This pain came and went sometimes lasting weeks; it started as a sharp tooth ache pain in my back and snaked down my leg into my foot. After visiting my GP I began to be treated for rheumatism in a clinic as from an x-ray it looked like my joint in my hip was inflamed. But I noticed things were getting worse and the rheumatism clinic was not helping! I wasn't being picked for the netball team as I kept falling over and at night it was difficult to sleep and get comfortable.
Everything then happened very quickly. On the last day of school before the Christmas holidays I was well, but by Christmas Day the pain had taken over me, I could no longer eat or go to the toilet because of it. I was taken into A&E on Christmas Day and stayed in hospital for a week, where I was diagnosed with a slipped disc and bed rest. I mentioned to the doctor that I had a lump on my back and it was from this point everything changed. I was allowed off bed rest, got better pain killers and saw members of my family rushing in and out of the hospital with worried looks on their faces. I was clear my family knew that it was something serious.
I was transferred from my local hospital to a specialist orthopaedic hospital in North London where I had scans and biopsies. I was told by the doctor that I had Ewing sarcoma in my sacroiliac joint. I was on my own at the time, however, I managed to stay calm - all I could do was wait for my family to arrive.
After being at home for a week, my family, I and a huge 'Keep Smiling Ruth' poster, made by my friends went to the adolescent unit at Middlesex Hospital. My multi discipline team included Professor Suhami and Doctor Whelan. It gave me strength and hope when Professor Suhami turned to me and said I was going to be OK. I completely believed him.
My tumour could not be removed so I had to have a 52 week course of treatment. With every third week I would have to have three days of chemotherapy. So for one week out of every three I was wiped out. I carried on going to school when I could and with help from a tutor I managed to carry on taking four GCSEs. Typically I lost all my hair which was not a good look for a 15 year old girl for a whole year! But I made do with wigs and make up.
I struggled one third of the way through my treatment when my radiotherapy began. The sacroiliac joint is such a sensitive area that it made my insides go hay wire and I had very uncomfortable burns. The whole year was hard and at points I had to really fight with myself in actually going to hospital. But what got me through was the constant love and care I received from everyone around me. I still saw my friends and my family took turns visiting me in hospital so someone was there with me each day. My sister lived nearby and would come and collect me once the last drop of my chemo had gone and take me home. I wouldn't have been determined to get better if it wasn't for my friends and family.
All in all the treatment went well. My white cell blood count was often low although I only picked up one infection in the whole year. My red cell count was often low too so I would have to stay at my local hospital for blood transfusions.
My philosophy was to keep my life as normal as possible. I never felt resentful and thought why has this happened to me. I honestly think I was able to get myself well because of a combination of three things - the excellent specialist care I received in hospital, my own determination to get better and the love and support of friends and family.
Since the all clear a year later I have been well ever since (18 years to date). That is not to say I have remained unaffected by what I had been through. I think about having cancer a lot. The good and the bad bits. I have had to come to terms with not being able to have children and the fact that my kidneys no longer work properly due to the chemo. But all this doesn't stop me from living the life I want and knowing that at the age of 15 I achieved the greatest thing I will ever achieve in my lifetime - getting over cancer.