How to talk to a person affected by cancer?

This post is prompted by a fellow patient of mine. When we met for our regular dialysis he gave me an article from The Guardian, written by a journalist who had cancer, and was writing about some of the things that were said to her, both good and bad. We both smiled, because over the years we have all encountered instances of other peoples embarrassment, when talking to us about our illness. When I was newly diagnosed, I wasn’t sure how to communicate my situation, so I spoke to a very good friend of ours who has been through the process, and the one thing I remember from her was that, ‘people will surprise you’. She said that most people will be brilliant but some, wont! She was absolutely right. As


Whether we realise it or not, our life is based on relationships,all on different levels. We have our loved ones and family, then close friends, people we know from work, and people who help us in our lives like tradesman etc.There are people that we meet at various stages of our lives, that come and go. Sometimes it is hard to admit, but we really only have room in our lives for a few close friends outside our families.Time just doesn’t permit us to form too many lasting relationships. I know that some of my younger readers might disagree with me, particular when they look at how many ‘ friends’ they have on Facebook or followers on Twitter,but it is true. We all may know a lot of people, but that is

Same destination, but so many routes!

Since I have been on my personal journey from my cancer diagnosis, I initially thought that there was a fairly standard route for patients, a bit like a map that was followed, from initial diagnosis to end of treatment. If you have a certain disease, then you get a certain treatment, to produce hopefully a positive outcome. I seemed quite clear in my mind how I thought the thing would work. I soon found out, that assumption was only for standard patients! Actually I don’t think I have found a standard patient since I started. Everyone is so totally different! Yes, we might have the same disease, and even the same stage, at diagnosis, but that is where the similarities end.Some of us are in better health than others when we

Time to look at the ways we offer support?

During this week, I have been to various different meetings, some in hospital settings and others in office settings. I am also involved in working with people, to look at the way they work and communicate, to make their work more time efficient and effective. I am now going to use some of the more common words associated with modern technology, so apologies in advance! More people are using teleconferencing, and Skype, so that people are not all chasing round the country for unnecessary meetings.In fact this week I watched a speaker at a conference in Manchester, via a tv link. We already use email as the norm now. We send documents at the click of a switch, and  with smart phones, you can be anywhere in the world and give and receive all

How do we value the contents of our lives?

I was prompted to write this post after a conversation I had with someone, one evening. Then the very next day I read an article about Simon Cowell. Yes, I apologise for mentioning that man on here, but you will understand how he is a very public example of some of the things that I am going to talk about in this post. Several years ago, I met a very inspiring lady, at an awards ceremony. She had her own cancer story to tell and had been nominated for an award. We met purely by chance, and we were sharing experiences. The following day, we both mailed to say that we thought each others stories were incredible. Since then, we have kept in touch. She has managed to get her life back

The power of the Internet

Things have changed quite dramatically with my work, since I was nominated to appear on Channel 4 and I received my most recent programme of treatment. As I have mentioned previously, the only way I could see, to extend my reach, was going onto the Internet, and I knew that I had to have my blog up and running, by the time the show was broadcast, as I knew that a lot of people would be introduced to my work and want to know more about it. My assumptions have proved correct, and the blog audience has increased dramatically, since it was launched, which is brilliant, but the bonus is that it is being read by some very senior people who are beginning to understand why I do, what I do.

Improvement for cancer patients?

Like most of us these days I lead a busy life, and  wherever I  go, people know that I work in the field of cancer. If I am not talking personally to people about it, I am communicating through this blog, on the phone or emails etc. As people who know me will know, I can talk adequately on other subjects too, but cancer is generally a common theme. If people are not asking me about my treatment and progress, they are talking about someone they know, who has either been newly diagnosed, or is having treatment themselves. I guess like most people too, everyone, I know, knows someone who is affected by the disease.I think we are all aware of the official stats in the UK which tell us that 1

Life with increasing tiredness and fatigue

Life with increasing tiredness and fatigue

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have always worried about continuity of content for the blog. It went through my mind when I launched it, that there wouldn’t be enough subject matter to keep the audience’s hunger fulfilled. Lets be honest, if it’s not interesting you are not going to read it, and I have never written anything before, unless you count failed O’levels!! But I found that I write from my heart, rather than my head and I have always found subjects that I can talk passionately about. This week has been fairly uneventful for me. Just regular and routine stuff really, but I am being gradually overtaken by tiredness and fatigue, and these have been the dominant feelings, and are beginning to effect my life in a negative

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