I’d think of sharks, who have to keep moving to stay alive, even if they don’t want to
Having cancer isn’t as bad as it sounds once you’ve got used to it. I have so nearly finished treatment now, and most of the time my family and I don’t give it any thought at all. That said, it was hard at first, and my body took a long time to recover from intensive treatment, which it had to do while I was still having oral chemotherapy every day. I was really, really tired all the time for about a year, which was depressing and I was really unhappy. But my mother took me to see a psychotherapist which helped. And I’d think of sharks, who have to keep moving to stay alive, even if they don’t want to.
My play therapist really helped too, and so did my teachers at school, as well as singing in the choir – we performed at the 02 with Young Voices which was amazing!
Losing my hair was hard too – I’m now growing my hair because I want to give it to the Little Princess Trust who make wigs for children with cancer. And I’m still quite often sick as my liver does not function exactly as it should. And if I get a cut it takes forever to heal, and often gets infected, which means more antibiotics. As my skin is really thin after three and a half years of chemo, I get cuts really easily.
But I’ve managed to have a really normal life in many ways. We go on holiday to Scotland and to Cornwall and I go surfing, we go and stay at my grandparents’ house in the Yorkshire Dales where I ride ponies and swim in the river, and we go to my aunt’s farm in Norfolk. I do ballet and drama and choir and go to school (my friends and my class have been a really big support to me. I keep all the letters and cards that they’ve written me in a special box) and I play the clarinet. And some amazing things have happened, such as going to Legoland Denmark, thanks to Starlight Children’s Charity. And for the ultimate proof of how normal my life is, last Easter I fell out of a tree house and broke my arm and had to have pins put in it to help the bone mend.