Wisdom and Wit For Young Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

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Imagine. You are young, married with four sons, full of energy and gorgeous. You find a lump on your breast. It tests positive for cancer. Your world turns upside down. You feel lost. You have radiation, reconstruction, complications. It’s all complicated. Where do you turn for support?

It happens more than you think. Breast cancer affects women (and men) of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. It’s hard on everyone, but especially hard for younger women who may be of childbearing age or raising children, or who are single and dating, or starting a new career. You feel shot down in the prime of your life. How do you pick yourself back up? For yourself. For your family.

Thankfully, there are some solid support communities to help younger women (under 45) navigate their journey. I will provide a list of a few I recommend at the end of this blog.

Ann Marie and her family.

Ann Marie and her family had to face her breast cancer together. Photo: Genevieve Fridley (www.stupiddumbbreastcancer.com)

Ann Marie Otis is a great example. She’s founder of Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer which she calls “a fierce and unconventional initiative to promote awareness, early detection, and advocacy, with a special focus on how the disease impacts younger people.” Her blog is frank, funny and sincere.  Ann Marie really gets things off her chest, and the photos taken by Genevieve Fridley are revealing and sensitive.

Photo of Ann Marie by Genevieve Fridley

Photo of Ann Marie by Genevieve Fridley

Ann Marie’s an energetic advocate and public speaker.  Since its inception in 2012, Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer has raised and contributed over $50,000 to a variety of breast cancer organizations, including Stand Up to Cancer, Duke Hospital, Wilmot Cancer Center, the Upstate Cancer Center, CancerConnects, Personal P.Ink and the Maureen’s Hope Foundation.

Fearless Fabulous Ann Marie Otis

Fearless Fabulous Ann Marie Otis

Ann Marie’s work doesn’t stop with breast cancer. This social media wizard runs community management for Lyfebulb, whose founder, Dr. Karen Hehenberger, has been a guest on Fearless Fabulous You! (click here to listen to the show) and now for Wisdo.com, a fabulous new community support group to help you cope with  a myriad of life changing situations, from a cancer diagnosis to HIV, from adoption to addiction, from coming out of the closet to coping with loss. Contributors are people who’ve been down that road and who share their wisdom to help you face your choices with confidence.

This is just one example of the first person videos you will find on Wisdo. This one with Stage 4 breast cancer survivor, Brittany, diagnosed at age 18,  reminds you that cancer does not discriminate by age or by background. We all have to support each other and follow our inner wisdom about making choices for our health. Facebook: facebook.com/wisdobc

Hear from Ann Marie Otis Monday, July 4, 4pm EST on W4WN. It will be a lively conversation to say the least! I’ll also share my fab and health food and drink finds at the Summer Fancy Food Show coming to your store shelves later this year. Tip: Chickpeas, freeze dried fruits, and flavored vinegar waters and savory grab and go treats. This show will be permanently podcast to iHeart.com and the free iHeart App at this link (under Shows and Personalities)

Fearless Fabulous You!

Inspiring women around the world with expert tips on healthy living. Podcast permanently to iHeart.com and the free iHeart App. Twitter@MightyMelanie  Instagram@MelanieFabulous  Facebook@FearlessFabulousMelanie

 

Resources for You

I’m selective about organizations I recommend. They have to be factual, supportive and upbeat- no pity parties or angry rants. Here is a short list of resources for younger women. You can find more targeting specific groups on my website: www.melanieyoung.com under resources and in my book, Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide.

Any cancer:

IHadCancer.com  @iHadCancer Founder Mailet Lopez was a guest on Fearless Fabulous You! (Click here to listen to her episode)

StupidCancer  @StupidCancer

Breast Cancer:

Young Survival Coalition  @YSCBUZZ

Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer @annmarieg4

Tiger Lily Foundation @tigerlilycares

Ovarian Cancer:

SHARE Cancer Support (also breast cancer) @SHAREing

Many Life Challenges:

www.Wisdo.com (and other life challenges) @wisdobc

MELANIE SEATED

Want more fabulous insights? Connect with me at www.melanieyoung.com   Twitter@mightymelanie Instagram@MelanieFabulous and Facebook@FearlessFabulousMelanie

Books by Melanie Young. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Cure Diva.

Handy checklists, helpful questions to ask and survivors' tips to help newly diagnosed women with breast cancer make confident, informed decisions on their treatment, managing side effects and and looking and feel their best.

Handy checklists, helpful questions to ask and survivors’ tips to help newly diagnosed women with breast cancer make confident, informed decisions on their treatment, managing side effects and and looking and feel their best.

An inspirational book with Melanie's Five Paths to reclaiming your sense of self and redefining success and happiness on your terms.

An inspirational book with Melanie’s Five Paths to reclaiming your sense of self and redefining success and happiness on your terms.

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