Inspiration and motivation, Young Cancer Survivors, Article

OACCUs challenge: Lovisa's contribution

OACCUs challenge: Lovisa's contribution
The key to living a healthy and fulfilled life, in my opinion, is to do what you can. And I’ll explain more about what I mean by that in a little bit.  

Life after a cancer diagnosis in your youth or childhood is not always easy, but society and almost everyone in it expect you and your experiences to be no different from anyone else. Meanwhile we have probably missed years of school and/or time with our peers, spent more time in hospitals than most people do their entire lives, experienced unexpected late complications from treatments as well as a whole bunch of other things. So, we play the hand we’ve been dealt and do what we can. This varies from person to person but to me, a 31-year-old, overweight woman with terrible balance, several hormonal deficiencies and problems with her executive functioning living in Sweden, it can look something like this.  

I try to go outside everyday and take a walk, but some days my energy levels are so low the best I can do is to stand on my balcony for a few minutes to breath in some fresh air. I meal plan and make sure to keep healthy foods at home, but there are days when all I can manage to make is a bowl of pasta with some cheese on top, because even the simplest healthy food requires more than boiling a pot of water. I have several reusable lunchboxes to choose from but sometimes the thing I bring with me is a sandwich in a plastic bag. It is wanting to buy organic fruit and vegetables but not being able to afford it all of the time due to the elevated cost of living. It’s downloading a mental health app and occasionally doing the sessions available but forgetting to most of the time because working on my mental health is hard work and it’s too easy to be distracted. And it’s spending Friday evening with friends only to spend all of Saturday in bed despite wanting to and knowing that you could have seen more friends that day if only your brain weren’t running on fumes. I go to my follow up appointments at the hospital, and I take my meds because going without isn’t a viable option. 

We do what we can, and that’s all anyone can do. But it might look a little different for me than it does most other people. 

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