Archive for the cancer Category

Is Pink Stifling Blue In Breast Cancer Awareness?

Is Pink Stifling Blue In Breast Cancer Awareness?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month as you are all now well aware. The whole of the world seems to have turned pink, in what I consider to be a vulgar worldwide commercial venture. But it is only in relatively recent times that most of us understood that men get breast cancer too! I know from the huge efforts publicising my own projects how much work must go in to ensure that men are also talked about in the same breath as breast cancer. So I am truly honoured to feature the below piece from my great friend Bret Miller the founder of the Male Breast Cancer Coalition, in Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week. “Why did I, Bret Miller, start the Male Breast Cancer Coalition? Well let’s start from the beginning. I was 17

More Innocent Victims Of Cancer Politics

More Innocent Victims Of Cancer Politics

As many of you know, I have frequently talked about my disgust for the incredible amount of politics that are involved in the cancer world. Political games played by organisations that impact on people’s lives. The more insight I get the more it greatly disturbs me. Many people affected by cancer, trusting organisations to help them when they are vulnerable, little understanding they are just a pawn in a very big and financially lucrative business! From a game of political football by our politicians, to emotive adverts everywhere we turn. Everyone telling us they are there to help, but the practical help provided is just not at all relative to the money invested/donated. So much money that the cancer world receives gets lost in politics. Drug companies, healthcare, politicians, all fighting

Time To Be Grateful!

Time To Be Grateful!

This week I was invited to visit one of the most famous cancer hospitals in London, and as I was walking round the wards my personal experience came flooding back to me. It was also the hospital where my late mum had her breast cancer treatment more than twenty years ago, so it was emotionally demanding. As always I found myself reflecting on the day once I had got home. I remember vividly visiting my mum all those years ago and how ill she was at the time, but she survived for more than twenty years until her heart gave up. She did incredibly well because all that time ago the treatment was a lot different to how it is now, they did a wonderful job for her. That was

Struggling With A New Life

Struggling With A New Life

Running this blog has given me more positives than I could ever have imagined. ‘Meeting’ other people who are affected by cancer is certainly one. Being able to share their very personal stories to enable us all to learn is another. It is always interesting to see the different ways that we deal with our disease and follow on issues. Some people find religion, others totally change their lifestyles as they re-evaluate what is important to them. In this instance, Simon looked in detail at his diet. It affected me in reverse and I gave up looking at what I ate, to try and maximise my enjoyment from food! But I am certainly inspired by Simon’s story and particularly his physical achievements so maybe he has a point? “I was diagnosed

Getting Physical After Cancer

Getting Physical After Cancer

In the work I do I feel I have discussed so many subjects related to cancer, but after a conversation with Sam I realised I hadn’t really talked too much about our physical relationships. Many might say, that is the least thing to worry about, but for a lot of us they are so important. Of course cancer doesn’t only affect us but our partners too, and things can change dramatically after treatment. What is also crucial here is that cancer affects all ages, and there are so many young people dealing with these issues as I write. I can’t begin to imagine starting my time of ‘sexual exploration’ having had serious treatment and trying to deal with the physical and emotional issues of that. On reflection in all my 8 years of treatment,

To Tell Or Not To Tell, That Is The Question?

To Tell Or Not To Tell, That Is The Question?

With the sad unexpected death of Jackie Collins this week many people revisited the question about how people deal with their own cancer diagnosis. This has hit the headlines again as Jackie decided to keep her news private, which was surprising to many, as she had been used to living her life in the public gaze. It has once again shown us what an incredible personal decision this can be. In this generation of sharing almost every micro event with each other on social media, I think this probably told us much more about her as a person than if she had shared her unfortunate news. Personally I couldn’t imagine living alone with that sort of news, and once I had received my own, my first plan was to tell my

How Do You Cope With Adversity?

How Do You Cope With Adversity?

Living so much of my life now in the ‘cancer world’ I am always amazed at the things people are able to achieve despite the health cards they are dealt. But this week I saw two examples away from cancer, where these people have overcome incredible hurdles and are achieving things much beyond what they might have dared hope for. In both cases life was very cruel, but they found resilience and determination and never lost hope that they could do something special with their lives.  My first example is Gill Hicks who is a double amputee victim from the London 7/7 bombing. Gill describes how her determination and a strong empathy for the plight of others helped her to create a ‘second life.’  “I’ve managed to create a constructive anger,” she