Age: 15

Cancer type: non–Hodgkin lymphoma

My doctors thought that I had jaundice, and I wasn't eating or drinking properly, so I was sent to my local hospital. They thought that I had liver problems, so I was taken to the liver ward at Birmingham Children's Hospital. They said it might be an infection, but that it could be cancer

Scans confirmed that I had Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I was completely shocked. It didn't feel like it was happening to me, and at times it still doesn't feel like it is.

I was transferred to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the hospital for a week and a half, before being transferred to the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham as that was closer to my home and made it easier for my parents to be there

Molly in her hospital bed

I had to have six rounds of chemo and I spent 180 nights in hospital. I had massive FOMO as all my friends were putting things on social media about what they were doing at school and how they were enjoying themselves out of school.

I couldn't have fun and I just felt like I was wasting my holidays and time being in hospital. When I was out of hospital, I didn't like the look of myself and I was self-conscious of what others would think.

Molly with a cake on the unitI was about to go into my last year of GCSEs when I was diagnosed so that added to the stress. I didn't go to any of the lessons in school in year 11 until 4 weeks before my first exam. When I was in hospital, I had a lot of side effects from the chemo and I was too poorly to revise. I also had sepsis, so that wiped me out.

I honestly didn't think I was going to get any qualifications but nearing the end of treatment I felt well enough for one of the ladies from the hospital school to come to my hospital bed, or for me to go to hospital school, and to work on my assignments. It was hard when I realised how far behind I was with my work, but I was determined to do it.

Most of my friends knew what they wanted to do in the future, but I didn't. The Teenage Cancer Trust staff were helpful in talking through different options with me. This helped calm me down and plan for the future.

The Teenage Cancer Trust nurses were just great generally and they seemed to have more time for me than nurses on other wards. They weren't always rushing about, they would get their job done but then they would also sit and have a chat with me when they realised I needed someone to talk to. They got to know me personally, which was a good feeling.

Molly in a dress shop

I also liked the Teenage Cancer Trust day room as I was able to go in there when I felt well enough and watch TV with my family and just feel normal. There were always activities happening as well that I could join in with and it took my mind off things. I made some friends and we would just talk about normal things most of the time and laugh and joke around.

It was great to have a break from the serious stuff and enjoy myself again.

I've finished treatment now and will be starting college this year. It's great to be able to do normal things again and enjoy my life. 

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