To friends that I have not yet met and those that I have, but dont know me that well, I would like to tell you a bit about myself and why I'm setting up this group. My journey started when I was 20 and in my second year of uni - doing a Bc Science at usyd. Life was pretty normal and I loved it: I was living in they city, working at a bar and partying most weekends. After taking a shower one morning (and feeling slightly hungover) I noticed a mole bleeding on my back as I dried myself off with a towel. The skin specialist cut it out later that week and it came back as a melanoma. Although I was initially worried, I got back on with life and kept going as I had before - just taking a few weeks off rock-climbing to let the wound on my back heal. That was until 5 months later when my girl friend at the time found a lump in my armpit while using me as a practice dummy for a medical exam. Then the downward spiral began. 4 separate lots of surgery. 6 weeks of radiotherapy. 8 months and 12L of chemotherapy. Throughout this time I withdrew from the world, I lost contact with friends (and lost other friends) and if it wasn't for the staunch support of my (now ex-) girlfriend I would have had almost no social contact. Having danced (in a bed-bound way) with death and come back to the land of living I now felt I no longer fitted in with my old life. Normally quite out going, I no longer cared for mindless conversation, no longer drank alcohol and no longer had the strength to party until sun up. Some friends I reconnected with, yet now I'm interested in things like our purpose, life, health and serving others (which can be quite boring as party conversations... plus I have little time for fake people) I craved to connect with others my age (although I have met many amazing older cancer patients/survivors) and to help others on a similar journey with cancer. Even more, I worried for those who aren't as lucky as I was to have a close partner to help them through the worst. That is my story. This is my intention. I am creating a support group, and hopefully community, for all young adults who have or are experiencing cancer. I will hold regular meetings in Sydney, occasional social events and hopefully a retreat once a year to allow people to connect with those who understand them and what they're going through. I will aim to create a space where young adults can talk about what's important to them, connect and be empowered.
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