What I Learned from Having Cancer
At the age of 17 I was living out my life like a typical teenage girl, studying and socializing. I felt perfectly normal except for a lump under my arm. After a few visits from the doctor and a biopsy I was diagnosed with a type of cancer called Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. I finished treatment April 2010 but physically and mentally I had become a different person due to my cancer journey. Lets just say it put a lot of things into perspective and put me on a path of purpose.
Throughout my journey I faced many challenges; I suffered with psychosis, I was hearing and seeing things that weren’t there. I am normally a very positive person but psychosis put me in a dark place where I no longer felt like myself and I did things out of character.
Two weeks before my 18th birthday something very serious happened as a result of my body reacting to the toxins in chemotherapy. My body shut down over a period of hours: I couldn’t walk, talk, move or even swallow my own saliva. I was trapped in my own body and doctors didn’t know when or even if I would recover.
The doctors' main focus was on getting rid of the cancer but I couldn’t help but focus on my physical rehabilitation. I have spent years working with physiotherapist, personal trainers, acupuncturists, kinesiologists and various other types of holistic and complementary therapists. I have made amazing improvements but I still have a long way to go. Even now people still doubt I can further improve but I will never give up because that’s what keeps me going.
It took this experience for me to wake up and start looking after myself properly. I changed my diet to more natural foods and I began to treat my body correctly. My experience showed me how strong I was and the importance of positive mindset and self-belief.
That's how I came to decide I wanted to help people be more health conscious. So I set up Pure Helps to Cure, which is a registered Community Interest Company. It’s all about natural health, lifestyle and mindset. Underneath Pure Helps to Cure CIC I then went on to write and self publish a book: Cancer The Hidden Truth. It is self-funded and profits go to vetted cancer charities and projects.
It is a true account of everything I went through on my journey. It has sad, funny and happy parts. You only hear about people dying and surviving but you never hear about the mental and physical struggle, which is what I have tried to convey in the book. It details my journey from diagnosis through to recovery and beyond. Cancer is the backdrop really; it is also a story of a teenager's journey to womanhood, strength in times of adversity, the power of the mind and the body and about the love of a family and the strength this can give you.
I think it is so important to speak up and let people know they aren’t alone, giving advice of what worked for me in the hope I can help others.