Super Saturday. Wonderful Wednesday. Mardy Monday? The Olympics are back. And with it our once-every-four-years random patriotism and love for 50m rifle shooting and the dressage and curling (Winter Olympics. Obvs). We love curling. Sweep!! Sweeeeep!!
Losing my Dad was the worst thing that's ever happened to me and I want to do everything I can to make sure that no one has to go through what I did again.
Cancer is a disease that affects almost every species - from dogs and cats, to humans and elephants and many more.
It's only in hindsight I can see that Pete, my husband, wasn't going to survive. Whether it was alternative treatments or getting him to the right doctor or hospital, I was 'running on empty' frantically trying to find ways of helping him stay alive.
Why are women not too embarrassed to show your genitals to a beauty therapist but are able to put up with the discomfort of waxing, but so embarrassed they can't go to the doctor and talk about the lump they've found in their vulva or the fact they're bleeding after sex?
Heading up a cancer research charity is a pretty cool job. I get to be close to some of the most innovative, exciting research happening right now all...
As my consultant uttered those dreaded words...you have CANCER, my world fell apart. I felt I had just been handed a slow, painful, undignified death sentence. My future, previously roughly mapped out, became a big black question mark.
A new report just published by Macmillan Cancer Support sheds new light on the large numbers of people living long-term with cancer but evidence has also come to light that the public may be being misled about our progress in beating cancer and that progress is almost certainly not as good as that implied by the much touted cancer survival statistics.
Tumours in my pelvis and spine have proved harder to reach but that only increases my belief in Nivolumab. Those bone nodules appeared just before my treatment started. So imagine if the drug had been around when I was diagnosed and had surgery in October 2014. Would I have been cured by now?
I wish I could find the right words to express how it felt completing my first two live shows, as I stepped back on stage for gigs at The Vortex and PizzaExpress Jazz Club over the last month. After the dark year of recovery from cancer, I had returned to health to fulfil my lifelong dream... and at the age of 72.
A question I heard a lot back then and I still hear now from Centre visitors is 'could I have done anything to prevent it?' Many of these people also end up with a feeling of guilt, thanks to all the news stories about causes that lead them to think they are to blame for their cancer, which coupled with the fear of their diagnosis does not help them on their recovery journey.
While I cannot be thankful for my cancer in most respects, we need to be grateful for my doctors and treatments for giving me the chance to fight this illness. And if there ever comes a time when the treatments no longer work, I need you all to know that I will always be grateful for having lived my life with you in it. And I hope you feel the same about me.
To be honest, it's difficult to capture all my emotions during the past two-and-a-bit years of my life. I've learnt that having cancer does not necessarily mean life changes too dramatically - although perhaps I was lucky (a word I've used more since diagnosis) to have caught my sarcoma early.
It becomes very easy to be frustrated with your own body, but really, I am proud of my body. I am proud of my body for surviving this. Cancer treatment has put my body through a great amount of stress, but no matter what has been thrown at it, my body has pulled through and has managed to deal with all of it - my body really is amazing..
I hope through sharing this we can help other women in similar situations. I know I can only speak for myself and I was lucky enough that the nipple-sparing surgery still enabled me to keep some resemblance of what was previously there, but if my experience helps one woman feel slightly better about their future or less scared then I will be happy.
I feel in control, I feel positive, and I feel myself healing. I am happy with my medical choices, but I know that it is equally thanks to my positive attitude, and the spiritual work I am doing in parallel, that I am on my path to healing. I have taken myself out of the statistics, and I am urging you, fellow cancer survivors, to take control, find your cure, and take yourself out of the statistics as well!