The first instalment of my 'Cancer and...' series dealt with a well known, but often misinterpreted, aspect of suffering with cancer: being bald. I felt that hair loss and potential baldness where highly important points of discussion, especially, given that baldness is so often regarded as the 'face' of cancer...
Late last year, I noticed some post-menopausal spotting. What a joke: a period at my age. Mildly curious, I went to the NHS website, which featured a middle-aged frump, hands covering her face in anguish.
Together, we must fund relentlessly, collaborate profusely and campaign effectively until breast cancer ceases to take the lives of the women that we love. Our promise is to tackle the disease from all angles: to prevent it developing, to detect it earlier and to improve the quality of treatment and services for women living with it.
I'm slowly learning that crying and being upset are not a signs of weakness - they are simply emotions like any other. They are natural human reactions to difficult situations. Everyone has times when they are upset, when they cry, when they completely break down and sob into their pillow.
Hello everybody, I have just uploaded a video to my YouTube channel introducing the launch of a new series. The series, entitled 'Cancer and...', aims to help people understand the effects of cancer on everyday life. In its introductory instalment, I encouraged my viewers to suggest subjects that they would like to see my cover.
Probably like most of you, less than a year ago, having cancer was the last thing on my mind. Life was pretty good and busy with work as it is for most people of my age. Yes that's right, people of my age. At only 30 years old, I am fighting bowel cancer. That doesn't happen to people of my age though...right?
On Sunday I celebrate five years clean and sober. The malady has taken the shine off it a bit, but then I don't suppose I could have got pissed to celebrate anyway. Instead I'll be doing the Paris 10k, which is far enough from my last chemo session to be manageable.
I always say that finding out that I had tumours in my brain and spine (on the day of my school prom) was definitely the low point of my teenage years. But in a lot of ways, despite the fact that my eyesight and hearing have been seriously affected by the horrible treatment I've been through, cancer has changed my life for the better.
One of the hardest parts of my job is speaking to women who are diagnosed with this disease, perhaps with advanced cancer, who delayed their screening. The regret and frustration they have knowing it may have picked up abnormalities before ever reaching cancer is devastating.
I have spent the past 10 days in hospitals on the edge of London away from home and my darling children, unfortunately declining swiftly. The infection that rendered me low meant that my liver cannot continue to fight the cancer and there is nothing that can be done and I have been told there are now only palliative options for me.
My Dad is a carer - he cares for Mum. We're lucky in that Mum is relatively independent at the moment, she can do most things herself... Carers are incredible, they really are. They are hidden, hardworking and humble. Please try and notice them this week. Please reach out to them. If anyone deserves an hour of your time, it's them.
I explained about the long walk down the corridor, about feeling lonely, feeling sad and feeling guilty for my dad and my brother that they were going to have to go through this again after my mum died of cancer in 2006. And feeling dreadfully sorry that I had to give her bad news.
The first six months of this new Government's term will therefore be crucial in shaping the country's ability to support and treat breast cancer patients, and we look forward with much hope to the outcomes, the commitments and, eventually, the fruit of this work.
A year ago this week our mum died after she lost her third bout with Lymphoma. Today, in her memory, I set off on a 153-mile charity bike ride with one of my sisters, from the London hospital where mum had life-saving treatment in the 1980s to the Norwich hospital where she was cared for at the end of her life.
A bit more pain and hanging around and being at the mercy of machines is doable. It's a bit like going on a long tour with a really shit band. The chemo I've done for the last two days is certainly not as bad as my worst hangover was back in the day, but it does feel like the most oppressive jetlag, the plane having flown in from Mars.
Mum probably won't still be here when I graduate. She will probably die whilst I'm still at uni. I have to cram twenty or thirty years of visits into twenty or thirty days/weeks/months. I have to ask all my questions now; predict what I might want to know in years to come. Each birthday might be Mum's last, so rather than forget it I want to make it special.