Monday, March 30, 2009

Help Support Young Adult Cancer Week

Monday, March 30, 2009

Current mood: Hopeful

As a young adult cancer survivor, I am always looking for ways to get the word out about how left behind "we" are when it comes to cancer research. The stats don't lie. The stats are SCARY, especially for a young adult who is facing cancer.

Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week is coming up April 5-11 and I am urging everyone I know to please go to this website and send a letter to either your Governor or The President.

This is what the proclamation looks like:

Dear Governor/President ___________:

I am writing to you today to request you officially designate National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week (April 5-11, 2009) in the great state of _______. A sample proclamation and request has been sent to you and we hope you wil consider signing it and helping to draw attention to Young Adults with Cancer.

The cancer communications organization, Vital Options International, is a California based 501(c)(3) and was founded in 1983 as the first support and advocacy organization specifically for young adults with cancer between the ages of 17- 40. On April 4, 2003, to commemorate Vital Options’ 20th anniversary, National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week was launched. Since then, a growing number of organizations have joined Vital Options in this annual effort.

The Problem
More than 70,000 young adults in their 20s and 30s are diagnosed with cancer every year, eight times more often than in patients under 15 years old

Cancer is the leading disease killer among 20- to 39-year olds

Young adults with cancer have had less survival improvement than either younger or older patients

Strides made in cancer treatment have bypassed young adults; in the 25 to 35 age group, survival rates have not increased since 1975

The survival gap for young adults is not improving, it is getting worse

In order to address these critical issues, the LIVESTRONG™ Young Adult Alliance has been formed as a coalition of young adult organizations committed to coordinating initiatives that will improve survival rates and quality of life for young adults with cancer between the ages of 15 and 40. The Alliance is a program of the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Young adults are a distinct patient group with unique clinical and psychosocial needs. An official designation of National Young Adult Cancer Awareness Week will enable us to accelerate our efforts.

I appreciate your time and consideration of this proclamation. Should you wish to find out more information, please visit

Thank you

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What day do you celebrate?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Current mood: Confused

OK...I'm throwing this question out to all my cancer friends. What day do you celebrate your cancercrapness freeness?

I have so many dates and I'm not sure which one to make my official celebration day.

I was diagnosed on March 8, 2007, but to me that doesn't seem like a day to celebrate.

I had my first surgery to remove the cancer on March 28, 2007, but I would find out later that the cancer had spread and that I needed a mastectomy, so I don't want to celebrate that day.

I finished my chemo on October 2, 2007, that seems like a good day to celebrate but I still needed to have my Herceptin treatment every three weeks for the next year. I would have to go back to the same place I had my chemo so I always felt like I was stepping back in time.

I had my bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction on November 22, 2007 and my Doctor gave me a clean pathology report on November 27, 2007, so do I celebrate that day?

My last Herceptin treatment was June 29, 2008, do I consider that the end?

I just went to see my oncologist last week and she wants me to have my port removed. That seems like the final step, do I consider that the end and time to celebrate?

Of course every day without cancer is a day to celebrate! I'm just not sure what to consider my cancer anniversary.

So to all my cancer friends, I ask you....what day do you celebrate?

Would love for you to leave me your comments.