Ashlyn is 22 years old and was diagnosed at 21 with cancer. She no longer has a stomach because of this! She enjoys anything outdoors and being with her family.
What was your cancer diagnosis and how was it discovered?
Stage 3 stomach cancer( adenocarcinoma). After 3 years of going to the doctor due to vomiting blood and being told it was a female problem, stomach ulcers, or the stomach flu, a doctor finally did an endoscopy and they discovered my tumor.
What is the biggest piece of advice you have for newly diagnosed patients?
Join support groups! I found multiple support groups through Facebook and found people who were in the same position as me. Being 22 with stomach cancer isn’t very common, but I was able to find a group of women who were going through the same thing and it is so amazing to have people to talk to about what I’m going through who actually understand how it is!
What is the most important thing you learned from your cancer experience?
Listen to your body. After going to the doctor for the first few years and being told it was nothing, I had just accepted the fact that I was going to vomit blood for the rest of my life. I myself knew something wasn’t right, I stayed persistent and was able to find a doctor who actually listened. Had I given up, I wouldn’t be here today.
What was the most difficult aspect of organizing your care/community?
I live in a small town. I had to travel 3 hours to get to my cancer center, so between regular appointments, chemo appointments, and surgeries, it was always difficult to plan around that. Especially during winter months when the roads weren’t ideal.
What are three words you would use to describe your cancer experience?
Excruciating, tiring, horrifying
Are there products, services, experiences or physicians that you couldn't be without?
Dr. Soares- University of Utah
Dr. Skarda- Christus Good Shepard of Longview
Both doctors were phenomenal, could never thank them enough
Interested in connecting with Ashlyn?
Follow her on Instagram @ashlyn_edwards3 or send her a message at firstname.lastname@example.org
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