The one C-word we all wish we never hear is cancer. It is like the devil in disguise taking whatever it touches. It’s one word I never thought I would ever hear at 17, when life is barely getting started and everything is/ seems so innocent. Of course, as a naive rebellious 17 year old it just seemed as nothing more than a cold, it isn’t till now 4 years later looking back and thinking crap I actually had cancer like what the hell. It wasn’t till recently that i accepted being ‘ill’ and the after effects are with me till death, that you can’t just hide, run and everything will be Gucci. Well, you can but it’ll definitely catch up with you. I hate to say it but its caught up with me and it’s only now I can sit here and write this, and say I accept it. Even though it was shit I am grateful it happened, it’s one of the reason’s I am who i am today.

I know you probably have loads of questions I kinda just rambled on a little bit. So, I will tell you all about it and the details, I want to raise awareness as not many people know of the cancer (its not common in young people) It was stage 3B Papillary variant follicular Thyroid carcinoma. Mouthful I know.

How I found it. I was getting ready as you do and felt my neck for some reason and there was a huge lump on the left side of my collar bone. I rang my mum straight away and told her i was full on freaking out, (i bet your probably checking your throat now).

The next day we went to the walk-in centre to get it sorted. The doctors up until diagnosis was very dismissive and classed it as a goitre even though my thyroid bloods were normal. After a few weeks I managed to get an ultrasound, then I had to have an another then finally a biopsy. It had taken nearly 2 months at this point and in the meantime, google was my best friend but bloody hell, that thing is deadly. After the biopsy it came back inconclusive, annoying i had to be awkward. So, in August 2018 i had my first surgery where they removed half of the thyroid. Apparently it was one of the strangest and biggest thyroid cancers she’s seen #unique.

Take her memories, take her experiences, take the years still left on the clock. Take her sparkle, take everything about her, her life she should have experienced, because you do not give only take, you are merely a vulcher to those still living

Libby R Gilpin

I finally started college in the September studying health and social care, i was so excited just being one step closer of becoming a nurse. As well I started my first ever job at McDonalds, don’t judge me. Everything was going well finally settled in a new city and earning my independence. Finally, i got the results back confirming it was cancer which didnt phase me, i was just to busy on life, that it became like a chore. I had to go back and have another surgery, and this is where the conversation started about freezing my “eggs” as the radioactive treatment can cause infertility. I never wanted children, personally at 18 it’s something i wouldn’t think about. I got the appointment and went twice, but when I went I never had anything to freeze. They didn’t know the cause why, and I still dont. My motto then was if you dont think about it, then it wont affect you. So I carried on with the treatment I was radioactive for a week, I was in lead room in the hospital. Literally felt like something from a film. Afte I was just getting on with life, finally my wings where starting to flurish. I had found my confidence and sass. August 2019 I had the all clear.

Since, then I have carried on as normal, but one thing that has always stuck with me, and probably for anyone who has had cancer is the dread that overcomes you when you feel a lump or bump on your body. Im always tired, and ive got baby hear all over my hair line, my voice is croaky, i cant speak loud and i speak softly, i have a scar on my throat, I have hair loss and to top it all off, it causes anxiety (love that). I could be insecure about all of these things, i could choose to dislike them but you know what i love all of them ‘flaws’. If im going to be honest and i rarely speak about this, the most soul-destroying thing about the experience is the fact i will never have children. A little version of me and my partner. I never wanted children then but as the years have gone by, and the fact i will never have a child makes me yearn for one so much more.

I could fight with myself, lash out, get so low that i dont see a way out, (it has got that low but this is another chapter) or hate the world, and be enraged with envy. Or the path ive chosen which is acceptance. Acceptance of what was and what will be. What i cant control does not control me. This is something which has taken me many battles to realise, but I am at peace. I beat cancer, and I am f**king proud of that.

“let your hook be cast in the river where you least expect it, there shall be a fish”


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