Katharina’s Story

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I was 15 years old and I was living in Austria when I initially noticed the cancer symptom. I noticed a sharp pain in my hip and pelvic. I had a slightly higher body temperature. I thought it was only hurting because I was an active person and doing a lot of swimming, jogging, cycling and etc. but that a  few days later that the pain did not go away; my mum thought I was growing taller and the pelvic and hip were hurting for that reason. After a week the pain got worse and I could not sit or sleep, I was taken to the hospital and was admitted there for one week. However, sadly the doctors said they could not find anything abnormal with my bones and therefore gave me anti-inflammatory drugs and I was sent home.

A month after my discharge from the hospital, we moved to the UK and the pain had disappeared. Four months after we had moved to the UK I started getting the sharp pain again and it was more severe now.  I avoided going to the GP because I did not speak any English. The pain went away after a week.

I was getting the pain once a month. I saw my GP and they prescribed me painkillers. The next month my pain was very severe and I decided to go to A&E straightaway. I had my X-ray and again I was discharged with some painkillers. After a year I had the pain more severe and common than before. I had it every week for few days and then it would disappear. I was taken to hospital for the 6th time now (2 years now from the initial symptoms) and this time I was diagnosed with Bone cancer. I could not believe it and did not know much about cancer.

When the consultant told me I had bone cancer, I thought I would die because all I knew about cancer was that it is an aggressive disease and would eventually kill. When I was told about the treatment and staying in hospital every month for 1 week – I was shocked. I thought I would be the only teenager with cancer in UCLH.

When I went to UCLH and met so many teenagers, I did not feel alone anymore. I felt a lot more comfortable to speak to them than to anyone else because only they knew what I was going through. I found many new friends and was not as upset as I was when I had first been diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma bone cancer. I was feeling comfortable with the other teenagers because they did not have hair, eyebrows and eye lashes too. No one would stare at anyone for having any hair.

That one year of treatment would have been a lot worse if the ward and the staff were not as patient, kind and understandable as they were throughout my treatment. I must thank Teens Unite for everything. The love and support we receive from Teens Unite is very much appreciated.

I am telling my story to all my friends now at university about cancer signs and symptoms. I also tell them that there are great people out there who spend their time and money to make cancer patients happy and smile.

** If you would like to share your story and be in with the chance of winning a helicopter ride over the sights of London, please email your piece to Lauren at lauren@teensunitefightingcancer.org :) thank you! **

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