Meet Keryn, diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, aged 18

Meet Keryn, diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, aged 18

Hi! My name is Keryn. I am 21 years old and I am just about to start University! I would consider myself to be a very active and creative person. I love spending my free time with my guitar or piano and indulge myself in a complete moment of zen when listening or creating music. 

I found out about my diagnosis two weeks after my 18th birthday, it was a complete shock. I was taken to A&E for a completely different reason to what I had ever imagined. I was alone and scared because my dad wasn’t allowed in the room with me due to covid, and me being an ‘adult’. When I was told, I thought to myself, ‘no this can’t be right, they’ve got it wrong, I’m not sick, I can’t be sick’, but that denial turned into six months of intensive chemotherapy. That right there, was the moment AML Leukaemia had a hold on me. 

I was in hospital for five weeks at a time and had four cycles of chemotherapy. My first cycle was the hardest and I remember every single piece of medication I had to take during my experience. My mom was in hospital with me which made it easier, and I felt less alone. 

I was away from my family for six months. I went through treatment during covid, so we couldn’t see friends and family anyway, but this was a lot different. I couldn’t even see my sisters or my dad. The only time I could see them was when my mom and I went home in between cycles, even then, that was only for 1 week. 

I didn’t tell any of my friends for a while. I didn’t want them to feel like they had to feel bad for me or check up on me every day. To be honest, I didn’t want them to worry about me. 

They always say that after a few years your body starts to get back to normal. That is wrong. I’ve been cancer free for nearly three years and I still get aches and pains and constant bruising on my arms and legs. I still feel out of breath, tired and fatigued, but I have a great support system around me to help if I ever need anything.

I found out about Teens Unite through word of mouth. I knew that I needed a place where I could escape for a while and just be around people that understand me when I say I’m tired and feel drowsy. Teens Unite have given that to me! 

I have met some incredibly inspiring people through Teens Unite that I will connect with forever. It’s a bond that can never be taken away. Signing up for Teens Unite is something I will never regret as I have felt more confident and more accepting of my diagnosis because I now know, I am not alone with what I have been through, and cancer will never take that away.

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