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  • Jacob
  • 16th Aug. 2018

Cancer took over my life at just twelve

I didn’t even know what cancer was and suddenly I had to face it. Here I was wondering if I was going to die.

It is fair to say that my life changed overnight when I was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma, a very rare cancer in the extremities of the arms or legs. Not only was it scary, but also isolating as I found out who my real friends were…

The treatment was very hard with many side effects; it was exhausting, and everything happened so fast. I tried to stay strong, but it wasn’t easy, some days I would break down.

Then I became part of CanTeen and my life simply changed: as they helped me throughout my journey. Karen, my CanTeen Youth Support Coordinator has been such an amazing support. She has listened and provided me with limitless support and coping strategies.

Through CanTeen, I have been able to deal with any fears, concerns and pains, either emotional or physical. I have felt that CanTeen gets it; everyone there understands me – from the staff to other members who are going through the same journey. I was surprised to discover how well we can relate to each other.

Going through the therapeutic group workshop allowed me to get my life back on track, I couldn’t stay and hide in my room anymore. I have enjoyed making new friends and going on trips. Having a break from cancer made me feel alive again.

It has been good to simply be Jacob, and not Jacob with cancer. I also realised that my life will never be back to normal, but it is now the new normal. It was very frustrating, and I wanted things to go back to the way they had been before cancer. I know that CanTeen has made me so much happier and I have made some great friends for life.