Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 21

me while I started picking up the pieces
and getting to work.
It has now been five years since that day I
got that call, and I am still an active member
of YASU (Young Adult Survivors United).
This group of people continues to be some
of the most beautifully strong warriors that
I have ever had the privilege of meeting.
We have lost some members and mourn
them every day, but I watch in awe as we
all continue to support each other and lift
one another up when we need it the most.
People who are weak and broken from their
cancer and treatment show up constantly
to find love and support in one another.
They are as much my tribe as my friends
and chosen family.
I am now married to that incredible
man who held me as I cried all of those
times. He was beside me every step of the
way and holding my hand at every doctor's
appointment. My friends have been there
too, holding me up and catching me when
I'd fall. I am so humbled by the amount of
love I have in my life and the support of
these amazing people who found me at my
darkest and loved me until I loved myself.
I am mostly whole again.
While I still haven't fully reconciled my
thoughts on what happens after we die,
I don't feel that emptiness anymore. The
cracks are patched over with the love of
my chosen family and friends as well as
my cancer family. I found the courage to
finally come out to my family and let them
know that my life is filled with joy and contentment. It was the nail in the coffin for
any kind of future contact from them, but
it also was the most liberating thing that
I've done, and I know that I will be fine. I
beat cancer, and I can certainly handle this.
If you are reading this and somewhere
in your cancer journey trying to find a way
out of that darkness that comes along with
it, I cannot recommend enough to find a
support group. Even if you don't have all
of the answers right in front of you, it is
indescribably empowering to have a tribe of
people who understand and can humanize
the struggle along with you. Their support is
solely there to help you get through it. And
if you are a young adult dealing with cancer
and you're looking for a community, please
come and join us at YASU. We'd love to have
you become part of our chosen family! l

WARRIOR
BY K E ATON W I L L I A M S

My name is Keaton Williams and I am a
cancer survivor.
I was 19 years old, newly out of high school
and thriving through college life. I was working at Disneyland, going out with friends, dating; everything was perfect. I was as happy as I
thought I could be. Life seemed almost perfect.
I had a plan. I had a goal. I had a roadmap.
Everything was set in stone...until it wasn't.
I noticed over time that my nose seemed to
be extremely stuffy and would drain frequently. It came to a point where the drainage was
inhibiting my day to day life and even became
so bad that I couldn't breathe out of my right
nostril. I ended up going to my primary care

physician, who told me it was a sinus infection.
I was given antibiotics and sent on my way.
This would be a repeated process for the next
five months as we would try to fix the " sinus
infection. " One day, I was in class and leaned
over, resting my head on my hand. I felt a
lump on my neck. I showed my mom when
I got home and she just thought the sinus
infection was getting worse, as lymph nodes
become swollen through sinus infections and
that is what the lump looked like. She thought
it was similar to the sinus infection my sister
had, who is also a cancer survivor. My sister
needed sinus surgery to correct the infection,
so we thought it was best for me to see an
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Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - December 2020

Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 1
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 3
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 4
Elephants And Tea - December 2020 - 5
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