At the age of 24 I was unexpectedly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. I successfully beat it after undergoing four gruelling rounds of chemotherapy, but two years later the disease returned and I was told that alongside more intense chemotherapy, I would also need to have a bone marrow transplant.

Both times I have dealt with the physicality of the disease pretty well and faced the treatment head on, confident and willing to beat it. But it has been the psychological effects of having cancer again and the experiences that came with it that have left emotional scars, which have affected most aspects of my life.

When I relapsed I was not only dealing with the trauma of having to go through a bone marrow transplant, something that was completely unknown to me, but I was also grieving for my father, who had passed away only three months earlier. Managing all these feelings on top of experiencing intensive chemotherapy again was a struggle, but having a psychologist to guide me through this time was invaluable.

Having a psychologist to guide me through an emotional minefield made me feel as if I was not alone. While my body is healing, my mind is now having to process what I have been through and that can be overwhelming.

Being able to talk to someone who was not emotionally connected to me, who essentially had an outside and experienced view but was neither my nurse nor doctor, was refreshing and a source of great comfort. Having someone guide me through an emotional minefield made me feel as if I was not alone. My psychologist was able to give me strategies to deal with the situations I faced and prepared me for what was to come as I neared the scariest part of my treatment.

Personally I have needed more help after than during my treatment. Once I had experienced the physicality of the cancer I have now been left with the social and emotional fall out. While my body is healing, my mind is now having to process what I have been through and that can be overwhelming.

Even now, six months on from transplant, I am encountering issues that are only just surfacing as I begin to get my life back. The cancer created a ripple effect and permeated most aspects of my life from my appearance, to my friendships, my employment, my personal relationship and my ability to socialise; none of which can be solved by the simple popping of a pill. These are essentially the invisible symptoms of cancer and seeing my psychologist regularly allows me to deal with these effects as and when they arise.

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