As an oncology nurse, I see older women being diagnosed with or going through treatment for breast cancer daily. However, in December 2011, at age 35, I became the breast cancer patient.
Young women aren't supposed to have breast cancer, right? Well, I discovered that more than 70,000 young men and women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the United States. As I was going through my fight, I realized I faced some challenges that I did not see in older patients. I had different concerns related to body image, intimacy, finances, childcare and just how I would explain to my daughters what I was going through. I sought out and benefitted from talking with other young women like me.
These experiences led me to get involved in S.O.S. Strength of Survivorship, a new series of programs offered by Baptist Health Lexington targeted specifically at young women who are breast cancer survivors. The free series, beginning Oct. 8, is open to any young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, regardless of where they are being treated.
Programs are led by a certified oncology nurse, a psychologist from Bluegrass Health Psychology and a professional specializing in the topic of the evening. The speaker's presentation will be relaxed and conducive to sharing concerns and asking questions.
Strength of Survivorship series
A series of forums for young women who have survived breast cancer, to be held at Central Baptist Church, 110 Wilson Downing Rd., on the following dates. All sessions begin with a free dinner at 6 p.m. with the program following at 6:30.
Oct. 8: Your Maiden Voyage — Breast Cancer, Now What?
Nov. 12: T.L.C. — Talking, Listening & Communicating
Dec. 10: Spirituality in Your Cancer Journey
Jan. 14: Juggling Life and Treatment
Feb. 11: Peace Love and Healing
March 11: Managing Stress through Yoga, Exercise and Nutrition
April 8: Girls' Night Out
May 13: Lions, Tigers and Bears — Facing Your Fears
June 3: Bon Voyage — Places to go, People to See, Things to Do.
You may attend as many programs as you wish.
To learn more or to register to attend, call (859) 260-4357 or go to Baptisthealthlexington.com.
Lorraine Le Stephens, an oncology nurse at Baptist Health Lexington, serves as a facilitator of the S.O.S. Strength of Survivorship series.