I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2002, one week before my 16th birthday. I underwent extreme chemotherapy treatment and a stem cell transplant in a trial research program. Now, due to side effects that weren’t known at the time, I have quite a few different disabilities and illnesses that creep up from time to time. I have to use some fancy gadgets at home, and I’ve got a boring old, regular wheelchair to get me where I want to go.
I get by as best as I can and don’t particularly consider myself ‘disabled’, though there are things I can’t do that really irritate me, because I used to be able to do them. I’m just happy for what I’ve got and try to get on with it.
The only real blessing it's given me is the freedom to spend all day, every day, following my passion - writing. Other than family and my reviewing hobby, there are no other commitments to take up my time, as I'm considered unfit to work. Which means that I get to write all. the. time.
After my treatment, I actually wrote a book about my experience as a teenager with cancer. It was posted on Wattpad after I completed it, then published with Write More Publications, but has since been unpublished due to Write More closing down. The book is still available to review, in its original (unedited) format, on Wattpad. I've been lucky enough to have some amazing readers, who comment to let me know how much my experiences help them cope with similar life struggles, and how my survival gives them hope, even for family members who are going through similar things.
You can read the book, An Unpredictable Life, for free on Wattpad right here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/9749942-an-unpredictable-life