Out of the blue at 18 in 2005 I got pain in my leg and started to limp. I went to so many health professionals I lost count. Suddenly I got worse as time went on and I couldn't walk and my back was in extreme pain. I was misdiagnosed and later diagnosed with a benign tumour in my sacrum and had to have surgery. Three months later it doubled in size and I was referred to a specialist. It was a long journey and this time the tumour was all removed in a 8 hour operation but I needed metal rods and bolts to hold up my spine as the tumour ate away my bone in my back.
Fast forward to 2008 I was misdiagnosed when I was 21 and then diagnosed with a malignant tumour called 'osteosarcoma' which is an aggressive bone cancer in the sacrum & spine. As I was told it felt like time had froze and my brain couldn't take it in, what the doctor was telling me. I was oblivious that I was getting bad news on that day. Cancer? It was like slow motion and I was in shock and thought about all the worst case scenarios, especially death. I didn't even know my benign tumour could turn into cancer.
I was told there was no option to save my eggs. Due to the cancer treatment I later went through the menopause & I'm now infertile. I've found this extremely hard emotionally & wasn't really offered any support specifically for that which I needed to help me come to terms with it. I still get depressed every now & then from it and now have Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is just basically talking to a Psychologist about how you are feeling. I've always been maternal & wanted children & was desperate to save my eggs at 21.
Death felt so near to me because of the unknown and I worried a lot. At one point my parents were told I had 18 months to live. In 2008 at Christmas time I found out I was probably going to die. My brain couldn't take it in and being young I felt I was having my life cut short at 21. There were times I couldn't stop crying and it would depress me thinking about it. I had chemotherapy in 2008 and radiotherapy in 2009.
I was fortunate in 2012 to perform as a wheelchair dancer in the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympics. It was such a great experience, I've never felt so alive and ecstatic.
In 2014 I passed the milestone of 6 years in part remission but sadly my lovely Dad died of Pancreatic Cancer on the 22nd January 2014 at 4:40am.
I know death is around the corner but I've put it to one side and moved forward with my life.