? Tracy Maxwell, author, coach and cancer survivor takes a look at coping with cancer as a single person.
Social Media and Cancer
Is social media changing the cancer experience? Join author, #CancerBookClub host and patient extraordinaire Robin McGee as we discuss the impact of social media in cancer.
Chris Lewis of Chris’ Cancer Community
Chris is a prominent patient advocate in the UK. He runs a blog with weekly posts, consults with various cancer groups, and has just started a charity aimed at reducing the social isolation inherent in a cancer diagnosis.
His charity, in conjunction with C4CMobile, donates 10% of one’s mobile cell phone bill to patient support. 100% of this money goes to patients (not marketing or administration!)
Capacity Part I with Joan Friedlander, Author of Business from Bed: The 6-Step Comeback Plan to Get Yourself Working After a Health Crisis
So many of the struggles and the losses we incur at the hands of a cancer diagnosis, and beyond, center on capacity. Joan Friedlander has developed a model of capacity in which she defines capacity as a “measure of ability; the ability to perform, produce, receive, hold, or absorb”.
Capacity Part II with Joan Friedlander, Author of Business from Bed: The 6-Step Comeback Plan to Get Yourself Working After a Health Crisis
Joan continues the discussion of managing the uncertainties associated with health issues. How does on gage one’s capacity? Are we over compensating? Under compensating? What are the consequences for us and for how we engage our world?
Travel, Volunteering and Cancer with Terry Wingham and A Fresh Chapter
Terri Wingham joins us to share how crossing the borders of her own cancer story gave rise to her vision of helping others begin a fresh chapter in their own lives through meaningful cross cultural volunteer experiences. Visit her site at A Fresh Chapter.
Veena Shankaran, M.D. joins us to discuss financial toxicity and cancer. Veena is a medical oncologist and health economist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She was named as one of 40 individuals under age 40 who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership within their field by the The Puget Sound Businss8 Journal.
In addition to her appointment in the Clinical Research and Public Health Sciences divisions at Fred Hutch, she specializes in caring for patients with gastrointestinal malignancies. She’s also an investigator in the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research (HICOR), where she studies health economics and comparative effectiveness with a focus on patterns of care and risk factors for financial hardship among cancer patients.
#CancerBookClub Date: November 18, 2016
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Klanithi
“What makes a life worth living?
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.”
Click here to download the talking points for #CancerBookClub’s When Breath Becomes Air.
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