Can I Make A Difference?

Can I Make A Difference?

Firstly I would like to apologise for the delay in writing this post, as normally I publish at the weekend, but the last few days have been crazy, both with my work and socially and I am only now finding myself with an opportunity to sit down and write. I also wanted to include the conference that I was a guest speaker at on Saturday afternoon, so it is only now that the dust is really starting to settle. When I decided to start my work in cancer support, I don’t think I realised just how big a task I had taken on! The further I went the more I found, and I very quickly became involved in so many different aspects. At that time it was all new, and I

How Much Do You Value Your Time?

How Much Do You Value Your Time?

  This week has been a particularly busy time for me, as I needed to write several pieces and also deliver a presentation in London. There are times when I have so much work sitting on my computer I actually forget that most things I do are voluntary, and that I also have a family life too, which is getting busier as my grandchildren grow up. However whether I am being paid or not, I have always worked in the most professional manner, so I still feel the pressure of deadlines. Of course that situation is tougher when you are doing paid work, and I know that I am a workaholic, whether I am paid or not, and it is something that really motivates me. I used to live for

Improving Teenage Cancer Support

Improving Teenage Cancer Support

September, as well as being Blood Cancer Awareness Month is also Childhood Cancer Awareness Month,and I am aware from personal experience, of the unique problems that this age group face when dealing with a cancer diagnosis. However with the rapid increase in use of social media, the younger generation are beginning to find their own voice, and producing innovative ways of combatting those issues. At times, I feel our young people get forgotten, and I am always happy to have the opportunity to feature young writers. This site is truly international, and Rebecca is a young lady from Italy. She and her friends follow us and after the wonderful post by Emily, started talking about her new project. It is connecting young people around the world, to help them share experiences,

The Importance Of Our Online Communities.

The Importance Of Our Online Communities.

For the last two years or so I have become part of the cancer blogging community. I guess like for most of us who started writing it was a way of raising awareness of cancer issues, whilst also going through your own treatment. It meant that on days you felt unwell, you were able to do a bit of writing, so your time wasn’t totally wasted. There are many in this community who were in fact journalists or writers themselves before they got sick, but most of us just took to the internet with no prior skills, to let others know about what we were going through. When I first started I had never written anything before and was concerned that people were going to compare my work with others, but

“Cancer won’t stop my education!” Emily’s story

"Cancer won't stop my education!" Emily's story

I make no apology for this blog being a little longer than usual as Emily is a young lady I admire greatly! At the age of 16 she was diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but has not let cancer get in the way of living her life. Along with all the things young people do, Emily runs her own website to work with other young people around the world. What I find personally refreshing about Emily, is that she is forever smiling, and will not let cancer stop her from achieving her goals. We tend to assume that it is mostly older people that are affected by cancer but in this piece we are given an insight into some of the issues that younger people can face. Thanks so much Emily

The power of the ‘patient voice.’

The power of the 'patient voice.'

This week has been an incredibly busy, but extremely satisfying one. On Tuesday I was the guest speaker at St Georges Hospital in London, where I was invited to talk to a selection of staff and patients about my personal journey and  how it has affected my life. This was a fantastic opportunity for everyone to learn from each other, and particularly to help staff understand things from the patient perspective. This particular engagement meant a lot to me as of course it is my own hospital, and an opportunity to engage with the staff in a very different way to the normal patient/Consultant relationship. All of the staff had read and heard about my work, but few had actually seen me present live. Patients had also been invited, all

Working for Change in The Cancer Community

Working for Change in The Cancer Community

Chris describes how through his work he supports people living with cancer and challenges the status quo to make changes for the better in the cancer community.

Can there be too many charities?

Can there be too many charities?

  I think you would have had to be living underground, for a few weeks not to have heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge, which I wrote about last week. In fact this week seems to have been even busier on that subject, with all channels of social media full of people pouring water on their head  in the name of charity. Of course, we had the side show arguments about who owned the challenge and who should benefit from the cash and the awareness, but this got me thinking even more about our perception of charities and how and why we support them. One of the things that I experience when I meet people who have been through something as life changing as a cancer diagnosis, is a desire