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  • Dee
  • 6th Nov. 2018

I can’t imagine my life without CanTeen

I’d known that something was wrong for two years and I didn’t know why. There was a lump growing on my face. I was losing an abnormal amount of weight. I was sleeping more than 18 hours a day and couldn’t hold down a job. On top of that, every time I bumped into something, I ended up with huge bruises and a little cut would heavily bleed.

But every medical test came back clear. I started to feel very frustrated and withdrawn as no one believed me. My cat Mini and Lucy – the name I affectionally gave to my facial lump – were my only companions.

Then, early February this year, I finally had an answer to my deteriorating health – lymphoma. I was almost happy to know I had cancer as it proved I had not been imagining things. And the realisation that my cancer had interrupted my life and changed the plans I had for the future made me angry.

I started to be scared wondering how I could face cancer on my own. Little did I know that CanTeen would change my life. Youth Support Coordinator Miranda got in touch with me as soon as I was diagnosed and hasn’t left my side since. In hospital I always felt sick and lonely, but Miranda regularly visited me. She even attended every single one of my chemotherapy treatments and kept me on track with treatment.

CanTeen helped me open up about my cancer journey and face my grief and fears. I’ve entered a world I didn’t expect or want to be part of but, in the process, I’ve discovered the amazing specialist support CanTeen provides, like putting me in touch with other young people living with cancer. Together, we can talk about life, share our experiences and feelings, and simply be us.

I can’t imagine my journey without CanTeen. They are my family and I can rely on them. They’ve helped me put my life back together after cancer tore it apart. I’ve learnt to better manage my feelings of sadness and anger.

This Christmas will be my first since my diagnosis and to be honest, I’m excited.  My diagnosis has completely changed me. I’ve matured and I’m excited to live my life, with CanTeen by my side.

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