Meet Rebecca, 17, Chondrosarcoma

Meet Rebecca, 17, Chondrosarcoma

When I was first diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma, I was 17 and in the middle of my A levels. I had lots of hospital appointments and ended up having to put my life on hold, have an extra year at sixth form, redo some of my exams, and go to university the following year.

I was clear for 13 months after my first operation and then had a relapse, meaning I had to have another operation, which set my life back even more.

As the cancer I have doesn’t respond to chemotherapy, everyone thinks I’m just a normal, healthy girl. When in reality, I’m facing some of the most difficult issues that I really don’t know how to cope with.

I really struggled with my confidence, as I didn’t know who I could talk to or what I should do/say. I wasn’t able to do any exercise, or play any hockey, which is something I’ve done since I was 9 years old.  

I constantly felt weak, and had extreme fatigue the majority of the time, I really struggled with concentration, which affected my education.

One of the biggest struggles for me was being dependent on other people, like doctors, medicine, machines etc. I hated not being able to do what I had took for granted all those years before I was diagnosed.

It took me a long time to come to terms with the concept that my life really was never going to be the same again. My confidence levels really did hit rock bottom, I didn’t know how to act around other people or what I should say as I wasn’t sure they would understand, and I didn’t want them to feel sorry for me and begin to treat me any differently. I’m not in remission - I’m under surveillance.

Teens Unite have made me feel as though I belong somewhere. They helped me build up my confidence regarding speaking to people who are going through something similar to me. In the next few years, I want to be able to attend more Teens Unite events so I can build my confidence further and get to know new people.

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