Archive for the cancer Category

Travel Insurance From A Cancer Patient Perspective

Travel Insurance From A Cancer Patient Perspective

As a long term cancer patient myself, I have found so much discrimination against me. From banks to employers and insurance, particularly travel insurance! I used to travel for a living and it was something I wanted to continue, when I was well enough.Like everything connected with cancer, finding travel insurance is not at all straight forward. So I would like to talk about some of the things I have learned, which may help you to find clarity in this particular minefield. How do you choose your policy? Is it based on price, through a comparison website or recommendation? Do you wish to include your cancer or remove all pre-existing conditions? What a drama you might think, and I agree totally! Many of us are completely priced out of travelling

Where Does Your Cancer Cash Go?

Where Does Your Cancer Cash Go?

This year I am focusing on collaboration amongst patient supported work, and how we can affect the current poor outcomes for people affected by cancer. Despite the enormous amount of work and money that goes into it, our survival rates are still some of the worst in Europe. I call this a disaster and like most man made problems, this hasn’t just happened. It is the result of lazy healthcare organisations and a constant stream of politicians from all parties spouting no end of jargon, being massaged by millions of pounds and eager charities looking to further their own influence. Nobody within that cycle wanting to step out of line and lose a cosy career. We all know the increasing cancer figures yet still we can’t improve. Of course this

Making Patients Number One!

Making Patients Number One!

There are times when it feels like I am swimming against the tide, talking about the uncomfortable things that I see, or more to the point don’t see in cancer support. But virtually everyone I hear from sees the same things and we all agree that it is a scandal, the amount of wastage, be it time or money in the cancer sector mostly due to lack of collaboration. But of course this all comes from the top, and I have recently read the below piece which sums things up perfectly.   “Mental healthcare within the UK and globally has come under increasing scrutiny. With mental health problems being the main cause of overall disease burdens, the second leading cause of disability worldwide, and a major contributor to suicide, there

The Clock Is Ticking!

The Clock Is Ticking!

Since moving from the commercial world to living full time in the cancer world, the biggest lesson I have learned is patience! During my working days we were penalised financially when things ran late, and I have always had that way of working. Maybe it’s an obsession but bad time keeping is something I cannot abide. Of course there are going to be the odd occasions where you are late but on the whole, I am early! Once I started living my life around hospital appointments I soon realised that very little runs to time, and if I didn’t calm my frustration I would quickly become a very angry man. Now, maybe things have gone too much the other way, where I have become so relaxed about the things I

Cancer Does Not Discriminate (Jeremy’s Story)

Cancer Does Not Discriminate (Jeremy's Story)

In my work I get to meet some wonderful people and Jeremy Marshall is one of those. A man who’s life was also brought crashing down with a cancer diagnosis. I was delighted that Jeremy accepted my invitation to share his experiences on the site. His career is one that most of us can only dream about, but of course when it comes to cancer there is no discrimination. “I have had a very happy and blessed life. I was never in hospital for a day, married for nearly 30 years and  have three wonderful children plus a really interesting career. Then about 4 years ago I found a small lump on my ribs. At my wife’s urging I went to the GP who said “it’s probably just a fatty

A List For Living

A List For Living

I would like to start by wishing everybody a happy New Year! Over the years I have found the Christmas holidays a great time to reflect on what happened for me in 2016 and make a bit of a map for things I want to do in 2017. This has become even more important, after the terrible year of celebrity deaths we have just left. My mum also died last year and I have spent a long time trying to straighten everything out, after a very complex legal saga. So from that perspective a very emotionally challenging time. It is ironic that I had already selected this subject before the deaths of Rick Parfitt, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher. Many of these people were ‘taken’ relatively early, but seem to

From An Oncologists Perspective

From An Oncologists Perspective

This week I wanted to share the below piece which I read several weeks ago. It is written anonymously by a member of staff on an oncology ward. It helped me understand the cancer landscape from a very different perspective to my own! “People assume that oncology is all doom, gloom and death. To be honest it can be, but thankfully not all of the time, or else nobody could cope with doing it. Cancer can be a disease of dreadful retrospectives – that lump that was looked at but not biopsied; that mole that was judged to be OK. These patients and their families are justifiably angry. Others have refused to see what was plainly staring them in the face. For most of our patients the actual diagnosis of

Is Pink Stifling Blue In Breast Cancer Awareness?

Is Pink Stifling Blue In Breast Cancer Awareness?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month as you are all now well aware. The whole of the world seems to have turned pink, in what I consider to be a vulgar worldwide commercial venture. But it is only in relatively recent times that most of us understood that men get breast cancer too! I know from the huge efforts publicising my own projects how much work must go in to ensure that men are also talked about in the same breath as breast cancer. So I am truly honoured to feature the below piece from my great friend Bret Miller the founder of the Male Breast Cancer Coalition, in Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week. “Why did I, Bret Miller, start the Male Breast Cancer Coalition? Well let’s start from the beginning. I was 17