Hand-extended holding candle that is melting.

Burnout Is Real, Take Care of Yourself

I'm genuinely baffled at how quickly time passes these days. It doesn't feel like 5 years have passed since 2019, but here we are. I swear it was just yesterday when I spent my 30th birthday dancing to my favorite band at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Now, I am quickly approaching my 35th birthday, and there will be no dancing at Red Rocks this time.

Multiple cancer diagnoses

I spent a lot of my 20s having cancer. I got to enjoy the first half cancer-free, but very soon after that, I had my first breast cancer diagnosis at the age of 25. I made it through an entire year of treatment to have a surprise baby at the end of it. It felt like I could not catch my breath after finishing treatment. I barely got my life back to "normal" before being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer 2 months after my 31st birthday.

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This year will mark my 9th year as a human living with and dealing with cancer regularly. Sure, I was "cancer-free" for several years. We all know that only means you don't see your oncologist for 3 months instead of just once.

So much has happened over time

Also, if you think about it, so much has happened worldwide since 2015. There have been a few different US presidents, an entire global pandemic, and many, many, many different issues in and outside of the US. I have lived in 2 different states, 4 different apartments, and 2 different houses. I started my career in 2014 at my dream job, only to have it come screeching to a halt in 2020, directly after my metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.

Change: the only constant in life

What they say must be true: change is the only constant in life.

Many things come with change throughout your life, and most of the time, it's exhausting. There is comfort in the stability of a regular schedule. Creatures of habit thrive in an environment of sameness.

Showing up for my communities

An important fact to remember about me as well is that not only do I live in "Cancerland" full time, I also exist as a queer person. That in itself comes with hardships. I only came out publicly in 2020, which we have established wasn't that long ago. Although by now, it feels like a lifetime ago. Living "out of the closet" certainly differs significantly from being inside. There's a beautiful community of absolutely beautiful souls. The way I show up for the breast cancer community, which is equally as beautiful of a community, I show up for the queer community. It's important beyond measure to be present and show up.

Showing up for myself

It is also equally, if not more important, to show up for yourself. Burnout through activism and advocacy is real and happens to the best of us. Even if we prepare, it can still take a toll on our body and mind. The world's news is loud and deafening, and sometimes, to be the best self for yourself and your community, you have to take care of yourself.

Remember to honor where you are at, mentally and physically, while still being able to be as present as you want to be in your community.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AdvancedBreastCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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