Archive for the Cancer Support Category

Working Together Against Womb Cancer

Working Together Against Womb Cancer

I would like to thank Dr Emma Crosbie and Daloni Carlisle for writing this incredibly informative blog and I am delighted to be able to feature it in Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month.  Just over two years ago, the Womb Cancer Alliance set out to find the top ten research priorities in womb cancer. This month they were published in the esteemed Gynaecologic Oncology Journal. We couldn’t be more proud – or more excited. It’s been a long road but that’s because this was a truly consultative exercise where clinicians, researchers and lay people worked hand in hand to identify and prioritise the questions that matter to all of us, collectively. Over 400 people took part generating 247 research questions. Deciding the top ten from such a long list was no easy task. Our

Cancer Discrimination

Cancer Discrimination

I wrote the below post last year, and week after week I am still being contacted by people concerned about cancer discrimination in the workplace. I’m not convinced that anything has improved. What do you think? 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

It’s Good To Give….

It's Good To Give....

Since the soft launch of our free calls/txts/data service for people affected by cancer several months ago, we established quickly that it’s popularity demanded that it had it’s own platform. So we have been working on a new site, Twitter, Facebook etc, to enable people to see clearly what we do and how they can support us. When I was initially approached with this idea, there were two very definite requirements I had. The first one was that it wasn’t duplicating anything else that is being done already, and secondly that it fitted with the ‘transparency’ of my own ‘brand.’ There is very definitely no service out there that is doing what we are, and working in a ‘no strings attached way.’ As all referrals for the service come to me, I

Dying Of Embarrassment?

Dying Of Embarrassment?

 Having just returned from a very sunny family holiday, I can’t believe that we are nearly in September, which of course is Gynaecological Cancer Awareness Month. As you know I work across all tumour types, because many issues regarding cancer support are common. I am delighted to collaborate with many organisations involved with these cancers, and was shocked to find that lack of knowledge and embarrassment is so prevalent in this sector! There are many similarities with Bowel Cancer, Prostate Cancer etc. In this day and age we should no longer feel awkward talking about our intimate body parts to health professionals. As we all know many cancers can be treated successfully if caught early enough, which many of these are not. Much of my own work is about trying to bring many of the hidden

“How Are You?”

"How Are You?"

As most of you know well, my own health can be very unreliable, and if I’m honest it is something I get fed up with talking about in a social setting. Unfortunately the fact is that I will never have normal health now, and will always be reliant on hospital care at some stage, and this post is prompted by some conversations I have had recently whilst doing my support work. When meeting people for the first time it is usual to explain what connection you have with cancer, to help you understand their experience. This I have done, which has prompted numerous conversations later about how no one would know what I have been through and how well I look. Everyone is very kind and well meaning, and actually

It’s A Lottery Even In The Same Postcode!

It's A Lottery Even In The Same Postcode!

The work that I do in cancer support has changed dramatically over the years, and I have had to adjust with the increase of demand on my time. My speaking engagements and charity take a bulk of my time now, with writing filling any gaps. But one thing I was determined to continue with is my monthly prostate group facilitation, which I have been doing now for 8 years. This is done at my local cancer centre and we have a group of approximately 30, with new members every month. We have professionals from the local community as guest speakers and everyone shares their experiences to try and improve the offer for patients coming into the system now. Our members come from a very local area and in general visit the

#HELLOMYNAMEIS

#HELLOMYNAMEIS

It is very rare for me to write about things that have already had enormous publicity, as I normally ask myself two questions before I write. The first is can I add anything to what has gone before and secondly, will my readers be interested enough to read it?  In this case I have read a lot about the incredible Dr Kate Granger and we were also ‘Twitter pals.’ Like so many of my friends on social media, we shared our stories openly for the benefit of others. Also like many we have lost, Kate will leave a massive hole for everyone who knew her. I don’t want to cover much of what has been talked about before, but I want to use her example of what is really possible. We are

Survivorship, A Clinicians Perspective!

Survivorship, A Clinicians Perspective!

With thanks to my recent collaboration with the Academy of Fabulous Stuff run by Roy Lilley and Doctor Terri Porrett I am having many more conversations with N.H.S health professionals who are interested in my views around cancer support. Of course we have different perspectives of the problems but I am yet to find anyone who doesn’t agree these services could be a whole lot better. Below is a piece written by Dr Oliver Minton, after a conversation we had recently. Purely by chance Ollie is a Consultant at my own hospital, and he gives his own views on the subject! (Please note that the picture used in this piece is NOT Dr Minton) “I was invited to attend the inaugural cancer survivorship conference in Brussels—at the time our interests aligned (and

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