At the age of 20 I was doing what most 20 year olds do – working full-time with a part time job and socialising when I could. I had also recently passed my driving test!
The pain started when I fell over on a night out, I was in so much pain I could hardly move but to be honest thought I'd sleep it off. I'd never really been ill or injured before.
Nothing changed in the morning so I started to take painkillers. After probably 3-4 weeks I was advised to visit my GP. There I was told I had sciatica and there was nothing they could do for it so just take paracetamol.
The pain got worse so after six weeks I went back and saw another GP. They told me the same and told me to go home. This happened a few more times, until they referred me to a physiotherapist.
The physiotherapist asked a few questions and did a few small tests and as soon as he realised my leg was numb from top to bottom he referred me for a MRI scan.
I was in so much pain I couldn't sleep and was having baths and showers in the night to try and relax the pain. I also visited A&E during the night and was sent home with sciatica.
I was called two weeks later to be told I had a tumour! He told me not to worry - 'it's probably not cancerous'. I didn't worry, who gets cancer at 20? 'It's probably a tumour that can be removed!', I thought.
I was sent to Birmingham for a biopsy, which they didn't get enough so I had to repeat the process. The specialist from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital rang a week later to confirm it was cancer. Ewing sarcoma of the pelvis Stage 4. This had also spread into the soft tissue around the bone.
Everything was a blur from then for a few days. I went to see different GPs that didn't know what cancer it was. From finding out to starting chemo it was probably two weeks. I didn't really understand much - I just got on with it.
I had 6 cycles of VIDE chemotherapy, which only shrank the tumour a little.
Then I was chosen for the research treatment. I could either have 8 cycles of smaller chemotherapy or a high dose stem cell transplant. It was a really hard decision to make at that time as there is so many side effects to the transplant as it is such a high dose of chemotherapy. I chose the transplant and spent 3 and a half weeks in isolation.
During my transplant I became very ill, I caught a bug sickness and diarrhoea bug. I didn't eat for weeks and lost 2 stone. I was so weak I could hardly walk, and just wanted to sleep all the time. After the transplant I had to wait for my body to become a little stronger before it got another battering of the radiotherapy - six weeks of everyday radiotherapy. The radiotherapy was hard but compared to the transplant it was a walk in the park!
I've been out of treatment for two years and still am very weak. I haven't gone back to work yet as I can have really bad days with different side effects. I do volunteer at the hospital helping other patients with their image during treatment.
I am currently undergoing investigations as my lung has part collapsed - just another side effect of the chemo. But all in all two years in remission is great!