Friday, 30 March 2012

An unorthodox 18th

My 18th Birthday was on the 9th of December 2011, and I had a party with all my friends and went out for a meal. It was a fantastic birthday by all accounts because I ended it drunk as a skunk!

It wasn't until the next day that I found out that one of my friends, Ali, had passed away the day before. Ali Turner was 19 when he died. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010 and after months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brain surgery, he was told that his tumour had gone and that he was in remission. It returned in early 2011 and he started chemotherapy and radiotherapy again. He was told that the chemotherapy had stopped working and there was nothing they could do for him in August 2011.

Ali was always an inspiration to me and someone to look up to. His type of cancer was also very rare and it made me realise that even when things looked bleak you could still fight on and make the best of things. Ali's parents and his sister were on the ward a lot and were the loveliest people you could imagine. I couldn't and still can't understand why bad things happen to the nicest people. Life truly is unfair sometimes. 

Ali's funeral was held on Thursday the 15th of December. Afterwards we went back to the golf club he played at it made me realise how many people just one person can affect. It was heart-wrenching to hear his friends speak about him, but also amazing because it made me realise what a great person he had been.   I think about him every single day without fail and I'll never forget him. 
Ali, his parents and his sister

RIP Ali Turner.

I had my scans in late January, following all my exams and they didn't show any new growth, luckily. This was the last proper scan that I had and so far I don't have any unusual pains or coughs, so hopefully nothing has started growing again. I have scans every few months to look for any sign of new cancer growth. I will have this for the next 5 years, at which point I will be a survivor. At the moment, I'm still classed as having cancer and although I sincerely hope it doesn't start growing there remains a risk that it may. I worry about what would happen if it does because it would most likely mean I would only have a while left. This thought is with me every day, every hour and every minute. Whenever I have scans coming up I worry so much about what could potentially happen.

I guess the only answer is to live each day as if it's your last. Take every opportunity given to me and try not to worry. We are all dying and it is the inevitable end to each and every single one of us. Don't waste a day because you'll never get it back. 

Live your life, it's the only one you get.