Ted Talks Appreciation Post For Young People With Cancer

Ted Talks

There are Ted Talks and there are TED Talks that just get us. Whether it’s hearing someone talk about topics you can really relate to or finding the right inspiration at the right time, Ted Talks are a great medium for learning, connecting and getting inspired by experts, leaders, and just regular people who have something to say. The best part? They are all under 18 minutes. Sure, TED has a handy tool for sifting through the thousands of talks out there, but we took it to the next level and handpicked four really great ones worth checking out when it comes to being young with cancer.

What Almost Dying Taught Me About Living

“Being cured is not where the work of healing ends—it’s where it begins.”

In a follow up to her powerful NYT column Life, Interrupted, Suleika Jaouad, a writer in her early 20s who was diagnosed with leukemia serves up wisdom on what it’s really like to be young and dealing with a cancer diagnosis. She challenges the heroic journey of the survivor and talks openly about resuming “normal” life once treatment ends. “The hardest part of my cancer experience began once the cancer was gone,” she says. In this talk, she challenges listeners to think beyond the divide between “sick” and “well,” asking: How do you begin again and find meaning after life is interrupted?

Unspoken Truths of a Cancer Journey

“I learned very quickly that in hearing the fact that I had cancer it yielded many strong reactions often of sadness, anger fear and grief, none of which had a thing to do with me or my diagnosis. All of which were a projection of the individual’s bias or experience with the word cancer.”

In this talk, Jennifer Cochran, a fitness consultant who was in the best of shape of her life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Coming to the conversation with a solid foundation of breast cancer treatments and surgical options, she felt prepared to take on her cancer. What she wasn’t prepared for was her treatment ending and her new normal. This talk sheds light on common unspoken truths that patients and caregivers face when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. She also touches on the lack of a survivorship cancer plan once treatment ends, reintegration in your career and the importance of being your own health advocate.

Everything Happens For A Reason – And Other Lies I’ve Loved

“I had to face the fact that my house is built with paper walls and so is everyone else’s.”

If only we had a dollar for every time the saying, “everything happens for a reason” was ushered, we’d be rich. Kate Bowler, an author and historian at Duke Divinity School, was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at age 35, after writing a book called Blessed. In her bestselling memoir also titled Everything Happens for a Reason (and other lies I’ve loved), she takes on the idea that personal and intellectual tragedies are a test of character. This talk explores this theme and also delves into life and meaning post-cancer.

We Don’t “Move On” From Grief. We Move Forward With It

“Grief doesn’t happen in a vacuum, it happens alongside of and mixed in with all of these other emotions.”

If your fans of the podcast Terrible Thanks For Asking then chances are you’ll love this talk by the same host. Nora McInerny knows a thing or two about grief after having a miscarriage, losing her father to cancer and then her husband to brain cancer –all in the span of months. Her sense of humour and lived wisdom flips the script on everything we thought we knew about grieving. Her take? That’s it’s something you can move on from. “A grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again,” she says. “They’re going to move forward. But that doesn’t mean that they’ve moved on.”

Want more TED inspiration? Here are our faves on vulnerability.

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