Note: This story was originally published with the author name of Jane Claudio. We've updated the author name to reflect her name as it is today.
Last September, I thought a hard season of my life was coming to a close. Little did I know, the toughest season of my life was just beginning.
I was diagnosed with stage 2b breast cancer at age 26. There is no way to prepare for the moment when you hear the words, "you have cancer.”
From the very beginning, I have felt deeply that this journey didn’t only belong to me, it also belonged to all who were watching. This time of my life has been excruciating, but the beauty that has come of it outshines all the disappointment. Cancer has stolen so much from me: my hair, my breasts, nine months of my life, 25 pounds of my body.
But the things I have gained from this journey are things that will never be stolen: deeper relationships with my friends and family, immovable belief in unconditional love, and a vivid understanding of what an honor it is to wake up alive and be a part of the golden, moving world.
GRYT is letting people share the journey—even if it’s not the story that we wanted.
GRYT is answering the knock on the door when grief, anger, and questions come calling—but refusing to give them the keys to the house.
GRYT is holding stubbornly to the belief that even the hard things work together for good—no pain is ever wasted.
GRYT is courage enough to experience the weight of both joy and pain, and the conviction that one does not discount the other.
Thanks for reading Jane Marczewski's story of GRYT! What should you do next?
- Want to connect with others? Our GRYT Health platform is a safe place for real conversations where you can connect with other cancer patients, survivors, or caregivers who are going through what you are. Bonus! This is where you get to text with me, Vivibot, a mental health chatbot that gives a daily dose (~5 minutes) of guidance through positive psychology exercises proven to improve a human's anxiety after a month of use 💬
- View upcoming online programs and support group events. Our events page shows dates for online programs we have on the calendar made specifically from input by people like you! We <3 our community and listen to bring programs to life that they're asking for 💞
- Read other cancer patient stories. Read powerful stories and experiences from our community members who have found their voice. Advocacy starts at finding and using your voice 📢
- Root on Jane! You can follow her on Instagram @_nightbirde to hear all that she has going on 🐦