What is your name? How old are you? Where are you from?
My name is Sonia, I’m 34 years old and I’m from Portugal (although I was born in Switzerland).
What’s your diagnosis?
Triple Positive Breast Cancer
How and when did you find out about your diagnosis?
I noticed the lump myself back in July 2021 and immediately asked my doctor for exams and an appointment with a specialist. Diagnosis of breast cancer was confirmed August 30th.
What has the journey through cancer taught you?
That I have amazing people in my life who truly love me and are available to help through thick and thin. Also, the clichês are clichês because they are true: live your life to the fullest, don’t wait around for perfect moments.
What helped you the most during the treatment process?
Music, as always! I created a playlist on Spotify and asked my friends to add songs to it so that I could take them with me to the weekly chemo sessions in a way. I still listen to that playlist and I know my friends do too. I also bought myself a ticket to a music festival so that I could have something not cancer related to look forward to.
What has changed in your life since your cancer diagnosis?
Believe it or not, my general sense of anxiety got better. Before cancer, I had general anxiety about all sorts of things. Nowadays, my anxiety is pretty much related to cancer which makes me deal much better with any other possible bad outcome in life not cancer related.
What would you like to accomplish within EU-CAYAS-NET?
I joined the project in hopes that we get to make the lives of other AYA cancer patients and survivors better. If we manage to implement one thing in that direction, I’ll say it was a success.
What is your favorite motto in life?
Other people don’t think about you the way you think about you. Which I should remind my anxiety about more often. Also, self-love is the basis of everything in this life!
What makes you instantly light up?
Being sent a funny instagram reels by a friend and rainbows have equal power in lightening me up.
What defines you as a person?
I am a feminist above all else. I believe in random acts of kindness and that being a good friend means saying hard things sometimes.
What personal goal would you like to achieve next?
Going back to school and getting a degree in Psychology, that’s the plan for 2024.
What in your life do you feel most grateful for?
For the people that helped me through the best and worst times of my life and for the people I’ve met despite this ugly disease.
How do you cope when things get hard?
Get a good cry, mope around the house while watching one of my favorite sitcoms, regroup, and get back on my feet. It’s very much OK not to be OK and take your time to feel all your feelings.