Archive for the cancer treatment Category

Has cancer made me selfish?

Has cancer made me selfish?

I know, no one likes to consider themselves as selfish, especially me! But my encounter with cancer has made me wonder. Other people are always my concern, and the joy I receive in my life has always come from doing things for others. However, when cancer struck, my world turned on it’s head. Instead of me being a part of my family focus, I became the entire focus. Every where I went, people wanted to know about what was happening to me. Of course, I spent a long time in hospital, with chemotherapy, transplant and various complications, and I was the focus there too. Due to the complexities of my disease and treatment I required a lot of time and care from people. I was a very good giver, but a

The void when hospital appointments end.

The void when hospital appointments end.

The last few weeks have been busy, with some incredibly powerful stories shared, particularly regarding cancer and the work place. I was always aware that this was a much larger issue, than was talked about publicly, and some of the stories I have been told, have reinforced that view. My concern is that there are so many very important issues for people affected by cancer, that rarely get brought out into the open to be discussed properly. It seems that in many instances people feel uncomfortable talking about things publicly, and my impression is that this hinders progress in resolving these problems. I have found that one of the major obstacles to people dealing with issues is that of course many are coping with the physical and emotional aspects of cancer,

The power of nature!

The power of nature!

In the last couple of months the weather has been absolutely crazy in the UK. I don’t think I can remember such a prolonged spell of wind and rain, in my life time. I have seen pictures of flooding and damage, that I could never imagine I would ever see, and in recent days, we have been hoping that our house withstands the constant battering we have received from the wind. So many peoples lives are being scarred by these events. I have heard talk about long term plans, and Governments not spending money, so many different reasons for why we cannot cope with these circumstances. I’m sure you will all have your own ideas. Building on flood plains, dredging rivers, flood defences, the list goes on. I seem to recall

We have the tools and things must improve!

We have the tools and things must improve!

This week has been treatment week, so Monday and Tuesday are filled up, but I always try and make the most of my time, and am generally communicating via Twitter or talking to staff and patients. I have a continual thirst for information.I managed to talk to a good number of patients, and also a couple of very senior Health Professionals.   As you know, my ‘crusade’ is to improve support for people affected by cancer. Obviously, I make my own observations of things, during my endless visits to hospitals, but I am intrigued to see how other people view their situation. Do patients feel that things could be improved or are they content with what is being done? I also wonder if Health Professionals feel that more should be

The stigma of a changing appearance.

The stigma of a changing appearance.

As I have mentioned, several times in the past, I never have to think too hard about  blog content for the week, and very often one subject gets talked about more frequently than others. In this instance the subject is ‘appearance during cancer treatment.’ On my return to treatment in the new year, I met a fellow patient who I hadn’t seen for some time, and I struggled to recognise her. I was truly stunned how her appearance had changed in such a short space of time.Very little is able to surprise me, in terms of the affects of cancer and it’s treatment, on people, but this time I was. I knew that I had been through everything that she was going through, and all the changes in my appearance.

The best Christmas present ever!

The best Christmas present ever!

Well, it is nearly upon us again. I really don’t know where the time goes. Christmas, the season of good will to all men! Plenty of good stuff happening. Presents, parties, eating and drinking, and generally having fun. Not forgetting of course that it is also a religious holiday. But one thing that is for certain is that cancer does not take any time off. Celebration time or not, it continues on it’s destructive path. As I have mentioned briefly, the festive season, is a particularly difficult time for most people affected by cancer.Maybe they have lost a loved one, just received some bad news, or possibly they are going through treatment. Quite difficult to celebrate, when things like that are  happening in your life.  I will be experiencing at first

We leave our footprint wherever we go!

We leave our footprint wherever we go!

I liken myself in many ways to a butterfly. A typical week for me involves meeting a lot of different people in many varied environments, also communicating frequently through social media with people from around the world, on many contrasting subjects. I know a lot of people, and a lot of people know me. In fact strangely, I know many more people now, than when I was travelling the world for my work. We live in a very fast moving society, and time is always at a premium for everyone, so the butterfly analogy comes from the fact that, although I communicate with so many people, very little is in depth. On many occasions it may be a brief, “hello, how are you?” but a lot of these people I see

Are you a ‘guilty survivor?’

Are you a 'guilty survivor?'

On Monday, I had my usual monthly review with my Consultant. I have always thought that these meetings may be too frequent, but the professionals are right, and generally there is something that has occurred since the last meeting, and will need correcting. More medication,and different blood tests. It is always a good opportunity to catch up with my fellow patients, and staff. Also, if I didn’t visit the pharmacy for my drugs, they would wonder what had happened to me! A lot of the staff in my hospital, read my blog, and I am often told, that they learn so much from it. On this visit I was approached by a senior health professional, who wanted to chat. He mentioned that he personally, was learning a lot from my writing, and felt