Monday 16th December 2019
In August 2018, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). I finished treatment in February 2019 before relapsing in May.
As you may have worked out, that means I was mid-treatment over the Christmas period in 2018 and I'm now due to spend this Christmas in hospital.
Last year, I was in post-chemo blood count recovery stage leading up to Christmas and managed to catch a nasty infection, so it was uncertain whether I would be making it home for Christmas. However, that wasn’t my main concern, I was focussing on surviving the infection and if I managed that in time to get home for Christmas it would be a bonus... And a brilliant bonus it was! I had ‘Driving home for Christmas’ on repeat all the way home (on December 23rd) thanks to a timely recovery and discharge.
A few days before I got home, I managed to make it to the Teenage Cancer Trust ward Christmas party, which was another amazing bonus.
It was my first time out of bed in over a month and I was surprised at how overwhelming it was to be socialising again.
The Christmas party was so incredible that, if I hadn’t made it home, it wouldn’t have mattered as much to me. I was able to celebrate with my friends and family and escape everything else for just one day.
This year however will be slightly different. There is no chance of me going home or to the party due to my treatment plan, so my wonderful Teenage Cancer Trust support worker, Carrie, brought Christmas to me! Carrie turned my hospital room into a Santa’s grotto with personalised lights and decorations. It looked incredible!
My amazing family then arranged to have an early Christmas day whilst I was well enough, in that very room. Using the facilities on the Teenage Cancer Trust ward, my Mum managed to cook a delicious Christmas dinner. If that wasn’t enough, Teenage Cancer Trust sorted me out with WiFi, TV and crafting supplies even though I was on another ward. It’s simply not possible to be miserable whilst making Christmas cards with Christmas bangers blasting out all day long.
It’s these little things that make such a big difference over the Christmas period for patients like me.
Without my Teenage Cancer Trust support team and these amazing facilities none of this would have been possible. I had a lovely alternative Christmas day thanks to Teenage Cancer Trust not letting cancer cancel Christmas for me.