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I Use My Cancer Diagnosis to Help Others

Article

When I share my story and use my cancer diagnosis to help others, cancer becomes a “club” that’s a little more inviting.

I was not familiar with how many types of cancer there were until becoming diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in January 2019.

I felt like something was off with my body that I did not understand so I booked an appointment with my nurse practitioner. They called after the labs came back to let me know what the diagnosis was and I made an appointment to see an oncologist.

I went to two doctors before finding a specialist who understood my case. Of course, not everything has to do with the cancer, but I feel like sometimes I am not heard when sent to other doctors and must explain my story.

I was on a-wait-and-watch approach for about a year and half and nowam on treatment. I have good and bad days but knowthat I am fortunate that there is treatment available, and I can function.

The treatment also causes other side effects I must manage, such as fatigue, the rollercoaster of emotions, feeling like you will never be the same as you were before diagnosis, wondering if family and friends will understand and be able to help and so many more.

I now understand that all cancers are alike in the fact that you must be your own voice as you go through the many appointments and treatments. Please never stop being your own advocate. Do your research, talk with others who have the same diagnosis and read articles about different cases. Get a second opinion.

Each person who goes through a cancer diagnosis has a different path to take but we can learn from each other. No story or treatment is the same for any of us, but we all have a story.

I want other patients to know that they are not alone,they have joined a club no one wants to join but are now a part of. I have found that if you ask a cancer survivor or caregiver a question, they are more than willing to share their experience with you. I feel comfort in asking questions to help validate how I am thinking or feeling and know that I am not alone.

I use my cancer journey to help others. I speak at events, volunteer, drive for the American Cancer Road to Recovery and help host a Nutrition for Wellness for Cancer Support Community in my area. Sharing my experience and thoughts is hard but I know that I have helped someone in their journey tomake it better or easier.That is a “club” I want to be a part of.


This post was written and submitted by Hope Kasr. The article reflects the views of Hope Kasr and not of CURE®. This is also not supposed to be intended as medical advice.


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