Meet Megan, diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, aged 15

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Meet Megan, diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, aged 15

I’m Megan, aged 20, studying Primary Teaching at Uni. Before my diagnosis I was a very active teenager - I loved going on long walks with my family and played tennis weekly.
 
Towards the end of Summer 2015 I became very tired and irritable, I didn’t want to go out as it took up so much energy. I kept attending school as it was my GCSE year, but two weeks into the autumn term I developed a pain in my hip and started limping.
 
After two visits to my GP, I was sent for a blood test which indicated cancer (I didn’t know this at the time). I was admitted to hospital via A&E and needed a blood transfusion straight away as my haemoglobin had dropped to 57 (it should be between 120 to 150).
 
After two days of tests, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. I needed more than two years of treatment.
 
During this time, I completed my GCSEs and then went on to college to study Childcare and Education Level 3. I was able to ring the end of treatment bell on 19 January 2018, a day I will never forget.
 
Sadly, due to complications caused by steroid treatment, I developed a condition called Avascular Necrosis (AVN). The steroids had cut off the blood supply to my joints which led to my hip joints crumbling and collapsing. I needed to take a year out of college and during this time I recovered from a double hip replacement. Both my shoulders will need to be replaced at some point as well.
 
The treatment itself was not the hardest part – it was the unforeseen complications, having my education interrupted and the long-term side effects.  To this day I still suffer with fatigue, memory issues and a lack of concentration.
 
My CLIC Sargent social worker told me about Teens Unite. I didn’t feel very confident during treatment, but once it was finished, I soon got involved.
 
Since signing up, I’ve taken part in Clip and Climb, yoga sessions, beauty days and a Mother’s Day Afternoon tea (my mum loved it). The one event that has really stood out for me was the Activity Stay when I cannonballed off a raft into a lake.
 
Cancer is a very isolating experience. I found that my friends, although amazing, didn’t fully understand. Through Teens Unite it’s been so lovely to meet individuals who have a shared realisation of what I’ve been going through.
 
Teens Unite doesn’t focus on the cancer but links you to likeminded young people – similar to a family, that enabled me to forget my worries.
 
My hope for the future is to follow in the family trend of becoming a Primary School Teacher. I am adjusting to a new ‘normal’ health wise and looking forward to this next stage in my life.

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