Archive for the cancer survival Category

How we look is who we are?

How we look is who we are?

This post has been bouncing around in my head for some weeks. I guess it was prompted by Angelina Jolie, but something I had been thinking about for some time. Also it was pointed out that in this sector, there are few males, writing, and the perspectives are very different, so it is interesting to hear things from the male side of the fence. Recently there was a furore when a commentator at Wimbledon, passed a personal opinion on the looks of one of the female competitors. This produced a massive reaction, calling him sexist etc. But it highlighted for me, the importance that we place on our looks. Not only how others see us, but  more importantly how we see ourselves. There is no truer saying than, ‘beauty is in the

Fatigue can be hard work!

Fatigue can be hard work!

Just as I suspected last week, I find myself writing a new post, on a Saturday, ironically also the hottest day of the year so far in the UK. The reason for this is that I have had either medical or working appointments that have completely filled up the last two weeks. All of the good stuff were ‘one off’ opportunities, that wouldn’t come again, so I decided to commit to them. Luckily, my health held up and I managed to do some very interesting and fulfilling things. In many ways, it has felt like the ‘old days’ (before cancer.) My life was never boring, different people and places everyday. There was always a new challenge to look forward to. The major difference now, is that I have to make

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.

The blogging revolution in healthcare

The blogging revolution in healthcare

Several blogs ago I mentioned that my diary was mostly empty and I was enjoying it that way. My major professional engagements were successfully completed, and it was now time to review my strategy for the rest of the year.Emails and phone calls then came along, with some varied and exciting opportunities, which set my juices flowing, so I am back in the game! I have chosen today’s subject, as a lot of the opportunities that are coming around for me,are linked in some way to my blog. Many more people are aware of what I do now, because of the power of the internet. It is such an effective method of communication. Anyone who wants to know my story, or what I am currently working on, just has to check

Sometimes it’s hard to look in the mirror.

Sometimes it's hard to look in the mirror.

For the first time since I started this blog, I thought I might be suffering ‘bloggers block.’ Not as painful as it sounds! Nothing had really grabbed my imagination, but then I received two ‘tweet pics’, from people who are going through transplant, and bumped into a lady in clinic who I hadn’t seen for ages. I struggled to recognise any of them. With a combination of the drugs and treatment, they were going through, their physical appearance had changed dramatically. All three had lost their hair and a lot of weight.Despite my own personal experiences, and knowledge, I am always shocked to see the effects of that on the body. Changing appearances, is a common issue for people with long term illness, and I had written the below piece last