Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 9

others just like me - being in a space and
place where others just get it!
After active treatment there were a few organizations that I got involved with that I felt had
people who were " just like me. " Organizations
like Living Beyond Breast Cancer's Young
Adult Initiative and Young Survivor Coalition. Both organizations specifically focused
on breast cancer, but also took an interest in
the young adult perspective to breast cancer.
But it wasn't until I found YACS, now Young
Adult Survivor's United (YASU) that I felt like
I found my people!! YASU is an organization
that I came in as a lost and hurt YA cancer
patient and am now a thriving survivor trying
to make a difference in the AYA and African
American cancer space. The founder Stephanie
accepted me with open arms and to this day
is a lifelong friend!
I honestly don't know where I would be right
now as a young adult breast cancer survivor
if I hadn't found my herd. Yes, my oncology
team was exceptional every step of my journey. My surgical oncologist easing my mind in
the very beginning that I wasn't going to die
despite my diagnosis, my medical oncology
team who to this very day saves my sanity year
after year and lastly my radiology oncology
team who became like family during the daily
visits for the 6 weeks I had treatment. During
my active treatment they were the herd that
saved my life!
But let's be honest, they never prepare you
for the " after " and what life will be like once
you are no longer in their daily or weekly
care. I had to buck up and find my people, find
those like me, who unlike other YA people in "
normal " life, could relate to chemo induced
infertility before the age of 40, the 2nd /3rd
degree burns from a machine that is supposed to save your life or what dating life as
a 30 something year old looks like when your
opening statement is " breast cancer baddie,
want to know more just swipe right! " No one
has ever gotten me like a fellow young adult
cancer survivor!!
Finding my herd has been so largely instrumental in who I am as a young adult breast
cancer survivor today. I found my advocacy
voice in spaces where there were YA cancer
patients just like me! I know with reassurance that I wouldn't be the fierce breast
cancer advocate I am today if I didn't have
the push and support of people like me, who
just get what it looks like to navigate young
adult cancer. l

YOL A N DA' S M IS SION IS TO SE E A N E N D TO T H E R AC I A L DISPA R I T I E S A F R IC A N
A M E R IC A N BR E A S T C A NC E R PAT I E N T S FAC E A N D TO E NSU R E E V E RY YOU NG
A DU LT DI AGNOSE D W I T H C A NC E R K NOWS T H E Y A R E NOT A L ON E . I N 2 018 ,
SH E C R E AT E D A BL O G A N D P OD C A S T (T H IS E XC E P T IONA L JOU R N E Y T H ISE XC E P T IONA LJOU R N E Y.C OM) TO SH A R E H E R S TORY A N D TO H E L P OT H E R S
T E L L T H E I R S . YOL A N DA IS A L S O I N T H E PRO C E S S OF W R I T I NG H E R F I R S T B O OK .
YOL A N DA IS NOW C A NC E R-F R E E A N D E NC OU R AGE S A L L SH E M E E T S BY DE C L A R I NG :
" I A M A M I R AC L E! DE SPI T E W H AT I T L O OK S L I K E - I F I C A N M A K E I T, YOU
C A N M A K E I T! F I N D W H AT GI V E S YOU HOPE . " FOL L OW YOL A N DA J M U R PH Y, @
T H ISE XC E P T IONA LJOU R N E Y, ON FAC E B O OK , I NS TAGR A M A N D @ T EJ P OD C A S T ON
T W I T T E R . FOR SPE A K I NG E NG AGE M E N T S , SE S SIONS OR J US T TO BE I N TOUC H, SH E
C A N BE R E AC H E D AT H E L L O@ T H ISE XC E P T IONA LJOU R N E Y.C OM . YOU C A N A L S O
W R I T E TO P O B OX 2 61, T U RT L E C R E E K , PA 1514 5.

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2021

9


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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
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