Life for me has included backpacking in Moscow and eating live (jumping) shrimps in Saigon but nothing seems more insane to me than getting cancer. So much so, that I am compelled to share this story with the world.
Connecting with people has been made easy in my generation but even then, there are many things I wish I knew while going through this journey…
I wish I was a bit wiser and that I had been through much more in life to be able to have the strength and resilience to say, “Ok I have cancer. Now where do we go from here?” But nah.. I was a frisky, young adult who was not ready to sport a bald hairstyle. Let alone be confined to an oncology ward during the most festive times of the year.
I wish I knew what to say and what not to say to my loved ones. They too, carried the emotional and mental strains of seeing me sick. They were a reflection of what was going on inside of me and especially on those not so pretty days, it hurt to see them in pain too.
I wish that the timing of things could have been better. Not that there’s any acceptable timing for cancer to happen! But at merely 25, I haven’t peaked in my career of choice, I haven’t fully understood the nitty-gritty of insurance policies, I haven’t even crossed out enough on my bucket list and of course, I haven’t thought about whether I wanted to have kids or not. The silly assumption was that cancer generally occurred among the older demographics. So my timing for cancer was absurd to say the least.
As a millennial, we think we can plan so far ahead of ourselves. We think we’re invincible. But we’re not. Not really.
For me, life is never going to be the same. And it shouldn’t be because I’ve been given a second chance. A new outlook, a new normal and a new life all together.
Reconnecting is the most precious thing I’ve earned from this diagnosis. For a young adult who’s still exploring her self, it’s a true gift to be given a second shot at living life. And for that, I’m extremely grateful!