Posted on Thursday 30 August 2018

Grace’s story – Cancer doesn’t mean your life is over

Just three days after Grace, 23, gave birth to her son Austin, she found she couldn’t walk properly. She had previously had a benign tumour on her thigh but six weeks after the birth the doctor said ‘it’s cancer’. From her bone cancer diagnosis, Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker Sam stepped in, ready to help, support and guide. He provided a specialist package of support tailored to Grace and her family. Here, she tells her story.

Grace with her son Austin

Grace with her son Austin

The cancer didn’t shock me. But the thought that I might not be around for my son really hurt me deeply. It made me feel so low.

Since then my husband has had to be the mum of the baby really as I’ve been in hospital a lot with the treatment and infections. In total I’ll have six cycles of chemo.

Hospital has been really, really tough and I almost died with one of the infections I had, I was in intensive care. But I’m not ready to die.

When we first met, my Young Lives vs Cancer Social Worker Sam listened to the things I was worried about – like paying our rent.

Peace of mind

But Sam knew everything about benefits we could claim and he gave me a Young Lives vs Cancer grant, which we used to help pay our rent. He’s also put me in touch and helped me get grants from other charities. It has given me peace of mind.

Sam has helped me come to terms with what I’m going through too. It was so hard at first. I couldn’t even imagine one day with cancer. When I was first on the ward, I had my hair and seeing all the others who were bald and looked ill made me feel funny about everything. I was able to talk to Sam about that.

He’s always there. I talk to him, cry to him, joke when I need to. He pushes me to stay positive and has arranged for me to see a psychologist so I can talk to them about some other problems I’ve been struggling with too.

We are still here, we are alive. It is amazing what you can survive without – even your hair.

Grace, looking at the camera

Staying positive

Cancer changes things. But I want people to know that cancer doesn’t mean that your life is over. We’re not just all lying down in a bed all day being ill.

It is about fighting it and staying positive and it is a new opportunity for you to do better. It’s not that you have cancer that your life is gone.

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Young Lives vs Cancer is the charity that helps children and young people (0-25) and their families find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them.

Find out more about how we support young cancer patients, and their families. If you need support yourself please contact us.

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