"It's not good news I'm afraid, Rachel, I'm sorry to have to tell you, you have cancer."
It was exactly 11.30 when my doctor called me through. That sentence is all I remember about the appointment. For about 10 minutes he must talked a lot about cells they found in my blood, where I would be getting treated, what my treatment was, how long it would take, did I have any questions? No. We left the doctors surgery and drove home in complete shock.
I never asked any questions because I didn't even know where to start. That night I looked up "Acute Myeloid Leukaemia" on the internet which was a bad move. I'd sat and looked through hundreds and hundreds of forums and websites but it seemed as though as soon as I found something positive about my condition, I'd find negatives too. Thats why I wrote my blog Rachel Bouncing Back.
Two days after being diagnosed I set up Rachel Bouncing Back with the intent to give a positive, sincere and informative outlook on my personal journey.
I spent four months in an insolation hospital room. Where I picked up every hobby under the sun, you name it, I did it; rug making, knitting and card making. Boredom made me 17 going on 70! My friends came in from time to time and my family visited me everyday, so I was never alone.
Hospital life soon became normal. I made a lot of new friends there, the nurses, porters and doctors all understood my situation and there was always regular hilarity going on in my room whether it was Des the porter trying on my wigs or the cleaners' escapades from the night before!
As you can imagine, with a lot of time to think, worrying thoughts often played on my mind. I have learnt to deal with this in various different ways. I tried to stay focused on a positive outcome rather than let other negative thoughts enter my mind. I'm sure everybody's way of dealing with this and varies from one person to the next. My way was simply talking to people about my concerns. I'd take a worry, look at it head on, tackle it and then put it behind me. Cancer has given an inner strength that I would never have discovered otherwise.
One year later and I am loving life! This summer I worked at T In The Park with BBC Introducing, I began a music business apprenticeship in Glasgow and have started interviewing bands for the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. I have not let cancer define me and I am finally getting my life back on track!
This week I will be speaking on Aled's Surgery Show on Radio 1 to discuss my journey over the past year. Among other things we will be talking about the importance of being diagnosed as early as possible. I was, this was a major factor on how responsive the treatment can be. However, I feel that as I was young I wasn't taken very seriously. It took over eight visits to the GP over a period of six weeks to be forwarded on to a specialist.
I hope that I can encourage teenagers like myself to go to your GP with any concerns and to be persistent, learn to be aware of the signs of cancer and stay positive!
For the first time this Sunday, The Surgery with Aled and Dr Radha on BBC Radio 1 is dedicated to the subject of cancer. One in three of us will develop cancer within our lifetime and this show looks at young people living with it and affected by it. The show has been working with several cancer charities and five teens at different stages of their cancer and Rachel will be in the studio with Aled and Dr Radha on Sunday 20 October on BBC Radio 1 from 9pm - bbc.co.uk/radio1