16


What helped you to thrive?

I wouldn't be writing this today without the support of my family and friends who kept me positive, cheered me up endlessly and still continue to do so even if they don't realise it. I was also fortunate enough to have a team of professionals who made me feel safe and confident that things were going to be okay.

Alys' Story

In September 2012 I started to experience severe pain in my right knee and went to my GP several times only to be told to give up my job which involved a lot of standing and to complete some routine knee exercises. It was only after seeking extra advice from another doctor who called for an urgent MRI scan that I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in January 2013. I was 16. I completed 6 cycles of intensive chemotherapy on TCT’s T12 in UCLH and underwent a femoral replacement in RNOH Stanmore. However, this was not without complication and my treatment lasted for around 11 months because of various infections. I’d be lying if I said that those 11 months were easy because they weren't. There are definitely a few memories I’d rather forget but they say anything worth having is worth fighting for and my god, did I fight. I recently went to my 18-month post treatment clinic appointment and everything looks fine so touch wood.

People often think of the cancer treatment itself as the most gruelling part of recovery, but in my experience, I think that adjusting to ‘normal’ life again was much harder. I remember feeling extremely anxious to start socialising again, being in crowds and sometimes even getting out of bed. This anxiety is something I still often feel but I’m definitely learning to deal with it.That’s not to say there aren't any positives that can be taken from a cancer diagnosis. For example, now I’ve gone through chemotherapy treatment I’m fairly certain I can get through most other obstacles life throws at me and still stay afloat. It’s also given me the drive and career goal of becoming an Occupational Therapist to help others regain their independence the same way mine helped me, so it's not all bad!

I wouldn't be writing this today without the support of my family and friends who kept me positive, cheered me up endlessly and still continue to do so even if they don't realise it. I was also fortunate enough to have a team of professionals who made me feel safe and confident that things were going to be okay. However, sometimes the people around you just don't quite get where you’re coming from, and how could they? They went through treatment just the same as me but from a different perspective. This is what I really like about Trekstock - its created for those living and recovering from cancer by those living and recovering from cancer which I think is really important in order to work towards a better future for those affected by cancer. It’s good to talk about things and God knows I could talk for days. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you need someone to vent to or just want to discuss who your favourite Kardashian is!