Age: 21

Cancer type: ovarian cancer

Carly was featured in our 2015 Royal Albert Hall film.

Diagnosis

I knew something was wrong when I started getting bad stomach pain. When I was lying down it felt like something was pushing everything up so I couldn’t breathe properly. I also felt really tired and had bad backache. I knew this wasn’t right so I went to the doctors and they said it was nothing to worry about and gave me painkillers.

The pain got much worse though. I would be crying on my knees the pain was that bad. I had to go to A&E but they didn’t do a blood test and sent me home with painkillers and said to go back to my GP. In the end I was going back and forth to the doctors 2 times a week for about 6 months.

Eventually I got a blood test and a phone call later from the doctor to say I needed an emergency ultrasound. I arrived for it but it couldn’t go ahead as it was just too painful. After being referred to a gynaecologist they found I had a 16cm tumour growing on my right ovary and I’d need emergency surgery because it was growing so fast.

Treatment

I had surgery to remove my right ovary tube and tumour. 7 days later I was told the tumour was rare and I had cancer. I didn’t know what to say, what to feel. It felt like I was in a strange bubble. Straight away I started chemotherapy at another hospital. I was put on an adult ward and was surrounded by people 3 times older than me.

Not long after I was luckily transferred to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. It was so different and felt like a second home.

My hair came out two weeks after my first chemotherapy. I noticed it when I was having a shower and it was upsetting so I got my partner to shave it off. Treatment became hard and painful.

Life after cancer

I’m pleased to say I’ve now finished treatment and I have a part-time job.