One year ago today I received confirmation of my cancer diagnosis; primary mediastinal large diffuse b-cell lymphoma. I’ve completed the most awful, horrific, and brutal treatments over the past year, I honestly wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.
1 cancer diagnosis
1 collapsed lung
2 weeks in hospitals
2 days in intensive care
5 scans in total
1 ovary removed
1 A&E visit
1 diagnosis of SVT
6 rounds of chemotherapy
1 flight to America
22 sessions of proton beam radiotherapy
How the bloody hell am I still half-sane? As a twenty year old girl, being told you have cancer, was one of the most shocking and heartbreaking news to receive: you never think it’s going to be you. So to be told that you’re going to have chemotherapy, and that you will lose your hair, an infection could potentially kill you, and chemotherapy will drown you with tiredness and sickness, it wasn’t in my vision of young adulthood.
I’ve had my fair share of bumpy roads, and I’m so grateful that I’m here and have recovered well since all my treatment. I’ve overcame some fears, and gained new ones in the process… and now that I’m out of the black hole, I can see the person that I have become. Nothing says blossoming into a flower because of cancer. But it has, I look back, and yes the times were hard and I’d never want to go back there, but I have learnt so much and taken so many life lessons away with me. Most twenty-one year olds can’t say that. I’ve found my voice and a community of fantastic people that I belong in. Being diagnosed with cancer, I thought would send me into a downwards spiral forever… and here I am, happy with who I am. Granted, I would’ve never asked to be diagnosed with cancer, no one would. Sometimes, you’ve got to find the positive within negatives. Don’t let the negatives consume you. Although you’ve been handed a bad set of cards, there’s always a diamond in the rough.
With that said, I couldn’t have done this year without a bunch of people. So here goes:
Thank you to the NHS and the hospitals that treated me and took care of me, and all the doctors and staff that make the NHS.
Thank you to my mum, sisters and my dad and also my boyfriend Sam. Surrounding yourself with people who love you, was the key to getting through this.
Thank you to the teen and young adult ward, for introducing me to some great people, and hosting events for us to go to. And providing me with resources, and information that I can actually digest as a young person.
Thank you to the team in America for looking after me during my proton beam radiotherapy, and making me and my sister feel at home.
Thank you to these amazing charities: CLIC Sargent, MacMillan, Teenage Cancer Trust, Trekstock, Little Princess Trust, Maggies Centre and so many more!
Thank you to the people who sent me cards, presents and lovely messages through the hard times, your love and support never went unnoticed.
Thank you Twitter for connecting me with likeminded people, and making me feel less alone throughout my cancer diagnosis.
I’m sure I will have missed someone, but please know, that I’m thankful for every single one of you.
Here’s to another year, another adventure.