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Making sense of cancer as a young adult

Thursday 21 February, 2013 by Sophie

Are you one of around 5000 young adult Australians living with cancer? Mel is; she bravely shares her story and tells us why she will be joining in the conversation at a free webinar to be held especially for people like her.   

Many people think cancer is an old person's disease. Yet, in July 2011, at age 24, I was diagnosed with a carcinoid tumour after being admitted to hospital with appendicitis.

Initially being so young, it was quite a shock; you never imagine going to hospital for appendicitis that you will be diagnosed with cancer. Explaining to my family and friends, especially my parents, that I had cancer was probably the most difficult part of my diagnosis. No health professional or expert can prepare you for that conversation.

I grieved for the loss of my health and I felt different from all my friends who were living a very different life. Fertility was also an issue which I had to think about at a stage of my life when having children was the last thing on my mind.  

It was hard going home after having treatment to process what had happened and how I was going to move on from that point. I had to think about moving away from my family and friends in Perth back to Melbourne. I was also concerned about returning to work and getting back on my feet financially. 

The psychological and emotional effects remain with you every day. It is not an experience that can be contained to a certain period of your life. I now urge all my friends not to ignore their health and visit their doctor if they feel something is not right.   

Nothing compares to chatting to others who understand what it's like to live with cancer at this stage of life. The webinar will be an easy way to connect with other young adults with cancer and hear from an expert some strategies to help us manage life with cancer, now and in the future.

If you're a young Australian aged between 25 and 40, you are invited to 'make sense of it' by joining a free webinar on Wednesday 6 March from 7pm to 8pm.

Chat with other young adults facing cancer. Experienced health psychologist and psycho-oncologist, Jane Fletcher, will also walk you through helpful strategies and tools to make sense of your 'new normal' life.

Register here. All you need is computer or other Internet enabled device (i.e. iPad, tablet or smartphone with internet access).  

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