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

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