Introduction

What do you do when the doctor tells you that you have cancer? For me, on the cusp of adulthood, it was the feeling of debilitating fear followed by a chorus of “Why me?”

The physical side effects are often all too clear, but cancer reaches so much farther. It hurts on a mental, emotional and spiritual level, yet that pain is rarely shared. Eighteen and Cancer is a candid account of an overwhelming, transformational year, as I spent days and nights in cancer wards, underwent chemotherapy and endured pain like never before. I travelled the road from total hopelessness to full recovery, finally reaching a stronger, better life.

This book is for those who have just been diagnosed or whose lives have been irrevocably altered, as I share the questions I was faced with, the answers I found and the mistakes I made on this journey. This is not a three-step guide to dealing with the disease. Rather it is a practical book that tells the story of how I survived, learnt and grew from adversity.

It is for you and your loved ones, to help you to feel empowered as you take the first steps.

Photography and videography by Ákos Vincze.