Tuesday, 5 May 2015
The Journey so Far
I found out I had cancer the day after my 17th birthday on the 7th of April 2015. I had been feeling unwell for a few weeks before this, but this was obviously still a considerable shock which I would say only now has begun to sink in. I have stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma which is a type of blood cancer mainly affecting young and elderly people. It is slow to progress and early stage symptoms are difficult to detect, meaning it is rarely found at stage 1. Before I was diagnosed, I noticed a small lump near by collar bone that looked like a swollen gland, and was believed to be by my GP to be an infection because of my high temperature. I was put on antibiotics which obviously did nothing before being referred to the hospital for a biopsy which confirmed the cancer. Everything was put into perspective from that moment on. The little things paled into insignificance and being around my family and friends was, and still is, the thing I wanted to do the most. I'm on my first round of chemotherapy, and I've had good days and bad even though I am only 9 days in. I thought it would be good for me to make a blog, not only so that when I'm having a bad day I can look back and see the good so I can continue to make progress, but to hopefully tell other people my age an honest account of what it's like to be a teenager with cancer. Word of advice, don't google it! (I haven't but it was the first thing my specialist said and I can understand why he said it.) From what limited experience I have of 'having cancer' I already feel like it carries the same sort of social stigma as mental health problems. Although very different circumstances requiring very different action, they both have the same result. People don't know what to say. Sometimes it gets too much and I don't know what to say. So I thought I would type it instead.