Belfast Telegraph

'It's important to remember you can't appreciate good days without the bad'

Taken from Lana's blog at

June 15, 2016

My name is Lana. I am 17 years old, and on June 1, 2016, I was diagnosed with high-grade B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Cancer is a scary thing. The word alone leaves a bitter taste in your mouth - but I suppose that after 16 days of being an in-patient with tests and treatment, I have grown used to it. But just because something is familiar does not mean it's not scary; sometimes the fact that it is familiar only makes you more afraid. I never thought I would be diagnosed with cancer, especially not at 17.

I never thought that the bad cold that knocked me on my a** for a few days would turn out to be anything except that: a bad cold. I never thought I would be making a blog dedicated to my cancer journey - and yet, here we are.

This blog is my safe haven: a place for total honesty with myself and with others about the struggles and strengths I face as a 17-year-old with cancer. I hope that this blog might let someone in a similar situation know that they are not alone - and keep everything powering forwards, for myself and for other sufferers. We can do this.

June 17, 2016

As I write this entry, I am sitting in a hospital bed - I have some kind of infection, and as my white blood cells are so low due to the chemotherapy, I need antibiotics to get me better. I was admitted yesterday and will likely be here until Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. The good news is, however, that I feel much better since yesterday, when I was so exhausted and overwhelmed that I came on to the ward with grey lips and tearful eyes.

Yesterday made me think a lot about this topic in particular: bravery.

I do not consider myself a very brave person - it's a quality I greatly admire in others, which I would love to have, myself. But recently, I have been told over and over how brave I am - and it's finally sinking in that bravery is relative to the person.

So maybe I am brave.

Bravery is being able to face your worries and your fears - and this comes with everyday tasks.

But always remember, it's okay to be scared. You can't always be brave, and you don't have to be, either. Being scared is part of life - it's a balancing act of bravery and fear, and so long as you're happy with where you are, I'd say you're doing just fine.

June 21, 2016

Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.

Not every day can be good. You need a little rain to see the rainbow, after all! But it's important to remember that the bad days don't last long - and you can't appreciate the good days without the bad.

For the past few days I've been in hospital with an infection. Nothing serious, in fact anybody who hadn't just had chemotherapy would fight it off naturally - but my white blood cell counts were so lowered that I couldn't fight it, and so I needed antibiotics.

When I came in, I was feeling so awful that my lips were quite literally grey - and within a day I was a much better colour. Five days on, and you could barely tell I had an infection. I still can't leave my hospital room - my neutrophils are very low, leaving me susceptible to infection. But my infection markers are coming down well, I have no more temperature spikes, and everything is recovering well.

It'll just take time.

Belfast Telegraph

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