I had been having muscle pain in my legs for about a year and the doctors weren't sure what was causing it, but they suspected that I'd hurt myself during exercise.
I'd had a pretty normal Christmas at home with my family, but the leg pains weren't going away. I'd been having regular blood tests over that year and in early January 2018 I was diagnosed as having Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
It was a shock, as I felt perfectly healthy apart from the pains in my legs.
I was told that I would need to start chemotherapy just days later on the Teenage Cancer Trust unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. I was in my second year of A Levels and I was quite glad to miss my mocks as I hadn't revised, but I was a bit worried about what was going to happen with my schooling. I was in hospital for all of January so my teachers came in to give me some lessons.
I coped okay as the diagnosis hadn't really sunk in. The Teenage Cancer Trust unit is really nice and I was surrounded by people my age which helped.
Over the next few months I had more chemotherapy, but I was able to just go in for the treatment and then go home again the same day. That made things easier and life felt a bit more normal.
In June, I had to spend five days in hospital having chemotherapy. While I was in, there was a pizza night and a breakfast morning on the unit and those helped keep my mind off the cancer a bit, which was good as I was depressed when I spent too long thinking about it. I also spent a lot of time revising for my A Level exams and I had to sit one of my exams in the hospital with an inviligator there.
It was a bit surreal doing it in that atmosphere as you wouldn't associate hospital with school exams.
I had my stem cell transplant in August and had to spend a month in isolation to avoid getting infections. I wasn't well enough to do anything for the first three weeks but on the last week I was bored and just wanted to go home. I had my 18th birthday while I was in isolation, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I was spoiled with gifts and surrounded by close family. These nurses got me a cake, card and gift which was nice.
I felt really well for a couple of weeks after my stem cell transplant and my family and I went out for a meal to celebrate me being out of hospital. Unfortunately, I got an infection that landed me back in hospital for nine days in September - it knocked me down.
When I got out, Teenage Cancer Trust's Youth Support Coordinator Sarah texted me to see how I was and it's nice to know she's always there if I need her.
My dad ran the Birmingham Half Marathon for Teenage Cancer Trust as a thank you for how they helped me. It was great that he took that on for me and he raised £2700. I had a cold and it was raining so my mum suggested I stay at home to avoid getting further infections.
I felt okay for a while but, unfortunately, test results showed that I didn't have enough stem cells in my bones so I was told that I needed to go back in for a top up in November. I was on the day unit and I didn't need to have radiotherapy, so it was less dramatic than last time.
I'm hoping to be well for Christmas so that I can spend time with my family and friends. After everything that has happened over the last year, it will be nice to be able to relax and celebrate.