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Diagnosed at 25 as well, looking for other young people

justwhatiwanted
Posts: 12
Joined: Jun 2002

Hello,
I replied to Jennifer's message underneath this one, but thought I would post my own as well. I was also diagnosed at 25, but recently had a 26th birthday. The main problem that I am having is dealing with cancer at such a young age. I am not sure what the correct etiquette is when telling people that I have this illness... people my age seem so unequipped to deal with the news, and it comes up so soon in conversation that I feel like it pushes people away from me as soon as I meet them. Dating seems like it will be really difficult, as nobody really seems like they want to deal with someone who is sick. So I find myself feeling really lonely a lot of the time. I seem to be losing contact with a lot of my friends as well... when they go out to the bar on the weekends or whatever, I can't go anymore, and that is really hard on me. They are great to talk to and everything, don't get me wrong... but knowing that I can't do the things that I normally would is really getting to me. There are also the issues of losing my hair, scars from surgery, etc. that I am very nervous about. Is there anyone else out there who was diagnosed at a young age and has any advice? Or anyone else with cancer at that age that would like to talk?

Heather

amasurvivor
Posts: 15
Joined: Sep 2002

Hi Heather,
I know I'm late in responding to your post (I only registered today), however I was wondering how you were doing? I just turned 30, yet was diagnosed the first time with cancer at 24, the second at 26. I think cancer gives unique challenges at any stage in life, but at the stage you are (I was) in... it's confusing, frustrating, embarrasing, depressing, I'm sure I could go on. Here's the big BUT... it doesn't have to be. I have so much on my heart to say. Do you still need an ear? Some advice? Let me know!

shelly9501
Posts: 11
Joined: Sep 2002

Heather,
I understand where you are coming from completely. My life has changed a lot due to this disease. My true friends (about 8 people) have stayed close with me but once I was diagnosed at this age, my "good" friends basically are so scared they ignore me. Guys, forget that. They have no clue how to relate to me because God forbid I may talk about cancer in front of them and scare them. Plus, because of my surgery I have to be on crutches for a long time and I mean how romantic is that? Guys dont want to deal with it. I use to be very positive but it seems with all I have to go through it's getting harder to have a happy outlook on life. I would love to correspond with you, we can give each other moral support and share our stories.

Shelly:o)
write to me at Skippy6270@aol.com
PS: what type of cancer do you have?

4jlk
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2002

I was also diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 25. It is an isolating experience, but there are actually ALOT of us. You should check out the Young Survival Coalition, it's a very large group of women just like us (www.youngsurvival.org)

I had a lumpectomy, 7 months of chemo & 9 weeks of radiation. The scars aren't too bad at all, and I don't notice any change in my breast size (they told me radiation would shrink & harden it). I was terrified to lose my hair, but when it actually happened, it wasn't so bad. I had a wig, but never wore it. I wore doo-rags, or scarves. I'm sure I got alot of stares, but it didn't bother me. I kept a good sense of humor & a positive outlook.
It has been nearly 2 yrs. since I was diagnosed, & a year since I finished treatment. My hair has grown back, and I'm doing fine. But I feel like I don't really fit in anywhere. I think maybe I was in denial before & didn't deal with all the feelings, and now they're catching up to me.
My advice for you is TALK ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS! Face your fears.
I wish you the very best!
Jen (4jlk)

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