The gold standard in cancer support

The gold standard in cancer support

  In my previous post, I mentioned that I had been invited to stay at a hotel for people affected by cancer and life threatening illnesses. That experience was probably one of the most uplifting I have had in recent years, but yet again I am writing this post with a large degree of frustration, and as we get further into the piece you will understand why. I consider myself very privileged to do the work I do and meet so many wonderful people. The ‘asks’ I receive are varied, but I will only ever consider projects if I can see some tangible results in the short term. So when I was invited to visit  The Grove Hotel in Bournemouth and check out their facilities for people affected by cancer, I was

We all need different things!

We all need different things!

I have been privileged to spend the last few days at a hotel, (yes hotel!) for people affected by cancer. A more detailed blog of that experience will follow, but having spent a considerable amount of time with many people facing challenging health issues, I can understand much better  the problems faced by us all, communicating about cancer. My trip also included a talk to a group particularly focused on the twenty to forty year age group, so my experience encompassed a good cross section of ages. Everyone I spoke to had their own unique experience, and in every case, their requirements were different to others. Some wanted more information, others didn’t. Some had decided to continue with a very toxic regime of treatment, others had decided that their body had taken enough

Are you a proactive patient?

Are you a proactive patient?

As yet another week draws to a close, I have spoken to some very inspiring people, who are much earlier in their journey than me, but also want to ‘give something back’ for the wonderful help they have received during their treatment. They wanted to find out how to go about things, and what worked for me and what didn’t. I was also contacted by some smaller organisations who were struggling for regular support, and were asking my advice on things. This got me thinking, about the vast numbers who are affected by cancer, and I know from what they tell me, that they want improvement in the general support area. If everyone of us could work together, things would change much quicker than they do. But it is not that

Is corporation stifling innovation?

Is corporation stifling innovation?

This week has been one of my busiest in recent times, with a variety of engagements fulfilled, meeting many different people, from patients to Chief Executives. I have also done several presentations to different audiences. Firstly I’m grateful that currently my health is holding, enabling me to do these, but secondly it is a great opportunity to continue to find out personally what is going on in the world of cancer support. Reading and talking is one thing, but there is nothing like first hand experience. I would like to think that my previous business life, and my current patient experience gives me a unique perspective on things. But I have to admit to writing this piece with a dark cloud of frustration hanging over me. There was a constant theme during

Are you affected by fatigue?

Are you affected by fatigue?

In a recent post I wrote about how I wondered if I was being selfish, and that came around because I was finding difficulty keeping up with social arrangements etc. By coincidence I then had a review with my Consultant, when he asked me how I was feeling, and I mentioned my constant tiredness, we then had a very interesting conversation, and I learned a great deal. Like most of us affected by cancer our situation is unique, so things affect us all differently, as our circumstances can be very contrasting. According to my doctor I am a ‘one off,’ but I guess you can say that about everyone. His analysis of me was that I like to push boundaries, and although I have always taken note of his advice, I have continued to

The politics of healthcare

The politics of healthcare

As my own cancer journey extends, and my work expands, I am now involved with many different organisations, offering advice and experience, in the hope that support for people affected by cancer will be improved in the longer term. My own work before cancer, was tangible, and I could always see both short and long term results. I always enjoyed seeing the benefits both personally and for my customers. However, having willingly entered the world of healthcare to use my time constructively, I find another completely different way of working, which frustrates me most of the time! I do understand the reasons why many things are done, but no one seems to realise that people affected by cancer do not have the time to wait, while numerous groups and committees discuss projects

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,

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