Book Club: Everything Changes, Chapter 3

chapter-3

Welcome to the comments and discussion of Chapter 3: Single of the book, Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s!  Catch up on Chapter 1: Ramenonmics and Chapter 2: When G-d Things Happen to Sick People.

Let’s get started!  Chapter 3!

Carly:

A few things really stuck out to me in this chapter…

Memories

Post C world, there are some things you just forget about. It’s hard to remember all your feelings and experiences when healthy, let alone while being sick. Many things can jog your memory – a place, person, conversation, perhaps even a smell.

A few weeks back, I had a MRI for some lower back pain and when I was getting scanned (holding still, trying not to move or breathe too hard – I didn’t want to be in there any longer than I had to, even with a towel over my face), my body was numb and the memories came back quickly. It left a pit in my stomach. I couldn’t get out fast enough. When I walked through the double doors and saw my mom, it was a huge sigh of relief and comfort.

Side note: scanxiety is a real thing. Here are some tips on how to cope from Stupid Cancer.

“Being strong is not just about being inspirational or having your shit together. It’s about being able to freak out, too, so long as you don’t get stuck there.”

It is sometimes weird to hear others call you brave or strong for having had C. I didn’t feel strong when crying to my parents or not being able to hold my shit together before an appointment with my oncologist. I didn’t feel inspirational when I couldn’t look at my siblings without breaking down.

But as Wafa’a said, you can’t get stuck there. You have to keep focused, fight, talk it out (to whoever that might be), scream, cry, take a walk. Do whatever is needed to get out of the rut. Learning how to not get stuck while going through C will pay off later on.

“Cancer has made me so real. I feel like I’m so raw, there’s no time for bullshit.”

No time for BS. C taught me that. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Don’t hold back.

Side note: it’s good to remember this with strangers. As you can’t judge a book by its cover, you don’t know why people are raw. Appreciate and embrace it.

Mallory:

One of my favorite aspects of this book is how wonderfully the personal dialogues are mixed into each chapter along with a great resource section.  This chapter had great resources focused on dating, cancer sex ed, body image, and relationships.  Sex, dating, intimacy…these are all charged topics among young adults anyway, without cancer being a part of the equation!  “Don’t feel like a freak” as the author wonderfully puts it, be nice to yourself, and ask questions!  If your doctor doesn’t bring up a specific dating or sex topic but you have questions, ask them!  You are never going to shock them with something you want to know more about.

Thanks for joining us for our Chapter 3: Single of Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s!  Join in next Monday for Chapter 4: Human Spectacles.

If you’re just joining us, here are some logistics:

We will talk about a chapter each Monday until the book is done.  Then, we’ll use one more Monday to talk about general feelings from the book and anything else you’d like to discuss.  Join in, in the comments every week!  Also, there will probably be spoilers.  Read along with us!

How are you enjoying our young adult cancer book club?