An Introduction to ‘Cocktails and Chemo,’ a Young Breast Cancer Survivor’s Guide

An Introduction to ‘Cocktails and Chemo,’ a Young Breast Cancer Survivor’s Guide
Ten years ago I wouldn’t have pictured my life this way. At 22 I was planning my wedding. It was the dawn of an innocent life of health and bliss ahead. But fate has a way of testing the boundaries of our limitations; it will bring you crashing to your knees under the weight of heavy expectations. The past four years threw me down a different path. Short version: Divorce, moved across the country to a state where I knew no one, and I got breast cancer. This all happened before I turned 30. I hit the jackpot at life! Although I’m on the opposite spectrum of what I imagined my life would be, I love it. A lot has changed. Yet, I am more "me" than I have ever felt. Here I am at 32, writing my first column for Breast Cancer News. It is not something I had imagined 10  years ago, but it’s a very pleasant deviation from my 22-year-old dreams! In the past two years I’ve had seven major surgeries, six rounds of chemo, seven nights in a hospital, three MRIs, two PET scans, one round of IVF, and a bazillion needle sticks. I have had so many doctors' appointments and tests that I’ve lost count. My life as a young cancer survivor looks very different from my friends and colleagues with whom I grew up. Most of them are married, living in a mini-mansion in suburbia with enough kids to field a soccer team. Sure, I get a little twitch
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  1. Michele Gavaletz says:

    Wow Susan! I can’t imagine it at your young age. I was diagnosed at 66 (2 years ago) and I can only say that perhaps starting at a younger age you may not waste any of your life on things that really don’t matter to you. Cancer certainly gives you a new and clearer perspective on what’s important in this life. Good for you – I’m rooting for you all the way.

  2. Jean says:

    I love your article. And feel it really speaks to us young breast cancer patients. Thank you for sharing and for being such a positive advocate!

  3. Maraidh says:

    Loved this article. The story is similar to mine….divorced, with a tiny child, and a Stage 4 dx…all before age 30. I am here to say that I survived and THRIVED. This is my 27th year of being a kick-ass survivor. Every single day is precious. My baby is grown and married. Has life been easy? Perfect? Hell no, but life is beautiful and each day is a gift. Peace and love.

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