Hello Lovely Ladies, out there! My name is Anna Wassman and I am 25 years old. I would like to share my story of Breast Cancer; I was recently diagnosed at such a young age. Though I never wanted my cancer diagnosis to come in the way of life but then I would like to raise my voice to create awareness specially among young women. Through this experience, I have learned to become more patient and the little things don’t bother me as much anymore whether it is waiting at a hospital or undergoing treatment for cancer. I really developed empathy for others realizing what I am going through may be hard, but I know everyone else too is facing some type of hardship in their lives.
Honestly, I was blind to the realities of breast cancer since it wasn’t in my family history at all. Its only after diagnosis that I realized that it requires staying at the hospital for long hours every day and going through every type of imaging test and fuel your body with chemicals to avoid chances of reoccurrence. Breast cancer is so much more than a simple treatment to help fight the disease, it really means losing your entire identity as a woman and still trying to stay mentally and physically strong.
I have been so lucky to have survived after the diagnosis due to the support of so many amazing non-profit groups like Gilda’s Club Chicago, Imerman’s Angels, Susan G Komen and so many more that I felt like I have found a whole community around me. Each organization has helped me find a group of young women who has a similar story, or gift me a beautiful scarf to have during my treatment. Most importantly, I thrived by not giving up on the education and career goals I had set for myself before diagnosis while I was in treatment.
I think breast cancer has made me more mindful like doing self-care: meditation, yoga and change to a healthier diet to take a better care of myself. I do understand when we are diagnosed at such a young age, it really changes how we develop, our career paths, our relationships, and our families. I really think if we talk about it, we can help each other get through this and instill hope in their lives to overcome this situation and feel better. Thus, I would advise other young breast cancer survivors who had undergone breast cancer treatment to keep going and give yourself that time and space till your body feels completely normal. This would help you to find your own personal strength and sense of love for yourself even in this critical condition.