My belief drives me on.

My belief drives me on.

I had already decided a few days ago, what I was going to write about this week, but just before I started writing, I was told of the death of my friend Rory Morrison, who was a broadcaster on BBC Radio 4. Like a lot of people in my life now, cancer had brought us together. We first met at an awards evening for The Lymphoma Association. I asked if I could have a picture taken for my blog, and we then started talking. We had so much in common, including, a rare aggressive lymphoma. I knew that Rory was facing some of the treatment that I had already encountered, including a stem-cell transplant and high dose chemo. We decided to stay in touch, and via social media, I shared numerous stages

Now Ann-Marie is #notalone ( Youth Cancer)

Now Ann-Marie is #notalone ( Youth Cancer)

One of the areas of my work that gives me most pleasure is working with young people affected by cancer. Unfortunately it is sometimes forgotten that many of the issues these guys face, are so different to those that us older people encounter. Things are beginning to change, facilities are improving, and support is growing for the increasing numbers of young people affected. I am very pleased that the readership of this blog amongst young people is expanding rapidly, and this is in no small part, due to some of the wonderful contributions I have been able to share. Some very brave young people, who felt confident enough to share some of the toughest times of their lives, with the social media world. One such person is Ann-Marie, who in her previous post

How we choose to remember our past

How we choose to remember our past

As different things happen in your life, your priorities naturally change, so what was important at one stage, might be less so now. For example, when you are, young, free and single, things are very different, to when you start settling down, get married, start a family and begin to build a career. But it is our past experiences, that make us the people that we are today. All the choices that we have made, have brought us to this point in our lives. For most of us, it is very important to hang onto things from our past, that will bring back memories, of key times in our lives. Perhaps people we met, experiences we had, things we achieved, or even sentimental objects that we bought or were bought for us.

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.

” Am I boring without my cancer? “

" Am I boring without my cancer? "

Firstly, I would like to say that it is not me asking the above question! This came from one of my followers on Twitter, and it got me thinking. The reason that tweet had been sent, was they had found that since they were in remission, and treatment had finished, the amount of followers they had was rapidly decreasing. They had very quickly put the two things together and made that assumption. That then made me wonder, and I looked at my own life since cancer, and many other people that I know, both personally, and via social media. In several of my previous posts, particularly ‘my name is not cancer,’ I have talked about the fact that whether we like it or not, we tend to be seen as that

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

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