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5 Young Adult Books Featuring Characters With #Cancer

Being diagnosed with #Cancer is really hard. Finding a book with characters to “guide you” along the way shouldn’t be. So here are 5 YA books featuring characters with #Cancer :

1.”Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel” by Diana Lopez

This read combines the challenges of growing up, Tex-Mex culture, with facing a mother’s cancer diagnosis and how to cope. The author’s aunt was diagnosed with #BreastCancer , so readers should hopefully find this might align with some of their experiences (I hope). It’s the summer before eighth grade, and Erica “Chia” Montergo is feeling so many things that she needs a mood ring to keep track of her emotions. She's happy when she hangs out with her best friends, the Robins. She's jealous that her genius little sister, who has #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder , skipped two grades. And when Erica's mom is diagnosed with #BreastCancer , she feels worried and doesn't know what she can do to help. When her family visits a miracle room in a famous church, Erica decides to make a promise to God in exchange for her mom's health. As her mom gets sicker, Erica quickly learns that juggling family, friends, school, and fulfilling a promesa is stressful, but with a little bit of hope and a lot of love, she just might be able to figure it out.

2.”Brave Enough” by Kati Gardner

Author Kati Gardner tells her story authentically, as she had a #LimbAmputation and #Cancer . *This might be triggering for readers who are battling addiction. Teenager Cason Martin is the youngest ballerina in the Atlanta Ballet Conservatory. She never really had a choice of whether she learned to dance or not. Her mother, the conservatory's artistic director, has made all the decisions in Cason's life. But that's about to change. Cason has been hiding an injury, and it's much worse than anyone imagines. Davis Channing understands all too well what it's like to give up control of your life. He's survived #Cancer , but his drug #Addiction nearly killed him. Now he's been sober for seven months and enjoying his community service at the hospital. But just when he thinks he's got it together, Davis's ex-girlfriend, who is still battling her #Addiction , barrels back into his life. Cason and Davis are not friends. But, as their worlds collide, they will start to depend on one another. Can they both be brave enough to beat the odds?

3.”Finding Balance” by Kati Gardner

Jase Ellison doesn’t remember having #AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia when he was three years old. His #Cancer diagnosis only enters his mind twice a year. Once at his yearly checkup at the oncology clinic and when he attends Camp Chemo in the summer. No one in his “real” life knows about his past, especially his friends at Atlanta West Prep. Mari Manos has never been able to hide her #Cancer survivorship. She wakes every morning, grabs her pink forearm clip crutches, and starts her day. Mari loves Camp Chemo—where she’s developed a healthy crush on fellow camper Jase. At Camp, she knows that she’ll never get “the look” or have to explain her #LimbAmputation to anyone. Jase wants to move on, to never reveal his past. But when Mari transfers to his school, he knows she could blow his cover. That’s the last thing he wants, but he also cannot ignore his attraction to her. For Mari, she only wants to be looked at like a girl, a person, and not only known for her #Disability . But how do you move on from cancer when the world won’t let you?

You can find author Kati Gardner’s blog at authorkati.com.

4.”The Fault In Our Stars” by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at #Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.#LungCancer

5.”Don’t Die, My Love” by Lurlene McDaniel

Julie Ellis and Luke Muldenhower have always been school sweethearts. Now both are in high school and deeply in love. Luke, a talented football player, is almost certain to receive an athletic scholarship to a top college. And no matter what her parents say, wherever Luke goes, Julie intends to follow. When Luke can't shake what he thinks is a virus, Julie persuades him to see a doctor. Luke's test results are alarming, but Julie believes their love is stronger than anything. Can love survive, now and forever?

I hope that every reader can find a book to relate to in this list 💞

#themightyreaders #Cancer

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Books With #RareDisease Representation

Many health challenges don’t get enough representation in literature. I think that definitely needs to change. Finding more common conditions in books is hard enough, but when you have a rare disease, it can be even harder to find yourself represented in a book.

That’s why I decided to compile a list of some YA books that contain characters with rare diseases. I hope some people can find a book to relate to on this list!

”Cursed” by Karol Ruth Silverstein Erica “Ricky” Bloom’s life has taken a turn for the worse. As if dealing with high school, her sister’s transition to college, and her parents’ divorce wasn’t enough, Ricky is diagnosed with #JuvenileIdiopathicArthritis . Ricky uses profanity to cope with her #ChronicPain , until her coping mechanisms are foiled by a boy with a diagnosis of#AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia in his past and a snooty, but well-meaning, teacher. It turns out that not everyone is as they seem.

2.”100 Days” by Nicole McInnes

Agnes is not exactly like every other teenage girl. She likes pretty dresses, sewing, and music. She has a best friend. But Agnes has a disease that makes her appear several times older than her chronological age— #Progeria . With the help of her friend and an unexpected ally, Agnes’s last 100 days are her living her best life. But will the three friends be able to accomplish what counts before time runs out?

3.”How We Roll” by Natasha Friend

Quinn’s life changed when she was diagnosed with #AlopeciaAreata , which is not easy for anyone, let alone a high-schooler. A humiliating experience causes Quinn and her family to move. Quinn attempts to make friends, which proves difficult. Quinn meets Nick, who has #LimbAmputation because of a car accident. Can both Quinn and Nick learn to trust and let each other in before they build their walls too high?

4.”Midnight Sun” by Trish Cook

Seventeen-year-old Katie Price has a rare disease #XerodermaPigmentosu m that makes exposure to even the smallest amount of sunlight deadly. Confined to her house during the day, her company is limited to her widowed father and her best (okay, only) friend. It isn't until after nightfall that Katie's world opens up, when she takes her guitar to the local train station and plays for the people coming and going. Charlie Reed is a former all-star athlete at a crossroads in his life—and the boy Katie has secretly admired from afar for years. When he happens upon her playing guitar one night, fate intervenes and the two embark on a star-crossed romance.

5.”Everything, Everything” by Nicola Yoon

Madeline Whittier has #SevereCombinedImmunodeficiencySCID , which means she can’t leave her house. But one day, she sees a mysterious boy named Olly. And Olly makes her want everything—including things she can’t have. Like love.

Art of Feeling” by Laura Tims

Samantha Herring has been in constant pain ever since the car accident that injured her leg and killed her mother. After pushing her friends away, Sam has receded into a fog of depression until she meets Eliot, a carefree, impulsive loner, who is unable to feel any pain at all. At first, Sam is jealous. She would give anything to not feel the pain she’s felt for the past year. But the more she learns about Eliot’s medical condition #CongenitalInsensitivityToPain the more she begins to realize Elliot’s self-destructive tendencies. In fact, Eliot doesn’t seem to care about anything—except Sam. And as they grow closer, they begin to confront Sam’s painful memories of the accident, memories that hold a startling truth about what really happened that day.

Happy reading! 📚💖

#themightyreaders #RareDisease

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Never give up on your dreams, even with some chronic illness, run after it because it will overcome any pain, tense moments you've experienced in life. #MultipleSclerosis #heath #psicology #acutelymphoid #AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia

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Wrecking Ball, Meet Rope: Cancer + Mental Illness

In my family, we have experience with a variety of conditions. My first-born has a series of mental health diagnoses. My second-born has cancer. And, I have my own experience dealing with Lyme Disease and anxiety.

As a rule, I do not compare between my children. I equally do not want to compare the pain and hardship of people battling different diseases. Instead, I want to acknowledge that cancer, mental illness, and other lesser known medical conditions all come with loads of pain, suffering, and hardship.

In my experience, the hardship is distributed differently. I think of one like a wrecking ball and the other as a heavy, unending rope.

The Wrecking Ball: Cancer hits like a wrecking ball, stopping you in your tracks. If you are a "lucky" cancer patient, you might avoid being taken out entirely by its forceful swing. To all those battling cancer or caring for a loved one with cancer, I am with you. Helping my child navigate this disease has been like nothing else I've experienced.

The Rope: Mental illness is a heavy load of rope that stretches out forever. You drag this rope with you every. where. you. go. You may trip over it, be slowed by its weight, get tangled up in its grips - or worse.

As a parent, I’m tired. But, I know that I am not alone. I have met a small handful of parents who are going through similar challenges. And that makes all the difference. Yet, there is one aspect that I was not prepared for.

While I never compare my children or their struggles, children often compare themselves to others. It has been hard to see my first-born realize that society does not fully understand the pain and hardship of someone battling mental illness. Our first-born watches our second-born receive card after card, gift after gift, emblazoned with: Brave, Strong, Heroic, Amazing, and more. All the while, our first-born wakes up to her own (invisible?) battles each morning, drags them to school with her, and tries to put them to bed each night.

As parents, we work for our first-born to be seen/understood by insurers, school staff, family members, friends, and even our medical providers. I hope that we can teach our society more about these invisible and lesser-known struggles so that those who come next get more support, less judgment, and less assumptions.

I truly hope that this post lifts up all who are struggling and does not imply that one battle is harder or worse than another. Cancer is hard. Mental illness is hard. All deserve support, compassion, and empathy.

To those battling cancer, mental illness, or a lesser known disease, you are all [insert word from inspirational greeting card]. And, not always because you want to be. Sometimes, just because you have to be.

#Cancer #Leukemia #AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia #OCD #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder #TouretteSyndrome #tics #Anxiety #PANSPANDAS #LymeDisease

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Forty-Two Days of Grief

In October 2021, I finished three-and-a-half years of cancer treatment for leukemia. Three-and-a-half years of feeling unwell. Three-and-a-half years of headaches and fatigue. Three-and-a-half years of joint pain. Three-and-a-half years of medicine-induced body acne. Most importantly, three-and-a-half years of contemplating my own death. One would assume this would be cause for elation. It wasn’t.

What I did not tell friends and family at the time is that I stopped my treatment six months early. My routine bone marrow biopsy, the test that checks for leukemia in the blood, was a bit off. It implied perhaps the toxicity of my cancer drugs had given me a new blood disorder—a blood disorder that is a precursor for a different type of cancer. What is supposed to be curing me is making me sick?

Defeated and depressed, I kept a journal over the next forty-two days to deal with my emotions while awaiting a repeat test to confirm or deny if I had the disorder or not. To confirm or deny if my cancer journey, after three-and-a-half years, was really just beginning.

I will release around one post a day over the next forty-two days in hopes to give insight into the unending, polluted thinking that preoccupies cancer patients. This behavior, anticipating a negative result before knowing the true outcome, is something we all are guilty of. But there is no stopping the mind.

My hope is that this will help other cancer patients, caretakers, and people grieving anything feel less crazy. And let people who have not experienced such a purgatory understand their loved ones more.

***I think it is important to share a SPOILER ALERT: It turns out that I was preemptively grieving something. I did not have the disorder. I am done with treatment. And I am in good health.

More at charlie razook.substack.com!

❤️ Charlie #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #MightyTogether #Cancer #AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia #Leukemia

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Voicing Depression

I often find it hard to share with others about my depression. I find that even when I am able to, which temporarily makes me feel better, I then find the need to bottle it back up again because I do not want to keep on annoying the people I share with. I don’t want a pity party, but I do want to share.

I am sure in reality they would not mind me continuing to share, and I guess if they did, that would be sign enough they are not a true friend.

This meme made me chuckle, sadly. I often go into my hole then emerge.

I am constantly working on opening up. It does feel healing when I do.

Can you relate?

#Depression #Cancer #Anxiety #mighttogether #AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia

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Undiagnosed Side Effects

One of my biggest frustrations with ongoing cancer treatment is the influx of symptoms with no causes explained to me by my medical team. Often, it feels like as long as the cancer is under control, explaining what is causing the side effects doesn’t matter. From chest pain, to ankle pain, to general joint pain, to acne, to testicular pain, I’m often told we are sorry hopefully that goes away. It is hard not to catastrophize the symptoms, aka thinking the cancer is back, which makes it doubly hard to just live with them and try to forget them.

Ugh, side effects.

#Cancer #MentalHealth #Depression #MightyTogether #SideEffects #Anxiety #TheMighty #AcuteLymphoblasticLeukemia

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My Uncensored Life With Spinal Muscular Atrophy

My name is Crystal Rondeau and I’m a 30 year old woman living in Canada. I live with a form of Muscular Dystrophy called Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2 (SMA2), it’s a progressive neuromuscular disorder. So as I get older, I get weaker and lose more abilities. Growing up, I was constantly in and out of Childrens Hospital for chest infections. The pattern was 2 weeks out of hospital then 7-10 days in the hospital for IV antibiotics, I did this for over 10 years and the hospital staff quickly became a second family. Despite that, I went to public school, played outside, made friends and had awesome grades.

I got my first wish from The Wish Foundation and ended up being the 500th wish child, they flew my family and I to Windsor Ontario where I met a bunch of figure skaters and was presented with my computer.

At 10 years old, I was chosen to be the champion child for Manitoba by the Children’s Hospital Foundation and I went to the House of Commons to receive an award, then to Disney World.

In 2003 when I was 13, I was diagnosed with cancer, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), on top of the SMA2 and I was the first person documented in the world with SMA2 and ALL. My doctor was phenomenal and did her best to treat me, I did 2 and a half years of chemotherapy successfully. I also received a second wish because the board decided that the cancer was a completely separate life threatening condition from the SMA2. This is also the point in my life where I started doing surgery and surgical procedures without sedation because it was too risky to sedate me. It’s also the point in my life where I was severely in junior high. One of the chemotherapy drugs I needed weakens muscles – a problem I already have. So it put me in early respiratory failure when I was 15, I had to be resuscitated and then I was trached and ventilated a few weeks after my 16th birthday and was in the hospital for 14 months while my mother took her training to take me home. I started having mental health issues at this time as well, my best friend died because of Cystic Fibrosos and I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety, this was also the year of my first suicide attempt.
After this, a friend encouraged me to start doing presentations about my condition and my life with it, so I did.

You see, before my friends death crushed me, I had already been through a lot of crap. I had already lost several friends to other conditions and in junior high, I was severely bullied for being disabled and having cancer. Grant Park High School was my hell. I went there for 3 years and ended up leaving to go to Sisler, which I had ZERO problems with bullying at. The principal at GP knew and did nothing. When I was there, it was disgusting how the students with disabilities were treated, it’s great if you’re intellectually challenged because they weren’t incorporated into the “normal students” (their words, not mine)… not great if you aren’t.

Our lockers were in the back of the school, away from the other students. I was constantly told by a teacher I’d never graduate or be anything, my mom and her had it out. I was bullied by the football team who would chant “die cripple die” and because I was bald but still dressed like a girl, I was called a faggot a lot. Someone -also started the rumour that I was dying.

I wasn’t always outspoken and tough like I am now, I WAS that kid who wore the black hoodie all the time with my hood up. I was that quiet kid who hated being paid attention to – class project presentations did not happen because I’d skip them lol. I was that kid who ate alone…until I wasn’t. Something broke and I quit taking people’s shit at 16 years old, literally overnight. I just woke up one day and I had it…sometimes breaking isn’t a bad thing.
Even with all of these obstacles, I graduated high school with honours and a GPA of 100%. I then went University Of Winnipeg and studied business until I got too sick and had to drop out to focus on my health. As if these medical conditions weren’t enough on my plate, I was also diagnosed with Endometriosis and Fibromyalgia so, I’m also a chronic pain patient. Then, in 2018 I went into the hospital for what they thought was another pneumonia, I didn’t get better after the 48 hours of antibiotics so I knew something was wrong. I started pressuring my doctors to do a CT Scan and it took me 4 days to convince them. When they got the results, I had 5 blood clots in my lungs…a lot of people don’t catch these in time and end up dying.

Now, I still do my presentations in schools, I do a lot of advocacy and I also model. In 2018, I was on the cover of Pin Up Life Magazine, issue 23: Celebration Of Diversity (www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/1536783) and then last year, I was in the first issue of True North Pin Up Magazine, issue 1 page 45 (issuu.com/truenorthpinup/docs/winter_2019_edition/44)

I’m currently in a competition to be on the cover of Inked Magazine – you can vote for me here cover.inkedmag.com/2020/crystal-rondeau and I have a lot of photoshoot ideas I’m working on to advocate that women with disabilities are beautiful, sexy and desirable. I’ve learned to take everything I’ve been through and turn it into a powerful tool to teach others, that’s one of the biggest things that has gotten me through everything. Teaching, advocating and enjoying my life the best I can. So to all those kids that are being bullied, going through an illness, fighting every day or just not feeling good enough…I was you not that long ago and you will break in a good way one day. And when that happens, you can say LOOK AT ME NOW BITCHES ???????????? So like Sir Winston Churchill said “If you are going through hell, keep going”

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