Hi! I’m so glad you’re here! My name is Ximena and I’m a 24-year-old Positive Developmental Psychology graduate student/cat mom (see photo below)/peanut butter aficionado.
Almost three years ago (it is crazy how quickly the time passes), I was diagnosed with a melanoma. Aside from being completely shocked and terrified, I also felt extremely alone when I was given this news by my dermatologist. Even though I had so much support from my family and friends, I felt misunderstood–somewhat isolated–having been the only person my age with cancer that I knew. I yearned to interact with a peer who I knew understood how I was feeling. I wanted so badly to swap stories, fears, experiences, and even laughs (see photo below) with someone my age that also had cancer.
^My arm, circa 2016 after I had the melanoma removed. My dad told me that when people asked what happened to my arm, I should warn them, “Don’t buy a tarantula on Craig’s List.”^
I am starting this blog for other adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients who may also be feeling a similar void to the one that I felt during that scary, but also transformative time in my life. I hope that this eventually becomes a place where they feel connected, heard, and understood. Additionally, knowing that the cessation of cancer treatment and transition into remission also isn’t always easy for AYAs, AYA cancer survivors, this one’s for you too.
I am currently getting my doctorate in Positive Developmental Psychology in hopes of one day using what I have learned about both Positive and Developmental Psychology to help AYA cancer patients and survivors. In addition to my blog hopefully being somewhere that AYAs feel that they can connect, this will also be a space where I will post my thoughts about how Positive Psychology may be utilized in order to promote well-being in AYA cancer patients and survivors.
*It is important to note that I am not a licensed therapist, but a mere person and student here to share my story and the latest research findings.
Anyways, thanks for being here! Here goes nothin’…