Hello! My name is Medina Yassin and I was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Ependymoma at 18 years old with a consequent craniotomy and proton beam radiotherapy. Now 20 and in remission, I feel like I should be doing more to raise awareness of teenage cancer/brain tumours and the effects they can have, whilst more generally helping others in similar circumstances, come to terms with diagnosis, treatment options, living with cancer and life after cancer.
I think people have this misconception that we as humans have all the time in the world to live our life, so sometimes put off ‘living’. Cancer taught me, amongst other things, that none of us have forever, and I think that is one of the most valuable and powerful things to understand, and I want people to know that a cancer diagnosis, isn’t the end of your life, it can be, and was for me, the start of a more meaningful part of my life, filled with joy, laughter, love, and hope of course, along with sadness, pain and often a feeling of helplessness. Learning to embrace all of these emotions and turn them into ‘living’ is something I think anyone, cancer or not, should try to do, and if this blog helps just one person then I feel like it’s worth it.
I guess I always thought that I didn’t ‘fit the mould’ of someone who gets cancer, but I have since realised that there is no mould of the people that this illness effects and everyone’s experiences and coping mechanisms are different. However I do know that that doesn’t mean you have to feel alone and whilst I won’t pretend to have all of the answers because I don’t, I hope that in sharing my story and how I have coped with things it will bring comfort to people who are, or who have friends/ family going through anything similar.
Feel free to get in touch with any questions, or worries, or if you just want a moan about how shitty cancer can be to someone who gets it. Similarly if you’re looking for a bit of hope or moral, I feel like it may be useful to hear my personal story and how things can get better as I know there were some pretty low times where I didn’t believe my life or I would ever be okay again… but believe it or not things turned out better than I could have ever hoped for, and now, instead of wishing I never had cancer, I’ve learnt to appreciate what it taught me, and I couldn’t imagine my life any other way. x