I was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia in May 2018 and started intensive chemotherapy straight away. My world quickly shrank. After one of my longer stints in hospital, I remember going into town with a friend. I felt completely overwhelmed, like a fish out of water trying to remember how to cross busy roads and navigate crowds.

When treatment ended and I started to feel better, I craved adventure but also struggled with fatigue and feelings of anxiety. My Youth Cancer Trust holiday came at the perfect time.

One thing that makes YCT holidays special is that you can bring someone along, a friend, partner or family member. I brought my partner with me. Having events and trips just for cancer patients is important, but the chance to bring someone along to share the experience felt really special too. Cancer doesn’t just affect the person who is diagnosed after all.

It was just the 5 of us staying in Tracy Ann House which was really cosy. During the day, we did things like go-karting, swimming, canoeing and bowling. In the evenings, we played games, did karaoke and chatted for hours. Being around others who understood the whole cancer thing was amazing. Obviously, we didn’t talk about cancer most of the time, but we all knew that we could without it being awkward or weird. It’s hard to convey the sense of ease I felt. There was also no pressure to cram in too much or do anything you didn’t feel comfortable with. You could rest whenever you needed too.

Going out on a Rapid Inflatable Boat was one of my highlights of the holiday. It was so fun and the views were beautiful. Feeling adrenaline from excitement rather than fear was such a healing experience. And, for someone who is not a fan of things like rollercoasters, it was quite unexpected!

When you get cancer, you get a lot of ‘you’re inspiring’ or ‘you’re brave’. My YCT holiday reminded me it is enough to just be yourself. I immediately felt welcomed and at home, and the whole experience was a great blend of excitement and relaxation.

Thank you, Youth Cancer Trust!