I'd just turned 18 and was hoping to get good A levels, go to university and enjoy my life. Then all of a sudden that was snatched away from me and I was being rushed from hospital room to hospital room.
It’s not a time you want to be ill. You want to be fighting fit. All my friends were going away to university while I was forced to sit on the sidelines. So it was a lonely time.
To this day, I can't look back on that time in my life and think, 'oh, do you remember so-and-so's 18th party?' What I look back on is the fact that I heard about it through Facebook. I saw the photos but in reality I was at home, probably watching TV or in my bed sleeping. It was a sad time.
Being diagnosed with cancer so young is really isolating because it’s such an important time of your life. A lot of stuff is changing.
Friends are going to empathise with you as much as they can, but they can't understand what it feels like to have constant CT scans, or to have cannulas in you the whole time like you're a pin cushion. You can’t share experiences at that age. I think that’s the hardest thing. Even though you’re not consciously left out of things, you’re forced to sit out on the sidelines.
Things are so good now that I look back at that time and think, wow, that was really tough. It's like an isolated period that you can revisit in your mind. But thankfully I can revisit the bad bits at my own leisure. I don't have to constantly have it in my head.