What Are Your Online Boundaries?

What Are Your Online Boundaries?

In recent weeks I have had to cut back on a lot of my work, as my immune system was showing signs of creaking. Several infections and constant tiredness meant that yet again I would have to physically rest up to enable myself to re charge. This is nothing new, but is becoming more frequent, and very frustrating. As in my working life it seems I function much better when there is little time for thinking. Decisions seem to be made quickly and correctly, but with time to think things are very different. I sit and analyse things, weighing up the pros and cons and quickly become indecisive, the very opposite of what I have always been! So with plenty of thinking time, I started to look at the things I

When All Else Fails?

When All Else Fails?

In many respects I have been fortunate with my own cancer treatment. I was given a clear treatment plan, and although it involved extremely aggressive toxic drugs and a stem cell transplant, my body tolerated what was thrown at it, and the cancer is incredibly still in remission. However I have been unable to lead a normal life, as this treatment has led to many health complications, and that is the price I have had to pay. But what if the standard treatment had failed? Mantle Cell Lymphoma is a rare aggressive blood cancer and although treatments have improved in recent years, they are still limited. I guess I would have to step outside the system if all else failed. As a patient I have become closeted inside the healthcare regime that looks

The Cancer Pendulum

The Cancer Pendulum

The fact that this year was the first since my diagnosis where there was no physical treatment planned for me, started to blind me from my own fragility I think. My eternal optimism dragged me into 2015 with the thought that  I had suddenly got better! Maybe it is how the person feels who when lost in the desert, continually sees an oasis? When I am away from the hospital, my mind will not accept how weak my body has become, in fact the recent sunshine makes things even worse as I am beginning to believe that I will be sitting on a far flung beach sometime soon. Thankfully I still have a pretty hectic social life, and of course my support work keeps me as busy as I want to be,

How Can I Help?

How Can I Help?

My own diagnosis of cancer back in 2007 unfortunately wasn’t my first close experience of this terrible disease. More than twenty years ago, my mother had breast cancer, and has managed to survive, but my father died of bowel cancer several years ago. Statistics currently show that one in three of us are affected by cancer now, with that figure rising to one in two by 2020! Put that into perspective for a minute, half your friends and family will be affected by cancer, a quite shocking thought. Thankfully, cancer is spoken about much more openly now, certainly more than it was in my mum’s day. I remember very clearly that she did not want to tell people she had the ‘big c.’ But let’s be honest, it is still a very awkward subject to

There Must Always Be Hope!

There Must Always Be Hope!

I was always aware that this year was going to be a big one for me and my family, and I am seeing so many important things I never thought I would live to see, and none more so than my youngest son getting married this weekend. Since my cancer diagnosis and poor prognosis in 2007, living to see 2008 was my ambition, but since then I have two grandchildren, my son has qualified as a chartered accountant and is now getting married and my wife has a big birthday later in the year.  But if I think back to the many dark days I have had in the last few years, I could never have thought that I would be seeing these events. But hope is something I never lost

What Works In Cancer Communication?

What Works In Cancer Communication?

 The start to my year has been incredibly interesting, and I have been contacted by many different areas of the cancer sector. From large corporate health companies, PR organisations and charities, to private doctors, the mix has been extremely diverse, but there has been a common theme so far, and that is communication. How to better engage with people about cancer? I think we are now beginning to learn that because we have followers, subscribers, likes etc  for our social media platforms, it does not necessarily guarantee proper engagement.  Unless you communicate in an interesting way, then why will people interact with you? This is something that I have always been aware of whilst talking and writing in the cancer market, and was brought home to me by a recent conversation I had after doing an

It’s Cancer Talk Week!

It's Cancer Talk Week!

These days it seems that every cause has a special day/week/month during the year, and this week Macmillan Cancer Support have Cancer Talk Week. Don’t we talk enough about cancer I hear you ask? Unfortunately not, would be my reply to that, although in my own case I probably do! Of course we don’t need a special week to talk about cancer, but it means that there is a lot more coordinated work being done, and it is not cancer specific. In previous years I have seen many interesting subjects being talked about prompted by this particular week, and in this blog I would like to talk about some of my recent experiences of talking to people about cancer. All very different settings and very different audiences, and how despite my own personal

You are #NotAlone

You are #NotAlone

I have just seen the new advert for Macmillan Cancer Support and my feeling was that it really summed up exactly how I feel at times. Even after more than seven long years there are times I feel totally confused and lost, so it prompted me to share some thoughts about feeling alone.The feeling of isolation  is one of the major side effects of a cancer diagnosis, and one that unfortunately is very difficult to deal with. It can be a very destructive force, both mentally and then eventually physically. The first major hurdle is actually recognising the problem,then an even bigger issue is acceptance. If you have never had those feelings it will be very difficult to understand, how someone can feel that way, particularly when they are continually surrounded by family and