An Unexpected Life After Cancer & Tools To Help Manage It

When asked how Step 5 (LIVEiT) of our Cancer Navigation Tool played a major part in her cancer journey, this is what Ashley has to say.

 ——————————Guest Blog ——————————

Cancer is a whirlwind.

In one day, I went from being a healthy 27-year-old woman, to a rare sarcoma patient in need of aggressive chemotherapy. My life went from a place of normalcy to a chaotic rush of doctor’s appointments, chemo treatments, and unrelenting nausea.  Through my disorientation, I had one singular focus: survive. Daily, I would countdown my treatments as I looked toward “normalcy”. “Just 17 more treatments, until I can go back to normal”. It was a rude awakening to reach the end of chemo and realize my “normal” no longer existed.

Now what?

No one prepared me for the aftermath of cancer. I learned quickly the focus of cancer is on active treatment, and not so much on preparing you to live life afterward. Even after treatment ends, the medical bills still come, your relationships may be strained, and you feel like you’re inhabiting the body of an alien. The trauma continues after treatment.

Fortunately, I’ve learned we don’t have to stay there.

By nature, we are resilient and able to overcome incredible hardship. We are able to heal. However, it’s important to recognize that healing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. During treatment, I had no idea there were resources available to assist and guide my caregivers and I in the areas of financial support, mental health and peer support, nutrition and beyond. I learned we don’t have to take this journey alone.

I am so thankful to SURVIVEiT®’s vision of a world free from the fear of cancer. I believe to eradicate this fear, we must account for the entire timeline of cancer, including survivorship. SURVIVEiT® sees the value in providing access to vetted resources, connecting patients with the stories of others, and easing the burdens that cause so much stress during an already stressful time.

Thank you SURVIVEiT® for seeing the patient.

Ashley Williams