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My Name Is NOT Cancer

Letter from Megan

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Megan Fletcher I've had a full and amazing life so far and even going through this, it doesn't stop me thinking how amazing life is: from living abroad in Dubai, to taking a gap year and becoming a dive master and scuba diving in some amazing places!

I am a 21 year old student at Plymouth University studying Human Biosciences although I had to defer university for a year in September 2009, 'cos of treatment.

Diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma on 2nd January 2009, I did my first 6 months chemo whilst continuing my studies.

After 11 months constant chemotherapy (ABVD, CLivPP, R-ESHAP) I was told by my consultant on the 23rd of December 2009 that I had refractory disease (it was a particularly badly behaving type and that chemo hadn't worked) meaning I was chemo resistant.

I didn't want to spoil anyone's Christmas with such crap news (please don’t take offence at my language) so I asked my family to keep it to ourselves and believe it or not we all had amazing time: Mum, Dad, Bex (aka: fairy-fluff, my pet name for my kid sister) and even better, we had snow!!!! Yay :-)

The treatment plan at this point was to do radiotherapy and steroids to zap the cancer if/when it was being a problem, hoping I'd get onto one of the medical trials.

There's no doubt I was aware of my situation however, as Mum would often say “the fat lady may be warming up her vocal cords, but she wasn't singing just yet” - the focus was to be on wellness!

After recovering from two bouts of pneumonia (in January and March) and intensive radiotherapy, the disappointment that I didn't make the trial as it was over-subscribed, was a bit of a blow but somehow not a huge surprise! I've more radiotherapy planned as the cancer has spread.

However, I've also decided to accept my place back at Plymouth University later this year! It gives me something good to focus on. As to whether anyone think it's unrealistic: it's my life, my body, my positivity, my energy… and I am sooooooo excited and happy :-)

When faced with dying, and let's face it, the only universal fact of life is that we all will die, there isn't much out there for someone like me! Although we are all life limited in some form or another it's not something we tend to acknowledge.

There's lots of info about different cancers and leaflets, groups etc, and about types of treatments, but I found no one to relate to when wanting just to be me! So this is for you.

Lolz Megz xox

Keep smiling… its “Game on”

(My approach to life! Guess it's my motto!)

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