“I didn’t have to explain anything to anyone.”
“There’s no pity or sympathetic looks that you get when you talk to other people – it’s all just understanding.”
“When I’m around people who haven’t had cancer, I have to explain everything. I can’t just say, ‘yeah, I get fatigued.’ I have to explain why.”
It comes up in every conversation at the end of every trip: being around others who have been through the same thing means never having to explain.
On the trips, young people know if they need some time out, no one will ask questions. If they have physical limitations, they are completely accepted without second thought. If it’s as simple as talking about the recovery process, they don’t have to define what lots of words and phrases mean.
The challenges that follow after treatment ends are often overlooked. The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust helps rebuild confidence after cancer, but what we hear from young people is something more than just that.
On their trips, they discovered and create a place where there are no barriers to communication. Together, they have made a place that lets them own their experience with cancer and not have anxieties about how it affects those around them.
Be a part of #Unspoken
There is an understanding that goes unspoken between those who have had cancer. Our #Unspoken project is about getting those unspoken things out to the people in our lives who don’t know them.
Life would be that much simpler if everyone knew what everyone else was going through. The #Unspoken project will share stories from young people who have felt the benefit of being around others who understand.