THE BLOG

My Life Living With Cancer...

29/06/2015 16:59 BST | Updated 28/06/2016 10:59 BST

Hello everybody. I have now uploaded a trio of 'Cancer and...' videos to my YouTube channel. I am ecstatic in announcing that, so far, I have had an incredible response. I have received great feedback from my family and friends and, most rewardingly, my viewers and subscribers. It is my goal to help people better understand cancer and its far-reaching impacts; I am extremely proud to report that the comments on my YouTube videos suggest that I am doing this.

The first instalment of my 'Cancer and...' series dealt with a well known, but often misinterpreted, aspect of suffering with cancer: being bald. I felt that hair loss and potential baldness where highly important points of discussion, especially, given that baldness is so often regarded as the 'face' of cancer. I talked about the fear I had of losing my hair, and how I felt when I eventually lost it. I also discussed the reactions I had from the general public; the stares, the self-consciousness and the people who followed me in order to cast open gazes at my hairlessness. These experiences were horrific. I had never felt so intruded upon, but learnt quickly that I was not the first person to have undergone such scrutiny because of the way cancer had changed my appearance. With this knowledge and mindset, I realised that facing people and not being intimidated by what they think was the strongest and best possible approach moving forward. I discuss a specific example, involving a young girl and her mother, which made me realise the importance of always keeping an open mind. On this occasion, a young girl pointed at me and shouted "Mummy! Did you see that girl with no hair?". The girl, obviously unaware of the meaningfulness of her question, was not being malicious. She was, I have come to realise, like most people who saw me, simply curious and confused as to why a female, so young, should be bald.

Here is the link to 'Cancer and... being bald': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJVYoHmz-nc

My second 'Cancer and...' video is called 'Cancer and... Battle Scars'. In it, I share information regarding past operations, cancer treatment and permanent, visible, changes to my body. Specifically, I mention scarring from procedures, stretch marks from steroids and tattoo's from my radiotherapy. I wanted to allow people to see the physical changes that, sadly, so many cancer sufferers must endure. I showed my scars to my viewers and discussed the pain and how I still feel about them.

Here is the link to Cancer and battle scars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e58os9yPNe0

My third 'Cancer and...' video was about my teenage fight with cancer. In this video, I explained the emotional and physical impact of my diagnosis on my sixteen year old self. Ironically enough, I was diagnosed on the day of the school prom (fortunately, I had no plans). I also remarked on the jealousy I directed towards my my peers as I watched them having fun and living their young lives. It was hard seeing freedom and choice in their lives. I was blindsided by cancer and being in hospital became a 'normal' part of my life. It still is.

Here is a link to Cancer and being a teenager:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fB9UZ_eocs