As I have mentioned before I like to use the festive period as a time for reflection. A quiet time when I can review the past year, what was good and what wasn’t, and what I might like to do with my time going forward. This will be the first time, I have little physical treatment in front of me, although I do have issues caused from the regular treatment, such as problems with my eyes and some dental work required, so I will still have much to do, to get myself in working order! 2014 was my busiest year yet, and I was invited to do numerous key health presentations, both national and international, and I went to many important meetings to discuss how we can improve things for people affected by cancer.
Archive for the cancer awareness Category
For most of us, Christmas is a particularly emotional time. An opportunity to spend time with friends and family and away from work and the things that keep us busy during the year. Personally, I have always used this time for reflection, but since 2007 it has a very special significance. It was then that I received a gift, like no other, the gift of life! My stem cell transplant took place on the 19th December and is a time I will never forget. This treatment was my only chance of surviving my cancer, and the cells had been donated by a young man aged 22 from London. No one could say if I would even survive the process let alone continue to live, but I did, and I am!
As many of you may know, this week I finished three years of fortnightly sessions to have my blood treated. This involved being plugged into a machine for up to four hours on two consecutive days. It was very time consuming and tiring but like everything else that has happened since my diagnosis you have to readjust and deal with it. When I started, no one was really sure if the treatment would even work, and if it did, how long it would take, and there is also a combination of medication that I have to take with it, so things are quite complex. I find a lot of this quite ironic really because when I was diagnosed, it was suspected that my cancer may kill me. I was offered a
There are times, when I struggle to believe my own life now. Since cancer took over, I have a totally new way of living, planning very little and seeing what life throws at me next, and it is not all bad either! Of course my health is not good but I have been able to paper over those cracks, with the support work and writing that I do. Several years ago, when it was suggested that I write a blog, I was sceptical. Who would read it and what would I get out of it? Now it dominates my life, wherever I go people ask me about it, and on social media it is shared frequently. I am now contacted daily by people who want to know more about what
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,
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
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
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