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Cancer in your 20s

sports11's picture
sports11
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2010

This entire site is new to me. The reason I joined is because I was recently diagnosed with a rare kind of lung cancer. I am 25 and just starting my adult life. Luckily, my prognosis looks great, however, hearing those words "You have lung cancer" is still not easy. I am looking for a coping mechanism to help me process everything.

It isn't very often that someone in their 20s is diagnosed with any kind of cancer, let alone lung cancer. I'm reaching out to any people that can identify with experiences I have had.

Like the doc said to me... "It's a good and a bad thing that you have a rare kind of lung cancer."

Boxgoalie's picture
Boxgoalie
Posts: 4
Joined: May 2010

First off, glad to hear your prognosis is looking good! Just keep your chin up right now and keep on truckin! I myself was recently diagnosed with Testicular Cancer so I can relate in some ways with the shock of hearing the words that you did. It's an extremely tough spot to be in at our age, because you're right, our adult life is just beginning, and if that wasn't difficult enough, life decides to throw a massive obstacle in our path. Right now it's all about the ways we go about getting around the obstacle and getting back on track. Whether that's surrounding yourself with friends/ family, reaching out to an online community to those you feel can relate (like you have), or picking up a sport/ hobby to occupy your time. I know it sounds cliche about keeping busy but you really have to. I'm not saying this is the case for you, but sitting around wondering why you were given the shaft or the typical why me stuff will kill you. I've been through that phase and it is mentally exhausting, just realize you'll move on from this and will come out stronger on the other side. I'm not sure if you're a writer or anything but I started a blog as somewhere just to keep my thoughts about anything, and have found that to be extremely theraputic. I'm still recovering from my first surgery, and am facing another in a week, so writing has been the closest thing to being active for the time being. The worst thing you can do is bottle emotions, DON'T DO IT!! If you need someone to talk to I'd be more than happy to lend an ear or whatever, my email/ contact info are all here www.lettersfromtheambulance.com
Please don't think you're alone because there are actually quite a few of us out there!! I wish you the absolute BEST of luck with what you're facing, and again please do not hesitate to shoot an email or whatever, I'd be glad to try and help!!

ps sorry if this post was kind of all over the place.

rathgirl's picture
rathgirl
Posts: 147
Joined: Jun 2010

i am 19 and i was diagnosed with leukemia in december and am now currently in remmision. being young gives us a reason to fight harder in my opinion. being positive also plays a major role in how you cope. "it is what it is" as my mom would say. honestly the chat room on this site was very helpful to me. i recommend you visit. they can help you cope and answer questions and/or concerns you have. it is a good place to vent if you are angry or just need to talk. the people in there are all people who have been through or are going through what you are going through. let me tell ya, it feels amazing to be able to talk to people who know EXACTLY what you are going through. talking to family, friends, the nurses and doctors isn't the same. they understand the side effects of the threatments and give great advice on everything having to do with the treatments. do what you have to do to beat it! you are young and will beat this cancer!!!

oh and i recommend using press and seal when taking showers to wrap your port it your skin in sensitive to the tape that the nurses use.
if you have any questions about anything dont be afraid to ask.

j_waffles
Posts: 22
Joined: Jun 2010

Yes, I admit, when I made that first realization that I have cancer, I wanted to shut down and had thoughts like I was too young to die, blah blah blah. My mom hugged me tight at that moment and said, "You still have a long life ahead of you". It's true.. there are so many advancements in medicine now that living with cancer is a lot more do-able. Plus, we have the advantage with our youthful awesome strong bodies.

As for the whole "rare" thing: Rarity has no relation to severity. There are some very common deadly forms of cancer, so the mindset of: "Rare means I'm special and gonna get through this, right?" I myself supposedly have a "rare" brain tumor. Silly thing is gonna be with me the rest of my life. But it's gonna be a long life!

Stay strong, girl. <3

lawchk's picture
lawchk
Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2010

I wouldn't wish cancer upon anybody, but this experience has given me such an amazing opportunity to make a difference.

I was 26 when I was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer in my sinus cavity called Esthesioneuroblastoma. I have no family history of cancer, was always very active & healthy. I also happened to be in the middle of studying for the bar exam and starting my own law practice. Believe me I was shocked to hear the "C" word & thought for sure that my life would be on hold for at least a year.

Well, 12 hours after surgery I was released from ICU & 3 days later I was released from the hospital. 2 weeks later I took the 3-day bar exam and passed! The doctors said that the quick recovery was in large part due to my young age and physical shape.

My life has been forever changed, but so much for the better! I now have a fresh focus and purpose in life. I started my law practice as originally planned, but am now working to help other cancer patients & survivors prepare for the situation I found myself in 5 months ago.

As scary a time this is in your life, stay positive. You will be amazed at just how strong you are and how much you learn about yourself through this journey. I wish you the best of luck.

Feel free to check out my website at www.enbfacts.com.

cgarr71's picture
cgarr71
Posts: 20
Joined: May 2010

Hey I am Chris and am 23. I was a starting offensive lineman at my university and my senior year three games in I was diagnosed with complete bone marrow failure and was told that I am could no longer play football anymore. After months of testing and a few bone marrow biopsies the found out it I had Severe Aplastic Anemia with PNH. I know this isn't exactly cancer but treatment wise its pretty much the same. I was fortunate that I was near MD Anderson in Houston Texas and now am at about 6 months post BMT. I will say that I am doing great for the circumstances. being young and in good shape definitely was an advantage for me. And the man has it right in don't hold anything in. But for me that is one of the hardest parts. The other thing that I believed helped me is being mentally tough. not like bending a spoon with your mind but being able to say to recognize that this is going to be the single most hardest thing I am ever going to go through but I am going to get through it and kick ass. I also found religion a great comfort too. Putting some of the stress load onto God's shoulders was also vital for me getting through this. I am aware this all sounds like some sort of cheesy jock movie or something on the hallmark or lifetime channel, but hey whos to say when you kick cancers ass that it wont be :)

acenter's picture
acenter
Posts: 5
Joined: Aug 2010

Hello,

I am so happy to hear that your prognosis is great!

It is never an easy thing to hear you have cancer, no matter what age. It is slightly different for someone in their 20s or even younger. Cancer is the farthest thing from a 20 something year old's mind. They are usually thinking about having fun in college or starting out their career or finding their future husband or wife. They are too busy living life to worry about this disease. At 26, I was shocked to learn that I had testicular cancer. I know this is not a rare type of cancer, nor was my case extremely invasive, but I understand the shock. Mentally things were tough for at least a year after, but things got better.

I want to tell you that you ARE fortunate to have this at a young age. Your body and mind are better equipped to fight this disease. I was able to recover much faster than someone without my youth. I am now 29 and healthier and happier than I was before my cancer. Keep fighting and keep living your life and things will get better.

Boxgoalie, Your blog (www.lettersfromtheambulance.com) is awesome! I am going to keep an eye on it. Please keep it up.

-Adam

johnlax38's picture
johnlax38
Posts: 136
Joined: Aug 2010

Sports11

Keep your head up. We are young and we bounce back easier at this age. You have a good prognosis so far and you should stay positive.

I was diagnosed with NPC back in April 2010 and I'm still going through treatment. Dr.'s say they can no longer see the tumor, so we are in the same boat. Keep moving forward, focus on your life goals and remember to LIVE, we are in our 20's and we need to enjoy this time while we can.

Grace84's picture
Grace84
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2010

I was first diagnosed with a rare form of skin cancer at 23 so I know what it is like. My cancer is a type of squarmous cell cancer that often leads to melanoma, and is reaccurant so it is something that I will have to deal with all my life. I was told that it can be looked at like a chronic illness-but I dont think that helps any. It normally just needs surgery, but every time I find a spot on my skin I have to stop myself from freaking out thinking that my cancer is back. At 26 I am a survivor and living with cancer and the threat of cancer every day. It really changes your whole life. I was in denial for a few years and it wasnt till I was 25 and had my first reaps that I really started to deal with what it means to me to be living with cancer and be a cancer survivor. Its weird every one else that I know who has been diagnosed with cancer was diagnosed later in life-I was 23. I never really sunbathed, I never went to a tanning salon, and I generally stayed out of the sun, but it was all genetics. As my first oncologist said-it was almost bound to happen given my family history-this did not make me feel any better! Its hard and I dont think being young really gives us any advantages. Lets face it:Cancer sucks at any age! But Im here for you and totally understand!

Mishanne
Posts: 7
Joined: Dec 2010

I was actually diagnosed with melanoma this summer (23 years old and genetics for me too), found it had spread to one lymph node but I declined further surgery and interferon- just on the wait and watch program. So I know exactly what you mean by looking at spots and "freaking out"- except I feel lymph nodes and wonder if they're swollen... But mostly I'm just trying to eat super healthy and I'm back at school working on finishing my masters. If I'm stressing out I just try and find a distraction for my mind- the current favorite distraction is playing Black Ops on my xbox :D

Rosanna1
Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2010

I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer at 25. Hearing that you have cancer at such a young age was horrifing. I often times wished I had someone my age fighting the battle.
I have been in remission for a year and a half now.

Good luck to everyone <3

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