Most young people I’ve talked to were diagnosed really late on, because they were seen as too young to get cancer. Young people don’t have as much awareness about cancer. If young people get ill or if they get symptoms, they never in their head think that it’s cancer. I want to raise awareness, especially of women’s cancers. A lot of women’s issues, like bleeding and stuff like that, get ignored. If you go to a doctor and say, I bleed heavily, then often they just say that you are fine, or put you on the pill and it doesn’t go any further.

Sometimes at the doctors you have to ask for things, you don’t get offered them. So I was aware that all of the things that I had managed to get for myself, most people wouldn’t know about, or they might be struggling too much to have the inclination to get in touch with charities and the support available. If you don’t have that knowledge and the experience of how to do it, you can just be left with nothing. So that’s why I like to share experiences and talk about what’s out there for people.

I felt the whole way through that a lot of the support that was available from charities and doctors was always just leaflets or websites. There was rarely anyone physically that talks to you. You’re just kind of signposted stuff to read, which I never do. It’s just like, ‘oh, thanks, chuck that in the bin. Waste of paper’.

I think it makes a big difference when it’s peers talking to each other.

I found that a lot of people I talked to along the process weren’t good at talking to a younger person. So they just didn’t really connect with me on my level and it just felt like they were used to talking about cancer with someone way older. It just felt like that here was a really big gap. Especially because what you do go through when you’re young is different, like fertility. And your life’s in a different place. I was buying a house when I got diagnosed. I’d just bought a house, I don’t have any savings, so time off work was a worry. There’s loads of things that were completely different for me that I felt wasn’t covered. So that’s why I like to write about the things that young people go through when they have cancer, to show that different side of it. I am trying to raise awareness of the symptoms and the issues that people go through, where there’s gaps and where support and services need to be improved.

I think it makes a big difference when it’s peers talking to each other.