When I was 17, I thought I was making the most of every day. I loved drama, shopping, holidays, hanging out with my friends and I was getting ready to apply for uni. I led a pretty normal teenage life.
But then something changed, and my ‘normal’ life as a teenager was cut short. “I’ve got some bad news, it’s a tumour,” the doctor said. I was diagnosed with stage 2 osteosarcoma and boom, I was catapulted into this crazy cancer world.
It was like a movie moment. Everything went high pitched. At that point I thought I was either going to throw up or pass out. I had absolutely no concept of what was going on and for the first time in my life, I was genuinely petrified. You just never expect it to happen to you. It’s only when something as dreadful as cancer happens, that you realise what making the most of every day truly means.
After the diagnosis, everything happens so quickly. You don’t even really get time to digest what is happening to you. You kind of just go into autopilot, and keep going because you have to. Within a matter of weeks of the diagnosis, I had started chemotherapy, a concept which could not have been more alien to me. I was petrified of even going to the doctors so the thought of having to be in hospital for nine months was horrendous.
The Teenage Cancer Trust ward had everything. Kitted out with TVs, games consoles, computers, a pool table, you name it, we had it. It was incredible and there was always something happening. Whether that be a music workshop, some kind of arty activity, massages, or pizza nights. One day a lady came in to give us all new hats and do our nails, and it was the things like that which made the harsh reality of cancer treatment that little bit more manageable. It meant that we could just be teenagers.
Teenage Cancer Trust is so needed in Brighton to ensure that young people with cancer can get treated on their doorstep. It would mean that it’s easier for their friends and family to visit them and that could really help them feel supported during the difficult time. It would also mean that they don’t have to travel for check-ups, and they have a specialist team nearby in a medical emergency. They could also meet local young people who are going through the same experience as them so that it’s easier for them to stay in touch and meet up to help each other.
To find out how the charity have helped other young people please check out our website.