It’s the absolute worst thing any of us could ever imagine. But cancer doesn’t discriminate; and almost 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK.
That’s more than 10 children every day.
We’ve been fortunate enough to speak with a very strong young man named Ethan who has agreed to share his experience of this disease with us. Ethan hopes that his story will help inspire other children or young people diagnosed with cancer to stay strong and keep fighting.
Meet Ethan. He is from Catford, London and is 17 years old. And three years ago, his life changed forever. This is his story.
“I remember the day clearly. It was 25th January, 2013, and my whole life was about to change forever. This was the day that I’d be diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, which I’d later learn is a type of connective tissue cancer.
“From this day on, I was a new person.”
At first I was extremely pessimistic and went through all the natural emotional responses you’d expect – anger, sadness and even depression. But I soon overcame this.
I realised that the only way I was going to be able to conquer this was to have a clear head, and I slowly began to manage my emotions rather than let them control me, and I did this simply by allowing my loved ones to love me. I opened myself up to them and they helped me realise that anger and frustration was only wasting time and energy – it wouldn’t change anything.
Being calm and acknowledging the position you are in is the first step in the healing process.
Treatment and Healing
On the 3rd July I had a six hour operation. I was expected to be bedridden for a while, but within the first week I forced myself out of bed and was soon walking around. I even managed to keep on top of my press-ups!
But being strong physically has little to do with making it through. Healing is about strength of mind – you need to force yourself through the process mentally first, and you will soon realise that your body will follow. If you feel like you can’t do something physically then do it mentally first. Afterwards the physical side will seem easy.
And I’m better now. My mind prevailed and my body followed suit.
Having cancer and going through this whole ordeal was actually an amazing experience for me. I know it sounds strange to say that but it really has changed me for the better.
I appreciate things more, and I don’t look back on being ill and having treatment. Instead I look back at the great times – the times when I was getting notably stronger each day, and the support I received from family and friends. It’s so much easier to remember the fun than the distress, believe me.
Stay strong and stay connected to the people who love you.
I hope I’ve helped at least one child see that there is life after cancer.
How you can help
Savoo has teamed up with Children with Cancer UK to help raise awareness of the work they do in funding research to determine the causes of cancers, to find cures and provide care for children with cancer, but we need your help.
You can donate to Children with Cancer UK for free when you use Savoo’s search engine or download a free voucher code or money-off coupon. Find out how you can support the fight against childhood cancer from where you’re sitting – for free.