Archive for the cancer awareness Category

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis

Last week I wrote about my experience of talking to two people who were newly diagnosed. How I felt that even after so many years, there just was not enough support for people facing cancer treatment. Despite our many years of experience, generally, people are still left to face a traumatic time on their own.What really shocks me about that, is when I use my own personal experience as an example. My diagnosis involved stage 4 incurable cancer. No one knew if I would live or die. Everything I was facing was a totally new experience, and despite the fact I was 51, it was really frightening! That was only the treatment etc, not even including losing my job, income and all the things associated with that. I was introduced

Supporting people affected by cancer

Supporting people affected by cancer

Normally, I like to have my new blog post written and launched by Friday each week, but since the increase in my treatment regime, and prior engagements made long ago, this week and next are particularly difficult and will find me writing at the w/end. However, another reason for my time issue, is that I have had contact from 3 people, who I have encountered in very different situations, and have asked for various forms of support with their issues. This prompted my thoughts for this post. All of these people are unfortunately, ‘experienced patients,’ with family, friends, and medical teams around them. However they have chosen to contact me, regarding their issues. I wrote last year that it was ‘time to look at the ways we offer support‘ but I also

The reality of living in a permanent shadow

The reality of living in a permanent shadow

Despite, the fact that I don’t work, my weeks are never boring. My trips to hospital use a lot of my time, and I have calculated that in every month, I spend a complete week at hospital. I have had to become very selective in the projects that I am able to get involved in, so that I allow myself, enough recovery time between treatment. My reality is that I am unable to do the things that my brain remembers I used to manage! It has taken me a long time to come to terms with that. I watch enviously as my friends fill up their social lives, and plan holidays. Remembering those days, as if they were yesterday. Now, there are times when an evening out can feel like

Confessions of a cancer fraud (Annmarie’s story)

Confessions of a cancer fraud (Annmarie's story)

After 6 years of treatment in the cancer sector, my learning never stops. Unlike a lot of things that we learn in our lives, everyone’s experience is unique. So, no amount of reading, or talking with others can ever prepare you, for how you will deal with your own cancer diagnosis. Some people just quietly get on with what they have to do, and others are happy to share their experiences. There just isn’t a correct way of dealing with things, just what feels right for you. One of the things that I have learned,is so much that happens around cancer is out of your control. Not just how you feel about things, but particularly how other people view you, because of cancer. I have written about this on several

Just a piece in the jigsaw of life

Just a piece in the jigsaw of life

My treatment has started again in earnest this week. Unfortunately, my efforts to regain some of my life have not been successful, and after trying my treatment monthly, my graft v host disease is beginning to get a grip on my body again, and I must resume a more aggressive regime of fortnightly. I did start a self centred moan to my Consultant, who smiled. She said that I will HAVE to slow down now, and that the staff would be pleased to have my company more often! There are certainly many down sides of being in the hospital so frequently, and the treatment is tiring, but unlike chemo, it is not toxic. I am still plugged into a machine for hours but am able to focus on my thoughts.

Sometimes it’s hard to look in the mirror.

Sometimes it's hard to look in the mirror.

For the first time since I started this blog, I thought I might be suffering ‘bloggers block.’ Not as painful as it sounds! Nothing had really grabbed my imagination, but then I received two ‘tweet pics’, from people who are going through transplant, and bumped into a lady in clinic who I hadn’t seen for ages. I struggled to recognise any of them. With a combination of the drugs and treatment, they were going through, their physical appearance had changed dramatically. All three had lost their hair and a lot of weight.Despite my own personal experiences, and knowledge, I am always shocked to see the effects of that on the body. Changing appearances, is a common issue for people with long term illness, and I had written the below piece last

#never2young bowel cancer, Hayley’s story

#never2young bowel cancer, Hayley's story

One of the great benefits of social media, is that that you can see a lot of up to date information quickly. With Twitter and this blog, I am in contact with people around the world, not just involving blood cancers, and stem-cell transplants, but many others too. I enjoy keeping up with other aspects that I may not be quite so familiar with. Over time, it seems that I have connected with a lot of people affected by bowel cancer, and I am benefiting from their knowledge and support. Just over a week ago, my Twitter time line went crazy with a new campaign, #never2young. It was raising awareness about early diagnosis in young people. Bowel,is the 2nd biggest cancer killer in the UK, and like many, it is