The YACC community is filled with talented, enthusiastic, interesting people who share great photos and messages on Instagram, so we decided to let someone “take over” our account once a month to shed some light on how they are affected by young adult cancer. Since these stories are important and awesome, we are also posting a wrap-up here on our website once the takeover is complete.
Our latest guest ‘grammer was Dani Taylor (@daniyells89). Dani’s takeover shows how she navigates life as a twenty-something with colorectal cancer, classes, volunteer commitments, and everything else young adults deal with.
Hi everyone! I’m Dani, and in 2013 I was diagnosed with stage iiia rectal cancer. Sometimes I say colorectal cancer when in polite company, but getting real with it I had a big old tumour in my booty. I’ve been out of treatment and living in Toronto as of January 2015, but prior to that I was living in Sarnia with my parents and receiving care at London Health Sciences. Very amped to be taking over today, but I’m about to start my hour long bus commute up to York University. Isn’t Toronto life so glam?
These are my morning essentials. Since treatment my skin has been hella dry. I have to drink several litres of water a day and stay regimented to keep my skin from flaking away. Missing from here? My SPF protection which I’ve loaded into my foundation and primer. I’ve got that cancer fear alive and well.
Welcome to York University, more specifically the department of Social Work. I’m taking an accelerated BSW in Critical Social Work, and I’m hoping to be Karine when I grow up. It’s a great program so far; it focuses on being aware of oppression and power in our society. I know that cancer experiences vary greatly across age, gender, sexuality, race, culture, etc. It’s great to learn the tools to dismantle oppressive practices!
Part of where I learn to be a social worker is in my volunteering at Princess Margaret Hospital. Many YACCers will be familiar with this place from their treatment. I find it very empowering to choose to spend time here and use my experience to help others. I volunteer in radiation because it was the piece of my treatment I struggled with the most.
This is my YACC family from Retreat Yourself 2014. I’ve come such a long way since then. It’s wild to look back at how isolated I was before YACC. Meeting people like Karine and Nicole further enforced that social work is where I want to be. It’s really helped to give my life direction after illness.
In my purse? Spare underwear and a diaper disposal bag. A year ago? A diaper and special toilet paper and cream and a disposal bag. Two years ago? An arsenal of ostomy supplies, flanges, bags, adhesives, powder, tape. It’s a reality of this disease that my digestive system took a hit. But look at the progress I’m making. A year from now? Who knows where I will be.
I’m gonna log off now! I have school today from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., plus that hour-long commute home. What I’m struggling with the most now is fatigue and being able to remain competitive within my program. Last year, I finished my previous degree limping to the finish line, but I graduated Summa Cum Laude. I’ll be doing the same thing next year! Thanks for joining me everyone, I’m gonna grab a nap between classes.
Big thank you to Dani for her amazing takeover! We always learn so much about those in our network, and they really help to add a little more fuel to the fire.
Are you interested in hosting your own takeover? Get in touch with us at [email protected]!