Diagnosis: Stage 2B Breast Cancer
Instagram username: @HeyyJules_
Blog/website: http://thepessimistsguidetocancer.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thepessimistsguidetocancer
I was diagnosed almost two years ago. Turning 30 is already difficult enough, but hearing the words “you have cancer” definitely made it the worst year of my life. I was shocked because it’s not something you expect at any age, but especially not in the prime of your life. Getting cancer at 30 just doesn’t seem normal, and that feeling was confirmed every time I walked through the cancer center and everyone was 20-30 years older than I was. I felt scared, alone, and a bit like an alien. It wasn’t until I went to social media that I realised that there was, unfortunately because you don’t ever want to see too many people join this demographic, a bigger community for young survivors than I thought. I found groups on Facebook, and journeys to follow on Instagram.
Social media can be the source of a lot of bad, but it actually was amazing in my time of need. Though I am out of the treatment phase of my journey, I am now entering reconstruction and survivorship, which I think is one of the hardest parts. I didn’t deal with the aftermath of treatment very well, and though I am coming out of the woods of depression and general malaise slowly but surely, I still have a lot of work to do. That’s why I like sharing my journey. I may not be sunshine and roses, but I want to be as real as I can. I want other survivors to feel like if they can relate to someone, and while some respond to extreme positivity, others can feel alienated by it. I am here for those who feel alienated by it.
Resources that helped Juli:
I found that my cancer center social workers were amazing resources. They really provide a lot, from therapy to grants for expenses such as lymphedema sleeves. I also really enjoyed YSC (young survivors coalition) because they allowed me to meet women my age struggling with the same diseases.