Archive for the cancer awareness Category

And the award goes to ……….

And the award goes to ..........

As my regular readers will know, I seem to have no problem with finding subject matter for my weekly posts. My life is quite varied, and what tends to happen is that either I will read something, or talk to someone, that will prompt, that post. On some occasions the subject becomes apparent, as I have had cause to discuss them on more than one occasion. Most of my time is spent talking about cancer, either in a clinical environment, or via social media, but I also have a variety of other things happening, so the subjects can be much broader. Ironically this week, I had got to Friday, and there was no obvious subject to write about. I can really only write well because of my passion for the subject matter,

Healthcare must quickly learn to embrace social media.

Healthcare must quickly learn to embrace social media.

This past week has been a particularly varied one, which is what I really enjoy. I have done some speaking, writing, and lots of personal engagement. I have received some fantastic feedback from last week’s post, and have been involved in some very fruitful dialogue. What I try and do with my writing is to stimulate thought and discussion. Cancer is such an emotive subject, and we will all have our opinions. There is no right and wrong, only what feels right for you. I am happy to share my thoughts to open up a conversation. I have been grateful, particularly to the many people affected by pancreatic cancer who contacted me, to talk about their work. Thank you, I learned a lot! I was invited to join a ‘tweet

Raising awareness,new boundaries?

Raising awareness,new boundaries?

Well, firstly I would like to welcome you to my shiny new website! It is a very sentimental time for me, as two years ago, I was persuaded to create an internet presence. I was told it would be a good thing. That piece of advice became another life changing event, as I entered the uncharted waters of the Internet. Today, we are communicating around the world, and demand has increased to such a level, that the old platform could no longer do what was required of it. My thanks go to Christina, and her team, who now sponsor my cancer support work, and have enabled me to expand my reach, and help me with my many technical needs! I hope you enjoy the new format. I have spoken frequently

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis

Dealing with a cancer diagnosis

Last week I wrote about my experience of talking to two people who were newly diagnosed. How I felt that even after so many years, there just was not enough support for people facing cancer treatment. Despite our many years of experience, generally, people are still left to face a traumatic time on their own.What really shocks me about that, is when I use my own personal experience as an example. My diagnosis involved stage 4 incurable cancer. No one knew if I would live or die. Everything I was facing was a totally new experience, and despite the fact I was 51, it was really frightening! That was only the treatment etc, not even including losing my job, income and all the things associated with that. I was introduced

Supporting people affected by cancer

Supporting people affected by cancer

Normally, I like to have my new blog post written and launched by Friday each week, but since the increase in my treatment regime, and prior engagements made long ago, this week and next are particularly difficult and will find me writing at the w/end. However, another reason for my time issue, is that I have had contact from 3 people, who I have encountered in very different situations, and have asked for various forms of support with their issues. This prompted my thoughts for this post. All of these people are unfortunately, ‘experienced patients,’ with family, friends, and medical teams around them. However they have chosen to contact me, regarding their issues. I wrote last year that it was ‘time to look at the ways we offer support‘ but I also

The reality of living in a permanent shadow

The reality of living in a permanent shadow

Despite, the fact that I don’t work, my weeks are never boring. My trips to hospital use a lot of my time, and I have calculated that in every month, I spend a complete week at hospital. I have had to become very selective in the projects that I am able to get involved in, so that I allow myself, enough recovery time between treatment. My reality is that I am unable to do the things that my brain remembers I used to manage! It has taken me a long time to come to terms with that. I watch enviously as my friends fill up their social lives, and plan holidays. Remembering those days, as if they were yesterday. Now, there are times when an evening out can feel like

Confessions of a cancer fraud (Annmarie’s story)

Confessions of a cancer fraud (Annmarie's story)

After 6 years of treatment in the cancer sector, my learning never stops. Unlike a lot of things that we learn in our lives, everyone’s experience is unique. So, no amount of reading, or talking with others can ever prepare you, for how you will deal with your own cancer diagnosis. Some people just quietly get on with what they have to do, and others are happy to share their experiences. There just isn’t a correct way of dealing with things, just what feels right for you. One of the things that I have learned,is so much that happens around cancer is out of your control. Not just how you feel about things, but particularly how other people view you, because of cancer. I have written about this on several

Just a piece in the jigsaw of life

Just a piece in the jigsaw of life

My treatment has started again in earnest this week. Unfortunately, my efforts to regain some of my life have not been successful, and after trying my treatment monthly, my graft v host disease is beginning to get a grip on my body again, and I must resume a more aggressive regime of fortnightly. I did start a self centred moan to my Consultant, who smiled. She said that I will HAVE to slow down now, and that the staff would be pleased to have my company more often! There are certainly many down sides of being in the hospital so frequently, and the treatment is tiring, but unlike chemo, it is not toxic. I am still plugged into a machine for hours but am able to focus on my thoughts.