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.
Our fourth guest ‘grammer is Kathy Stock of @kaddylynn! Kathy got involved with YACC at a time when she thought she was so over cancer, and learned she kind of wasn’t. Since then, she has become an engaged member of our community, our Big Cancer Hook-up co-host, our house band, and more!
We want to capture these stories in one place, so we’ll also post a wrap-up here on our website once the takeover is complete. Kathy, take it away!
Hey everybody! My name is Kathy Stock and it’s time for another Young Adult Cancer Canada Instagram takeover! We’ve seen some pretty amazing takeovers this year: One from an incredible supporter named Bonnie, and two from my amazing friends, Jody and Elise, who are thriving while living with cancer. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2013 and I have been in remission for over 2 1/2 years. I’ll be giving you a sneak peek into what my life looks like now.
Let’s get this party started!
This is my crew! I have been blissfully and happily married to my amazing husband, Jason, since 2003. We have two incredible boys; Caden is 10 and Preston just turned six this week. Being a parent while going through cancer treatment had its challenges, but these guys kept me motivated and energized in a way that I might not have been without them. They’re funny, crazy, handsome, smart, kind, beautiful boys.
Lastly, we have Spidercat and Princess Moo Moo. These crazy cats make my heart happy.
Since it’s Thursday, I decided I would do a throwback to 2013. That first photo was taken 10 days after my first chemo treatment. I still had my hair but I did not have many white blood cells so it was doctor’s orders for me to wear a protective mask whenever I went. So I made it a little fancy.
The second photo was taken a few months into treatment at the ambulatory treatment unit at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s. That was my scene every two weeks between February and July of that year.
Unfortunately, weight gain was a side effect of my chemotherapy. That coupled with being sedentary for almost a year left me with an extra 25 pounds. I have maintained that weight and then some via BBQs with friends, ice cream with my kids, and wing date nights with my husband. As much as I would love to be thin, I’m really enjoying who I am now: healthy, happy, and well fed.
These are my souvenirs from my year with cancer. I have a scar the top of my chest from the surgical biopsy that confirmed my diagnosis. I also have a scar on the right side of my chest from the port-a-catheter that was inserted under my skin, allowing for an easier entry point for blood work and IVs. Some days these scars make me sad. Most days they make me feel like a boss.
I never struggled with anxiety until my cancer diagnosis. Now, anxiety can spring up when I least expect it. Faith, prayer, and making time for meditation help to bring my thoughts back to the present moment and remember what’s important. Playing music and volunteering with my church also bring me a lot of joy which helps to keep the anxiety monster from rearing its ugly head.
I am a professional singer, song writer, and performing musician. Music has always been an outlet for me, and singing my favourite songs never gets old. I’ve written a few songs about my cancer experience that will be released on an album sometime in the next 12 months. In the mean time, here’s a snippet of my song, “Overcome.”
It’s been a blast hanging out with you on Instagram today. Time for a cup of herbal tea in my favourite mug before I call it a day. Huge THANKS to YACC for everything they do for young adults dealing with or living after cancer. Good night, friends!
Please email [email protected] if you are interested in learning more in taking over our account for a day!