Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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Shannon (Breast Cancer Survivor)

Shannon (Breast Cancer Survivor)

Symptoms & Diagnosis

My name is Shannon. I am one of the youngest breast cancer survivors. Choosing to become a breast cancer survivor is a brave and courageous thing to do. There are many emotions and questions you may face during this time, including anger and regret. When my doctor diagnosed me with breast cancer at age 25, my world stopped. I had a million questions and was overwhelmed by the volume of information at every turn. I found myself wondering if there was anyone else like me who could relate to what I was going through. It was a shock to my system and it caused me to pause my life while I went through surgical procedures and chemotherapy treatments. Even today, I still have occasional radiation treatments and check-ups with my doctor. My journey has been difficult at times and there has been uncertainty as well as much unknown information thrown at me during this time. I love God, my husband Josh, travel, crafts, and have found that saving money can also be fun!

Side Effects & Challenges

I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had to go through chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy and other medicines. Even though I had several complications while healing from cancer, I am now more focused on body care and taking the best of modern-day supplements to ensure that it stays away from me. Being a breast cancer survivor, I know how important it is to have great body care through healthy eating and exercising.

In my journey of treatment, I made sure the doctors had a positive and transparent approach to my health care. The only thing that could have gone wrong during this phase was me losing my will to fight against cancer. The side effects of this disease such as lack of strength and energy, pain in the body parts where I underwent surgeries and treatment, as well as hair loss had affected me deeply. But then again, a positive attitude can take you through anything.

Support System & Caregiver

Prior to my diagnosis, I had a lot of other things to complete. It was not easy for me, I wanted to fight it alone. As soon as I thought about it, all of a sudden people started showing up. It was really great to see my friends and family members offering help and care to me. Now, I am on the recovery path and everything has moved along very well.

The doctor who was treating me, I saw how wonderful I felt, despite the illness. My family were upfront with the doctor about our fears with cancer, as well as the tasks we had left to do prior to treatment. The doctor really believed in us and encouraged us to continue on with our lives by staying active, even though it was challenging. The health caregivers also encouraged us to find support from our friends, who railed around us and made sure that we always had meals prepared for when we were out of energy or just needed a break from cooking.

I am so grateful for the help I received from my family and friends. They are great! They showered me with love and support throughout this trail. I was impressed with their dedication to their duties as caregivers, their willingness to help out where they could and their attention to detail. My family made me feel like they were genuinely concerned about me. I have never believed in miracles until I received a miracle cure from them. The end result is that everything went very smoothly.

Post Cancer & Future Goals

Cancer has been a tough journey for me, and I have learned a lot. I have learned that if you just go with the flow and do what comes to you naturally, everything will be okay. My plans are to continue taking good care of my body, mind and soul so that I can be healthy and enjoy life to the fullest.

You will be shocked to know that a lot of people are not happy with their lives. People might have felt trapped, confused, or lost and need someone who can guide them through the problem. There is nothing wrong if you are struggling with something. No one should judge you for it, but everyone has their own unique struggles and mistakes in life which makes us stronger and enjoy more about what we love.

I learned to be patient, encouraging, and understanding. In return, I started to see the beauty in simple things and began to appreciate life more. As I continue to live my life, I will overcome whatever comes my way because I know that there’s always an end to every beginning. This experience has been an eye opener for me because it’s changed me as a person. Now that it’s over, I am excited for what is next yet nervous at the same time because there will surely be trials along the way.

Habit changes and self-care are both essential for long-term health. Wellness starts first in the mind, and then progresses to your habits, diet, and lifestyle. As you put these things into practice, you’ll quickly see other benefits of making simple changes in your life. Remember that every change you make is for the better of yourself; and with time, these small changes can make an impact on how you live out your days!

Some Lessons That I Learned

Sadly, along with any positive news there is always something to be worried about. In my case, the cancer had spread to other parts of my body based on the lymph node involvement. It was going to be a tough road ahead but I knew I just had to take each day at a time and be strong throughout. I enjoyed having surgery but hated the process of waiting in between for test results and follow-ups. It was stressful because I wanted to get back to living life as normal as possible, but couldn’t until I knew everything was okay!

Breast cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The treatments are aimed at killing cancer cells in the breast, chest wall, underarm lymph nodes, or in the lungs.

One of the most important lessons I have learnt is to never give up on yourself or your loved ones. You may feel like giving up sometimes, but if you stand strong and stay positive, everything will work out in the end. My cancer diagnosis came at a point in my life where I was going through some difficult times with family problems and health issues.

As you can see, cancer is not a ‘one size fits all’ disease. Every case of cancer is unique and requires individualized care, including treatment decisions based on your particular prognosis.

Parting Message

I am no expert in anything. From a time of darkness and despair, I have learned several lessons about how to live with breast cancer at a young age, not just survive it. Life after breast cancer is definitely not what I pictured when I was diagnosed with this disease. However, everything went smoothly!  

From the moment I was diagnosed with breast cancer at only 25-year-old, I felt like my world had stopped spinning. But soon after, I found myself back in the battle of my life fighting for my health and life. Most young women face so many unique and challenging circumstances because we are often still working. In addition, the diagnosis itself can be difficult to digest as you try to make sense of what kind of cancer you have and how to fight it.

Yes, it seems like it was just yesterday but it has been two full years of survival and now recovery. Through my experiences and through reading and talking to other women, I have learned some lessons that might be helpful for you or your loved ones who are facing breast cancer head on or know someone who is with this disease – because they don’t deserve to feel alone in their fight against breast cancer.

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