Archive for the cancer charities Category

The Impact Of Sharing Cancer Experiences

The Impact Of Sharing Cancer Experiences

In recent weeks I have been invited to share my cancer experiences with a great cross section of people and in very different settings, but they were all extremely powerful for both me and the audience. I have been doing this work now for approximately seven years, and it never ceases to amaze me how powerful it always is. Of course every audience is unique, and each presentation is delivered in a different way, to suit, but basically the message is the same. Not only does it have impact on the audience, but I always feel very emotional too! Last Saturday I spent the afternoon being filmed for Cancer Stories, a wonderful project that offers peer support through videos. This took me back to my original diagnosis and brought so many memories

Cancer Discrimination, What’s Your Experience?

Cancer Discrimination, What's Your Experience?

This weeks post was prompted by a conversation I had with my bank recently. Having been with them for more than 10 years I wanted to ammend a few things to bring them up to date, but of course they don’t like change and I needed to have a phone call to review things! My bank know more about my money than I do, but insisted I go through every penny I spend and earn, plus detailed questioning on what I do for a living. Not being able to work after I got sick has been no issue to them up to now, as all the bills are paid promptly. But the fact that I am no longer able to work regularly at the age of 59 suddenly became important. Could I provide proof of income, did I have a pension,

How Do You Cope With Adversity?

How Do You Cope With Adversity?

Living so much of my life now in the ‘cancer world’ I am always amazed at the things people are able to achieve despite the health cards they are dealt. But this week I saw two examples away from cancer, where these people have overcome incredible hurdles and are achieving things much beyond what they might have dared hope for. In both cases life was very cruel, but they found resilience and determination and never lost hope that they could do something special with their lives.  My first example is Gill Hicks who is a double amputee victim from the London 7/7 bombing. Gill describes how her determination and a strong empathy for the plight of others helped her to create a ‘second life.’  “I’ve managed to create a constructive anger,” she

Ellie’s Legacy Is Changing Lives!

Ellie's Legacy Is Changing Lives!

In recent weeks I have written about some of the wonderful, innovative resources that are being developed to help people affected by cancer. Many have been started due to personal experiences, and finding the support gaps that currently exist. I have known of this organisation for some time, and I am delighted to be able to share the wonderful work that they do. In this piece Tom explains what led him to start the service, and how it works. “Ellie was 28 when she started writing her own blog, writtenoff.net, having been told that that her breast cancer had spread to her bones and that she couldn’t expect to live longer than six months. Ellie’s blog gained thousands of followers and inspired her readers with her determination to defy the odds. Her descriptions of endless hospital appointments

What Does ‘Cancer Support’ Mean To You?

What Does 'Cancer Support' Mean To You?

Once I was ‘enrolled’ in the cancer community and saw how little awareness there was about the issues facing people affected by cancer, I knew that I had to get involved to try and improve things. People like me needed help, although I wasn’t really sure what was available and what I needed when. The early times were a bit of a blur if I’m honest and staying alive was my first target, but as time passed I started looking around firstly for the things I needed, then what was around that might help others. In 2007, when it all began for me, services were very sparse, ‘cancer support’ seemed mainly to consist of books. Once I had received my pile of books on diagnosis, it seemed like everyone felt

“We All Want The Same Thing!”

"We All Want The Same Thing!"

Despite the fact that I have no physical treatment planned for this year, I am still visiting hospital regularly to keep several side effects under control. Thankfully the cancer remains miraculously in remission, but as the years go on, complications are now developing due to the aggressive treatment I have had in the past. This week I had a very emotional meeting with the Consultant in charge of my recent three year period of blood treatment. It was a follow up appointment to see if it was continuing to work, and that my rejection disease had not returned. The treatment had solved my original problems, but unfortunately has left me with complications. However I had no choice really, and this was always a risk. I thanked the doctor and her team for giving me

Politics Within Cancer

Politics Within Cancer

With so much interest recently around politics in the UK, I felt it appropriate to revisit this post which I wrote last year. Unfortunately I have seen even more examples of progress in cancer care being slowed by politics since then, not just nationally but locally too. Personally I think things have got worse, and I have squirmed as I listened to senior politicians blaming each other for problems in the N.H.S recently. “As my own cancer journey extends, and my work expands, I am now involved with many different organisations, offering advice and experience, in the hope that support for people affected by cancer will be improved in the longer term. My own work before cancer, was tangible, and I could always see both short and long term results. I

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