Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 8

Reflection

FINDING YOUR HERD

Finding
My Herd
and My
Voice
BY YOL A N DA M U R PH Y

Since childhood I have always wondered where I " fit " in. You
know, the regular teenage angst of wanting to be accepted and
loved, but at the same time still trying to figure out who you
really are. Yeah, that was me early on. See, I was adopted as a
baby. My amazing parents thought it would be best to tell me
as early as I could comprehend that, although I was different
and my beginnings where different that I was special none the
less. To my Mom I was always her " special girl " and I knew they
loved me, but there was always a sense of disconnect.
Being adopted and knowing young however, gave me a greater sense of love and affection because that meant my parents chose
me! They could have chosen any child, but as
they tell the story - my Dad saw me in foster
care and just knew I was his daughter!! I grew
up in a loving and caring home, you know,
the " typical " African American family where
cousins were really sisters/brothers and your
Mom straightening your hair by the stove
was a rite of passage. I couldn't have asked
for a better family!
Growing up I learned to find comfort
in t he un k now n a nd t hat your fa mi ly,
those that love you aren't just connected
by blood, but by love. My family on both

8

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2021

sides didn't treat me any different - most
didn't find out I was adopted until we were
adults! My life as an adoptee taught me
that a genetic connection isn't what makes
you family - it is the love, acceptance and
honesty that others have for you when you
are just being you!
Why do I bring up my adoptive past when
it comes to my breast cancer diagnosis? So
glad you asked!
I think a lot of young adult cancer patients/survivors can relate to the feeling
of not fitting in. Going to oncology appointments, treatments and follow ups and
seeing people in the waiting rooms that
look like our Grandparents. It's a sense of

disconnect, a sense of not fitting in and
brings up a sense of longing that I think we
can equate to from our teenage years. We
are going through a traumatic/emotional
episode in life and all we really want are
people who just understand what the hell
we are going through!
Being diagnosed at 36 of breast cancer
totally changed my mindset around my own
immortality. It made me realize even more
that tomorrow is not promised and that I
need to live every day to the fullest. That
the timeframes to do things we thought we
had don't really exist, time is precious. After
my active treatment I yearned again to find
someone who just got it, someone with whom
I could relate. Someone that was different
from the " normal cancer patient, " that would
still love and accept me just as I was and that
I could really tell honestly my story.
After my diagnosis, I yearned to find a
space where I could be just me and all that
came with me after diagnosis - the fear of
reoccurrence, the literal pains of everyday
life, the anxiety of yearly scans and the unanswered questions of what my future holds.
Finding my people, finding my herd became
important because I knew I couldn't continue as I was - a 30 something breast cancer
patient that needed to find a connection to


http://www.ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM

Elephants And Tea - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - March 2021

Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 1
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 3
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 4
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 5
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 6
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 7
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 8
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 9
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 10
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 11
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 12
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 13
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 14
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 15
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 16
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 17
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 18
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 19
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 20
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 21
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 22
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 23
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 24
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 25
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 26
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 27
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 28
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 29
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 30
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 31
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 32
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 33
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 34
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 35
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 36
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 37
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 38
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 39
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 40
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 41
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 42
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 43
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 44
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 45
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 46
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 47
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 48
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 49
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 50
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 51
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 52
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - Cover3
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com