“My wife has just joined your club!”

"My wife has just joined your club!"

When I answered the phone, a few days ago and spoke to a friend of mine, I started with our normal banter about football. We usually discuss the latest rumours surrounding our football club, who we should or shouldn’t sign, and general ‘man rubbish.’ However this time was different. There was a very quick break in proceedings, and my pal announced that his wife had joined my club! For a minute, my mind went blank, and I assumed that he meant she had signed up to receive my blog notifications. He then very quickly followed that, by saying that his wife had been diagnosed with cancer! That conversation prompted this weeks post. Due to my own personal situation, and the work that I do, I am talking cancer, on a daily

Celebrating life and sharing the legacy

Celebrating life and sharing the legacy

The last few weeks have been particularly tough for me mentally. After more than 6 years on my ‘bumpy journey,’ I have seen so many heart breaking situations, many personal, but plenty from friends and colleagues. I have often thought that I have experienced so much in the cancer environment, that there surely can’t be anything left that can shock me and pull on my heart strings. But there always is!! Ironically, my personal health has been the steadiest it has been for some time. The good weather has finally arrived, and the constant threat of colds, flu and chest infections, has subsided for the time being. My maintenance treatment is keeping me mobile, and I am slowly peeping back into the real world again, although with caution, I might add!

We leave our footprint wherever we go!

We leave our footprint wherever we go!

I liken myself in many ways to a butterfly. A typical week for me involves meeting a lot of different people in many varied environments, also communicating frequently through social media with people from around the world, on many contrasting subjects. I know a lot of people, and a lot of people know me. In fact strangely, I know many more people now, than when I was travelling the world for my work. We live in a very fast moving society, and time is always at a premium for everyone, so the butterfly analogy comes from the fact that, although I communicate with so many people, very little is in depth. On many occasions it may be a brief, “hello, how are you?” but a lot of these people I see

Are you a ‘guilty survivor?’

Are you a 'guilty survivor?'

On Monday, I had my usual monthly review with my Consultant. I have always thought that these meetings may be too frequent, but the professionals are right, and generally there is something that has occurred since the last meeting, and will need correcting. More medication,and different blood tests. It is always a good opportunity to catch up with my fellow patients, and staff. Also, if I didn’t visit the pharmacy for my drugs, they would wonder what had happened to me! A lot of the staff in my hospital, read my blog, and I am often told, that they learn so much from it. On this visit I was approached by a senior health professional, who wanted to chat. He mentioned that he personally, was learning a lot from my writing, and felt

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

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