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Annie Bond
Annie Bond: Actress, Comedian, Writer, Cancer Survivor.
By Annie Bond

The month of October has flown by, and soon the streets will be filled with witches, vampires, and poop emoji costumes. This was my second October living with Stage 4 breast cancer, and unlike most people my age, the month has become much more about awareness of this disease than Halloween.

I was 26 years old when I was diagnosed, and while I was definitely already aware of breast cancer, I never in a million years expected it to invade my body and try and ruin my beautiful life. I had no family history of breast cancer, and no reason to worry about the weird lump in my boob. 

I had moved to L.A. to become a super successful comedian and actress, and I couldn’t wait to get paid to make people laugh with my boob jokes. Now most of those jokes are instead used as icebreakers in the hospital, usually before something involving a giant machine or needle. Thankfully, the nurses always have a great sense of humor. I have been on oral chemotherapy and hormone/immune suppressants for the past year, and after 2 surgeries, the news is only good so far. I have 4 more weeks of radiation left, and I’m pretty sure all this radiating is going to give me some kind of super power, so I hope it’s a good one!

Even though the “official” month for breast cancer awareness is coming to a close, there are many things you should do to stay aware year round.

Check yo’ self before a tumor wrecks itself!

Everyone everywhere should do a self-check at least every month. There is no one who is not at risk for breast cancer, and we have no control over whether or not it chooses us. Educate yourself on how to properly check yourself and KNOW YOUR BODY. I wish I could say that I did that before I was diagnosed, but I didn’t. Thankfully, my boyfriend found the lump and informed me, and in doing so, he saved my life. The earlier you catch this kind of nonsense is always better, and no one knows your body like you do, so be an expert!

Speak up!

If you feel something, say something! Always get it checked out, because it’s better to know, no matter what. If you feel like your concerns are being dismissed or diminished by your healthcare provider, get another opinion, and/or insist that they do further testing to be sure. Most of the young women I know were told their cancer was “probably nothing”, when in fact, it was the worst case scenario. It’s always better to be safe than sorry! Additionally, make self-check ups a common topic of conversation with your friends and family, and help encourage the people you love to love themselves.

Take responsibility for your health!

You are responsible for everything you put into your body, so be aware and respectful of that. Eat vegetables and fruits. Exercise, even if it’s just taking a walk to get a cup of coffee. Read labels and make healthy choices. You can have everything you want, but be sure to enjoy in moderation. That way, when you do slip and eat 3 cupcakes, it’s not so bad! We still don’t know what causes cancer, but we do know that our bodies need healthy, nutritious food to thrive, and binging on one thing never ends well. The healthier you are, the more ready you are to fight and defeat anything that tries to get in your way. One easy way to make this change: Buy a quality blender! Smoothies are a fantastic way to get lots of fruits and vegetables in one easy serving, plus, they’re easy to make, and delicious!

Good Karma never hurts!

Volunteer! Go outside! Hug people! Adopt an animal! Life is too short to not be nice to people, and it will bring you so much joy. One easy thing to do is to collect coloring books and pencils/markers for a local hospital. They make incredible coloring books for kids and adults these days! Cancer patients spend lots of hours in the hospital, even when we’re technically free of disease.  These items are very inexpensive, and lots of people will be happy to contribute! Coloring has also been shown to be as effective as meditating, so it’s fun and actually relaxing.

Most importantly, you should tell the people you love that you love them all the time. Laugh at everything, and never give up on your dreams. Cancer has forced me to show myself what I am capable of at a young age, and I am a super awesome unicorn girl who can do anything she sets her mind to. My sense of humor has saved my life, and I refuse to ever let cancer diminish my joy. I would much rather fight through laughter than tears.  

Annie Bond is an actress, comedian, and writer living in Los Angeles. She has been battling Stage 4 breast cancer since August 5th, 2015, having been diagnosed at the age of 26. A native of Austin, TX, her southern charm, unique sense of humor, and strong heart have allowed her to use this battle to inspire her work and keep her mind open to the world of experience that comes with such a huge challenge at a young age. And yes, her dad's name is James Bond. 


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