Am I Really So Fragile?

Am I Really So Fragile?

I have spent the last six years, making a lot of ‘noise’ about cancer and it’s issues. It has been a mentally and physically demanding time, and on reflection I don’t know how I have managed to do all the things I have. If I was in perfect health I would consider it a great achievement, but you see there is my problem! Where my cancer support work is involved, I seem to have a ‘blackout’ about my own health problems. I can only remember the really healthy guy that I used to be before my illness. My wife and clinicians are constantly reminding me that I need to be careful, and less generous with my time, but of course, I rarely listen and when the opportunity to help someone

What Is Normal Now?

What Is Normal Now?

This week brought me a fresh dose of reality when I had another two days of my regular treatment. It has been six weeks since my last session, as we slowly look to stop this regime, which has continued for nearly three years. I have had more than two years of fortnightly sessions which has now had the optimum effect and we need to slowly stop it and then see if my body is finally clear of graft v host disease (rejection issues.) Slowing sessions has enabled me to have more personal time, and my health has been good, so I was starting to forget about my issues for a bit. I have been able to do lots of exciting things in relation to my work, so my mind has been

Do You Know Your Limits?

Do You Know Your Limits?

This week I have been absolutely consumed by my work, the highlight being my session working with health professionals at St Georges Hospital in London. I was really delighted to be invited to attend some training days and help the staff understand better some of the psychological and emotional issues that people affected by cancer may face. It was a very lively session that we all learned from, and there were several suggestions that came from it, that hopefully may be introduced in the future. I have been working towards improving communication channels between patients and professionals, and although it has taken a long time I can see that we are heading in the right direction. All of this has made me think that my own plan was to stop all

Do We Need More Diversity In Support?

Do We Need More Diversity In Support?

As always after a conference, the following few weeks are busy. People getting in touch who have found my work for the first time, and others looking to arrange more talks. These days it is not only what happens behind the scenes but also the contact through all of my social media channels. My website gets more readers, and people want to contact me through Twitter and Facebook too. For large presentations I estimate one month of work. Two weeks to prepare and present, then two weeks to deal with the work afterwards. I am not complaining at all, and am only too happy that people want to learn from my story. This week I am going to throw open the question of inclusion and diversity within cancer support. It is a subject

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

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