I'm Zoe, aged 17. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin's Lymphoma earlier this year. I've now finished my treatment and waiting to have a scan.
The side effects of treatment made me feel incredibly tired, to the point where sometimes I would sleep for most of the day or just stay in bed. I think the worst part of the treatment was the infections; I'd have to be in an isolation ward. Luckily for me, only the first two cycles were intensive chemotherapy, so the side effects weren't too bad. However, I think anyone who has had cancer will understand that you feel quite isolated from the rest of the world and even when you see your friends, you tend to avoid the subject of cancer since it's unlikely that they'll understand.
I think I've grown up a lot since my diagnosis; it forces you to experience things that most adults will never experience. I think I've also lost a lot of confidence since then, not just because I lost my hair, but I don't know how people will react to me.
To be honest, when I was diagnosed, I don't think I felt shocked. Prior to my diagnosis, I went through months and months of a lot of pain and other problems, such as anaemia, skin rashes and severe insomnia. So in a way, I felt relieved that finally I could understand why I was having these symptoms.
I recently went to the Discover You event organised by Teens Unite and I heard a lot of speakers talk about their own challenges and how they overcame them. Even though most of the speakers had not had cancer, it was really inspiring listening to them talk and helped me in my cancer journey.
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Detailed below are our events for Teens, Volunteers, Fundraising and Challenges.
Volunteering with Teens Unite has changed my personality and outlook on life. When I hear all the amazing things the teens say about Teens Unite, I can tell they mean every word.Nathan, 23, Volunteer
Teens Unite isn't just a charity to me, it was the beginning of restarting my life.Jess, 22, Teen, Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
When Elliot started receiving the support of Teens Unite, I could see a change in him straightaway. His outlook on life was becoming positive again and I gained strength from seeing my little boy accepting what had happened and starting to move forward.David, Parent to Elliot, 18, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma
I needed help and that's where Teens Unite came in. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and the reason I met Teens Unite was to save my life.Harry, 20, Teen, Testicular Cancer
With Teens Unite, I finally realised that I could climb out of this massive hole that I had been digging because I wasn't alone anymore.Leanne, 21, Teen, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
If it wasn't for Teens Unite, I wouldn't be where I am now. They have been really supportive and given me the strength to push myself and not give up.Derry, 20, Teen, Brain Tumour
My wife inspired me to volunteer following her fight against cancer. I wanted to help others carry on living their lives the way she did. And that's exactly what Teens Unite does.John, 64, Volunteer