Tag Archives: chemotherapy

Meeting My Survivor Siblings

Victoria St. Martin at the 2013 OMG Stupid Cancer Summit

Whenever I meet other young women with breast cancer, I’m sad and happy at the same time.

I hate knowing they had to experience this horrible disease but I’m happy it brought us together as sisters.

That feeling was magnified by the hundreds this past weekend at OMG! Cancer Summit for Young Adults in Las Vegas, where around 450 young cancer survivors and supporters networked and discussed, cried and laughed. We learned about how cancer treatments leave us all with lasting effects and how the doctors who care for us try to balance that with the quality of life concerns for people who haven’t had a mid-life crisis yet.
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A lot of my survivor sisters who are undergoing chemo ask me how long it’ll take their hair to grow back. Doctors say that the answer varies from woman to woman but after I finished chemo in August, I started taking photos of my hair each week to chart its progress of re-growth. The video above is three months of hair growth condensed into just over a minute – and I hope it inspires those of you who are fighting and serves as a reminder that there is light – and, yes, some hair follicles, too – at the end of the long, dark tunnel that is chemo.

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Welcome to Breast Cancer At 30, an online resource about breast cancer and how it affects young women. The site was created by Victoria St. Martin, a journalist who learned of her breast cancer diagnosis in February 2011, just a few months after her 30th birthday. At an age when many women are planning weddings and preparing for the arrivals of newborns, Vickie was selecting a surgeon to perform a double-mastectomy and making arrangements to freeze her eggs in an attempt to perserve her fertility despite the ravages of chemotherapy.

This site was created to provide information for other breast cancer survivors as they deal with the distinct challenges facing those who are diagnosed with the disease in their 30’s and earlier.

Read Vickie’s own account of her journey – and her advice for other young survivors.

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