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Steve Pake's Top 10 Guide to Surviving a Young Adult Cancer

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  • Steve Pake's Top 10 Guide to Surviving a Young Adult Cancer

    April was Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. On the last day of the month on Wednesday the 30th [a week ago], I finally released something into the wild that I’d been working on for quite awhile. A 4500-word essay and Top 10 Guide to everything that’s helped me “Survive” Young Adult Cancer, along with what’s made it so challenging (hashtag #YACancer on Twitter). LIVESTRONG picked this up and re-tweeted it to their 623K Followers along with sharing it on their main Facebook page, and it went viral in the cancerverse after that getting many hundreds of likes, favorites, re-tweets, shares, and comments etc. This was quite an effort for me to face the whole of my experience in such a way and put it into words like this, but after all that I had been through and especially the emotional turmoil that I faced in 2013, it was a needed exercise of self-reflection to truly dive deep on this and to assess what had gone so wrong during my survivorship and why, but also what had gone so right and why. Needless to say, I’ve been very pleased at both the response, and the reach and impact of this. And it’s put me on the radar screens of more than a few prominent cancer-related organizations. This is just the start. More good things coming from me…

    If you’d like to give it a look, here it is: (goes to Facebook but shared openly, so no account required)

    Here's the Top 10 list. Please hit the link for the full write-up for each one and more.

    1. Remove All Toxic Elements from Your Life
    2. Remove Toxic People from your Life
    3. Find People that you Feel Safe Around and that Help you Feel Good
    4. Stay Engaged with Life and Enjoy Each Day
    5. Take Back Control, Don’t Be Afraid to Do Your Own Thing
    6. Find Healthy and Productive Outlets for your Stress and Anxiety
    7. Accept your Limitations, and Listen to what your Post-Cancer Body is Telling You
    8. Don’t Try to Forget – Stay Engaged with the Cancer Community
    9. Love and Support your Supporters and Caregivers
    10. It's Okay for Young Adults to Cry Too

    Just like chemotherapy and that dreaded RPLND, my survivorship experience has not been a walk in the park either. If anything it's been even harder, as the physical pain and challenges faced during the actual fight were easier for me to handle than the mental and emotional aspects that came to the surface during my survivorship. I'm so blessed to have had all of the love and support that I've had along with having been able to develop the outlets that I needed to be in the far better place that I'm in today. It truly does take a village to keep cancer survivors feeling whole, and I'm so grateful to finally be able to start giving back.

    I hope anybody who catches this thread will give this a read and share it around to anybody in need, and please feel free to leave comments either on FB or here, or even via a private message if you prefer.

    God bless,
    Young Adult Cancer Survivorship by Steve Pake
    April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month!
    Feb 2011, Stage IIB, 4xEP, RPLND, PTSD
    My Survivorship Thread | All of my Blogs

  • #2
    Great job Steve!

    When I was first diagnosed, I didn't know what to expect. Coming on this forum site, and getting information and advice from people such as yourself really did help! I truly thank you (and others) for the time you put aside in helping others.

    As of last week (after the RPLND) I am finally in remission - and I have made an effort to help those with any advice/information. Although I am only young (22), I feel as though I want to give back and try to help where I can.

    Well done on the aforementioned essay - when I get home from work I look forward to reading it all.

    22yr old from Australia

    Jun 13 - right I/O (100% EC with no LVI - Stage 1)
    Jul 13 - Surveillance
    Nov 13 - CT scan - 23mm 'abnormality' in para-aortic region
    - PET scan confirmed recurrence
    Dec 13 - 4 x EP started (lung problems with BEP)
    Feb 14 - Follow up CT scan showed 20mm 'abnormality' (mostly cystic/fluid - less solid)
    Apr 14 - RPLND

    Latest scan and biopsy results confirm no cancer - currently in remission.


    • #3
      Originally posted by SimonHT View Post
      Although I am only young (22), I feel as though I want to give back and try to help where I can.
      Good for you, Simon!. Being young is not a limitation, your perspective may be more useful to the younger end of this group than that of us older guys.After all, most new TC cases are guys closer to your age than mine....
      Jan, 1975: Right I/O, followed by RPLND
      Dec, 2009: Left I/O, followed by 3xBEP


      • #4

        Wow Steve! I've said it before, but it's worth repeating............You have such a gift in your ability to share your thoughts and feelings with others, as well as to offer guidance and support. Amazing, well done article that will surely help many others! Thanks, thanks ,thanks !!!
        Cook/Maid/Chauffeur/ATM Machine/Personal Asst. to Austin

        12/07/11 I/O AFP: 291 hCG: 151
        12/08/11 CT Scan, Xrays - clear
        12/15/11 Non Seminoma Stage1-B
        EC, Teratoma, Yolk Sac, Intratubular
        4/21/12 Relapse- Start 3XBEP
        6/25/12 Finished BEP
        7/02/12 Markers and CT Scan normal
        10/3/12 3 month post-chemo check-up - All Clear!
        2/28/13 8 month post-chemo check-up - All Clear!
        6/30/13 ONE YEAR- ALL CLEAR!!
        2/14/14 20 month post-chemo check-up - All Clear!