One thing that sucks about having cancer in your 20’s is that you often don’t have a serious significant other and you live away from your parents. In my case, I’m single (as in not married, I do have a boyfriend—more on that later), I live alone—which I’m very proud of!—and my parents live in North Carolina, a six-hour drive away.
I’m a naturally independent person, and though I have amazing, wonderful friends who would be more than willing to accompany me to doctors appointments etc, there are just so many! I’ve been going to the doctor 2-4 times a week.
So, I titled this post with the question I did, because I have ended up going to a lot of appointments by myself. My parents went to my first surgical consultation with me, but all the other stuff, MRI, biopsies, other surgery consultations, fertility appointments, I’ve gone to by myself and it’s something that I have chosen to do.
So, I get that question a lot from healthcare peeps I encounter, “What’s your support system like?” It kind of frustrates me, but it really gets to a challenge that I think young people with cancer can face. Your twenties happen to be one of the most independent times of your life, especially your late twenties (for me at least). I finally am financially stable enough to afford to live by myself in my own apartment and have established a life for myself in a big city. When healthcare providers ask me this question, I explain, I have a strong support system, but this is my just my situation. Unfortunately, the most independent time of my life came at an inopportune time. And though my support system may not be obvious and visible at doctor appointments, it is there and it’s very strong.