Patient Blogs | Breast Cancer
Finding Community Through Breast Cancer
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I’ve never considered myself to be an “open book” type of person. However, my breast cancer diagnosis forced me to begin to change that. I knew I wouldn’t be able to overcome this mountain on my own. 

At the time of my diagnosis, I was a college student in Michigan and my immediate family was in my home state, Georgia. I had to lean into my friends and family both close by and miles away for support now more than ever. 

The day after receiving my diagnosis, I messaged my close friends and shared my new reality with them. I appreciated the outpouring of love and support that I received then and continue to receive to this day. I wasn’t ready to share this part of my life on social media, so I tried to keep my friends updated on my treatment through one-on-one conversations. 

It was often hard to repeatedly share the full details or how overwhelming the process was with my friends. This was mainly because I didn’t want them worrying about me more than necessary. There were also some things that I felt only others who were going through or who had been through breast cancer treatment would understand. Although I was informed of different cancer support groups, I wasn’t ready to open up to a room full of strangers, as I was already pushing myself to do so with my friends.

My biggest wish was to maintain as much normalcy and positivity in my life as possible. So I kept a smile on my face and continued to live as fully as possible. Some days my smile was genuine and others it was forced. It wasn’t until a technician at one of my radiology appointments saw me smiling and asked, “Are you actually always this positive, or is it an act?” that I finally confronted my true feelings. After my appointment, she gave me a brochure full of different breast cancer organizations that specifically support young adults. The Young Survival Coalition (YSC) was among them.

In 2021, about a year after the end of my treatment, I was finally ready to connect with other breast cancer patients and survivors. The YSC was one of the first organizations that I reached out to for support, as I embraced my survivorship journey. They connected me to several different resources and opportunities to share my story and meet other survivors. Due to the pandemic, most of these opportunities were virtual. 

It felt like a full circle moment to attend the YSC’s Annual Summit in February 2023, which was in person again for the first time since the pandemic. Before the conference, I had never been in a room full of other breast cancer patients, survivors, and co-survivors. Now I was surrounded by hundreds of them. It was empowering, healing, and enlightening to meet others who are currently on, or who have been through, similar journeys to mine. 

My conversations with the other attendees flowed effortlessly because we didn’t have to sugarcoat anything with each other. It was refreshing to tell my story and know that it resonated with those listening. Even though the conference was only for a weekend, I know the connections I made and the lessons I learned will last a lifetime. I’m grateful for this newfound community I’ve gained and the opportunity to freely be an “open book” with them.


To connect with other breast cancer survivors, join our Breast Cancer Facebook Support Group



Photo Credit: Delmaine Donson / E+ via Getty Images

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Brianna Osofisan

Brianna Osofisan

Diagnosed since 2019

Brianna Osofisan, 25, is a triple-negative breast cancer survivor. She is passionate about using her experience to educate and empower other women to get to know their bodies and advocate for themselves. Brianna is also a travel enthusiast and has visited 26 countries and counting. She most recently lived in Madrid, Spain, where she taught English for 2 years.

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