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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.