My Why

When people found/find out that I had cancer, the most common reaction was “my gosh, but you’re so young?”

And the truth here, even though many refuse to want to believe it, is that cancer does not care. Cancer knows no age.
It hits people every day of the year. It doesn’t take breaks for holidays or special events.

Cancer of any and all kinds is the second leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease.
That means 1 out of every 4 deaths is from cancer. For ovarian cancer alone, another woman is diagnosed every 24
minutes. And for young adults like me, 72,000 are diagnosed with cancer in the US alone-- one person every 8 minutes.  

However, there are brighter numbers. There are more than 30 million cancer survivors in the world today, and I hope
that number is increasing as we speak. In that hope, comes my desire to be a cancer advocate.

Now, I may contradict myself here for those of you who knew me throughout the heavy part of the journey. During
chemo, if I was having a good day-- light symptoms, minimal anxiety-- I wouldn’t associate with cancer. I refused to
call myself a cancer patient. I refused to think about it. And I refused to let others talk about it, which sometimes
didn’t come off in the nicest of ways.

But as the time went on during my survivorship, all I wanted to do was/is educate others through my story and through
what I know. I don’t think any survivor of any disease or situation should feel obligated to give back or help others.
Some people simply want to finish treatment and move on with life. That’s okay. We all survive as we know how.
Many people decide years after treatment to start volunteering, when they’re ready.

One day, when I’m ready, my goal is to join organizations and volunteer for nonprofits and special events, supporting
those in need any way I can. I say “when I’m ready” for  a multitude of reasons, but I think the most important one to
note (other than my current timeline) is the association-pains of going back. I’m positive there are plenty of
opportunities outside of the hospital where I received treatment, but the thought of immersing myself in a place where
I felt the most nauseas and vulnerable just doesn’t sound beneficial in any way right now.

Once I journal my experiences and uncover my feelings more, I may be able to cope better with surrounding myself
with sick people. As for now, I hope to advocate for cancer patients, survivors, family members, caregivers, and those
we lost by sharing my story and tips, inspiring and educating others, and being there for anyone who needs it through
this platform.

I’m pretty open about my cancer journey and post-treatment life. I realized early during treatment that sharing my
experiences might help others going through similar experiences, as well as those friends, family members and
caregivers also affected. Frankly, it’s the only way I know to be . . . having cancer wasn’t a choice I had, but using
that experience to help others is a choice I gladly make.

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