(21) was sitting for his A levels in the summer of 2015 when he began to feel
sick and extremely tired but thought it was due to the pressure of his
from Gloucestershire in southwest England, still felt ill two weeks after his
final test, his mom insisted he see the doctor.
Three days later he was diagnosed with acute
three-and-a-half-year battle, James is now cancer free and about to finish his
first year at university – a landmark he never thought he'd see.
studying hotel resource management at the University of Gloucestershire.
when he first got sick, he noticed he couldn't stomach food.
was eating came straight back up. I was feeling awful all the time and was
tired and dizzy constantly.
I kept it to myself and was very dismissive of it all.
hindsight I was very ignorant, cancer was the very last thing I thought it
could have been and in the end it was.”
his symptoms intensified as he carried on writing exams, but he was able to
cope most of the time.
apart during his last two exams.
having to support myself to stand up because I was so dizzy, I thought I was
going to pass out.
weeks after my exams were done, I still felt terrible.
mom dragged me into hospital because she knew something wasn't right, and after
having blood tests I was diagnosed with leukaemia.
took A levels in history, classical civilisation and anthropology, immediately
began intensive chemotherapy treatment.
five stages of chemotherapy over a gruelling three and half years and lost more
“When I was
diagnosed I was very numb to it.
already so unwell I couldn't fully comprehend what was being said to me, so I
didn't get that initial shock most people get.
I started the chemotherapy I was massively weakened by it, the fatigue was
terrible and I had no energy to do anything.
was a big struggle because I saw all my friends go off travelling and go to
university and I felt I was stuck in a bubble.
was difficult, I felt like I was missing out."
was unable to go to university during his treatment, was finally well enough to
attend in September 2018 after finishing his chemotherapy.
having blood tests every few months to monitor his condition, currently he’s
cancer free – and has enjoyed taking part in student activities.
to live at home during his studies and rarely mentions his cancer battle to his
not embarrassed but I don't go out of my way to mention it.”
going to university was a huge milestone.
actually move on with my life. To anyone else going through the same thing I'd
say it's scary and frustrating but you're not alone.
come to an end and once it does, everything does get better."
Source: Magazine Features