BJ was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in her early 20s and found she felt both isolated from her healthy, young adult peers and too old for resources available to younger kids with cancer.
“Your friends will be lovely and supportive, but sometimes they aren’t going to “get it” and that’s okay,” says BJ. “Lean on those who can truly empathize—because having people who understand the specific, unique changes will mean the world.” She recommends seeking out communities in your area or online who are in similar situations.
While BJ dealt with her own cancer, her father and best friend were also diagnosed, which changed her perspective on life completely. Now 30, she is out of the closet, married, living across the country and enjoying every second that she was told probably wouldn’t happen. Her biggest philosophy is to live; there’s a difference between being alive and living your life, and she chooses to live.
BJ views her cancer experience as:
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