Becky’s blog: On the road againJune 16, 2015
I am going to borrow from Shali in saying that it is with a mix of gratitude and sadness that I am announcing stepping down as a YACCtivist. This role has taught me a lot, and I have been happy to give back to a community that has given me so much. I look forward to seeing what someone else can bring to this role; there is always work to be done.
I joined Young Adult Cancer Canada in the initial implementation of the YACCtivist program. It has been an honour to be included in such an exciting new avenue. My role brought on a lot of personal challenges. I have faced going beyond my comfort zone in a variety of settings including — but not limited to — public speaking, writing on professional level that was new to me, and exposing a level of vulnerability and insight that I am still learning to do with even my closest friends. I have experienced more personal growth than I could ever express. I hope that I have been able to equally contribute to my YACC community.
As my final event as a YACCtivist I spoke at a conference being held for nurses, and I was invited to stay for the final presentation of the morning. I shared with them what being diagnosed at 17 was like, the kinds of support I found helpful, and where I felt there was room for improvement. I am always pleased and inspired by the work of our allies in the medical communities. I was approached by many nurses who truly want to know our perspectives, our challenges, and our successes so they may provide the best care possible. There is good work being done, and there are many people willing to help share the load.
It gave me an opportunity to reflect on the changes that have happened in cancer care since my diagnosis. I saw reflected the themes we talk about at Retreat and Survivor Conference: things are different for young adults; each person is truly and individual with very personal needs; there is a need to address the mental health needs during and following treatment; there are concerns and challenges surrounding fertility, return to work programs, child-care, and insurance. These are conversations, that to my knowledge and experience, we not being had during the time of my diagnosis and treatment.
I was introduced to YACC in 2010. The day I am writing this post is their 15th birthday. They have played an extremely powerful role in supporting and advocating for the young adult cancer community, and I know this community and organization will continue to thrive in the years to come.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it! I look forward to writing the occasional blog, and connecting with this community at local events, and through our social media.
It’s been a slice, take care and ciao for now!