I was diagnosed several years ago with late-stage Melanoma. Around the same time, my mother started to feel unwell. I really thought her symptoms might just be the result of stress from helping me cope with my own cancer diagnosis. But the day before my surgery, Mom was hospitalized for tests and observation. The tests revealed she had a Glioblastoma Multiforme – a type of fast-growing brain tumor.
My mom and I had always been close, but I would never have believed that cancer was something that we
would one day share. Within weeks I was receiving immunotherapy and she was getting radiation and chemo
treatments. Now we were sharing nausea, overwhelming fatigue, and fear of what was to come.
Soon I realized that I couldn’t do this on my own. Supporting Mom through her illness was my priority, but I
didn’t really know how to help her and myself at the same time.
It was at this time when I felt I needed more emotional support that I decided to call Cancer Lifeline. I talked to the most amazing woman who helped me understand that my feelings were normal, that I wasn’t alone, and that there was help and resources available to me.
Soon I started attending Cancer Lifeline’s Young Adult Support Group. To my surprise, I discovered a room full of people my age who were experiencing different types of cancer with all its anger and uncertainty and fear. I immediately realized that this is where I belonged.
The YA group has been great. It’s been a place where I can explain what is going on with my treatment and I
don’t have to translate into easy to understand lingo like I do sometimes with family and friends. They are really supportive when I’m dealing with treatment uncertainty, the dreaded “SCAN -ANXIETY,” side effects, cancer pain, or in my case, last year the grieving of my Mom when she passed away eventually from her Glioblastoma.
While my experience with cancer continues at times to overwhelm me, I know that I am not unique.
Thousands of young adults in the Northwest are diagnosed with cancer every year. Every year, Cancer Lifeline provides over 800 support groups and educational classes free of charge.
Learn more about Cancer Lifeline’s Young Adult Cancer Support Group.