Age: 16

Cancer type: Hodgkin lymphoma

"I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma when I was just 16.

At first my skin was really itchy, I then started losing weight really quickly and I was always exhausted, even to the point where I almost fell asleep in my classes at school.

I was misdiagnosed with tuberculosis and spent about 2 weeks in a infectious disease ward in Addenbrooke's, before that I spent about a year backwards and forwards to my GP, and had a 3 week hospital admission for my symptoms of night fevers and unexplained sicknesses.

Whilst I was in the infectious disease ward, I was taken to have a small needle biopsy in my neck which was scary. Being needle phobic myself I tried not to think about what was actually going on. After my results came back everything basically escalated further.

When I was diagnosed it was really hard to understand and I didn’t actually know it was cancer at the start.

I was sat on my bed in hospital when the consultant came into the room and I could tell by the look on his face that it wasn’t the best news. I had only just started my GCSE exams, which were really important.

In the space of a few days I had started my chemotherapy, I was put on escalated beacopp which was really toxic to my body and it made me really sick but there were so many medications that controlled my sickness.

I then had 16 courses of radiotherapy which took about a month, it was targeted and my throat and neck.

I was placed on a hard board and a mask was moulded to my face so I kept in the same position every time.

My 4 months of chemotherapy was completed October 2016 and my 1 month of radiotherapy was completed December of 2016.

"Chemo-brain" was a very big side effect for me. I had some memory loss, sort of like fuzziness in my head, I still get it today, one minute I'll be fine and the next I'll feel really sick, but it's all over in 1 minute or so.

I lost all of my hair, with chemo it's most likely but I didn’t really want to believe it at first, I think I was more upset about losing my hair than my actual diagnosis but I knew it would come back. Sickness was a main side effect, but like I said the medications are really amazing. I also got a lot of indigestion and pain with my chemotherapy, but I always had some Gaviscon which usually cleared it.

I was treated on C9, the Teenage Cancer Trust unit in Addenbrooke's.

The unit was absolutely amazing, the minute I was wheeled in I got so emotional. I was so overwhelmed at how different it was, I didn't feel like I was in a hospital at all.

Going from an infectious disease ward to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit was a massive jump but it was the best thing to happen. The nurses were so kind and understanding. The social zone and pool table was a really great way to interact with other teenagers. I made loads of friends that I will have for a lifetime.

Amy was my Youth Support Coordinator, the minute I was in my room she would be there cheering you up even when you're at your worst. She really made a big difference to everyone on the ward.

I think the biggest challenge for me was the amount of medications. Steroids sucked, my face was round, I put on weight. My hair had fallen out, I was pale. I hated it.

But after a while I understood how amazing my body is, how I have coped through cancer, and survived it. I just kept reminding myself that it's all temporary.

I recently attended a Teenage Cancer Trust Royal Albert Hall gig, It was amazing, definitely a once in a life time experience.

I am hoping to fundraise for Teenage Cancer Trust soon, my nan recently did a raffle and raised over £200 which is amazing and my friend Archie dyed his hair pink and raised money for the charity.

I am currently an A-level student at sixth form, studying psychology, biology and sociology. I'm hoping to go to uni at the end of my A levels to study psychology/criminology or children's nursing.

If you've just been diagnosed, understand that everyone is here to help not hinder. Push everything aside and think about yourself here, your body is amazing and you need to have a positive attitude, I think that's the biggest thing, positivity and an open mind can get you anywhere, it got me through the darkest time of my life.

The Teenage Cancer Trust units are amazing and the people you meet are incredible.

Sometimes it's good to have a cry or be sad, but keep positive. It gets better.

Help us reach more young people with cancer like Amy