My name is Jon. I am an addict in recovery. I am 24 years old and have just completed the Our House program here in Edmonton, AB. Over the last 10 ½ months I have changed so much. I have found the peace and serenity I have been looking for my whole life. I used to be insane.
I grew up an only child with a lesbian mother. We moved around a lot when I was a kid. I was kind of a loner until I started using drugs. I started drinking when I was 13 and I loved it. I drank until I blacked out. I started smoking pot when I was 14 and I was partying like most teenagers do. I got introduced to cocaine at the age of 16 when I was at the bar. I partied all through high school and graduated as the all-star quarterback with the trophy girlfriend at the age of 17. I had started apprenticing to be a welder out of school and started working all over the map. I got kicked out of bars all over Alberta for fighting. I started realizing I had problems because I couldn’t stop using, gambling [...] continue the story
Jessie C. Gruman, PhD is president and founder of the non-profit organization Center for Advancing Health. Her experiences as a patient — having been diagnosed with five life threatening illnesses — informs her perspective as an author, advocate, and lead contributor to the Prepared Patient Forum blog. Her most recent book, AfterShock, helps patients navigate their way through the health care system following a serious or life-threatening diagnosis. You can follow her on Twitter at @JessieGruman.
It is completely understandable if you associate the term “cancer survivor” with an image of glamorous, defiant Gloria Gaynor claiming that She. Will. Survive. Or maybe with a courageous Lance Armstrong in his quest to reclaim the Tour de France. Or perhaps it is linked for you with heroic rhetoric and pink-related racing, walking and shopping.
I never call myself a survivor because when I hear this term, I recall my experience following each of four cancer-related diagnoses. It has not been triumphant. It’s been terrifying and grueling. It hasn’t taken courage to get through the treatment. It’s taken doing the best I can. I am not still here because I am defiant. I am here because I am lucky, because I am [...] continue the story
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Now it’s time for you to give them The Cancer Talk. It’s so important for you to talk to your parents about where the cancer exists in your family, because it keeps you in the know about what’s normal and what’s not!