A Tribute to the Young Carcinomie To the parents, real and would-be, who've had their choices stripped by cancer, whose special memories are tainted by the fear of dying, being forgotten, and abandoning your child or not having one of your own, who've done everything right to preserve fertility but are deemed too high risk to start a family with, who feel like they're less than, whose genetics may change their plans, and who've never had a fighting chance to fulfill their vision of parenthood, To the students, who've been working to fulfill your dreams and potential, whose paths have been shifted, muddied, or blocked, who've balanced treatment and study, who haven't been able to, and whose peers can't possibly relate to what they're going through, To the young professional, whose stride has been broken, footing shaken, and reputation damaged, who've had their abilities minimized, who are viewed as a risk, and who've been marked as unstable and robbed of opportunities for advancement, To those going it alone, who don't have friends or family to rely on, whose culture precludes them from being able to speak about their cancer, who aren't sure who to reach out to, and who feel invisible, isolated, and hopeless, To the young couples, whose relationships have been tested, who've lost their spark because of disease, whose goals have to be re-evaluated, and who aren't sure how or if they can move forward together after cancer, To those facing practical barriers, who've struggled financially, logistically, or mentally, who have to worry about transportation, childcare, and chores, whose futures are on the line because of the disease, and who don't know where to go from here, To those with metastatic disease, whose hourglass is broken, who don't know how long they have left, or who do, roughly, and struggle to spend the time joyfully or without pain, To those with a high risk of recurrence, who are stalked by the shadow of cancer every day, whose life is consumed by fear, and whose state of mind ranges from feeling fine to being scared to death, To those who've overcome, in their own way, a nearly insurmountable amount of pain, fear, and anxiety, who try to live a normal life, who've been able to keep moving forward in spite of cancer's setbacks, and who live their lives in the best way possible, You're worthy of love, friendship, happiness, and opportunity. Your disease has not stripped you of your humanity, even if it feels that way, or even if people treat you like it has. You matter. You deserve better. And to those we've laid to rest, whose presence is forever missed, who've left a hole in the lives of those that cared about them, you are not forgotten.