So, the UK has decided it is best to 'go it alone.' This decision has made me more profoundly sad than I have ever been about a vote in the UK. After the initial shock last Friday of the decision to leave the EU, this week we've all begun to reflect on what the vote will mean to our individual lives, our work, our families and our futures.
Politics and health evoke similar feelings. As the fall out of Brexit and uncertainty continue, life refuses to feel normal. I can't help thinking, I am glad this did not happen, when I was undergoing cancer treatment.
Well, here I am. Backstage at the PizzaExpress Jazz Club in Soho, ready for my comeback gig. I can't say this journey has been easy. Getting back on stage at the age of 72 is hard enough. But coming back from beating cancer of the oesophagus has made it almost impossible at times.
If this headline referred to some new drug treatment the news would be worldwide. But we can actually make bowel cancer a cancer that almost no one di...
I was on a course recently where we were asked to introduce ourselves by sharing a memorable date. With a sinking heart, I thought frantically - When did I pass my driving test? Move into my own home? I thought about my first date with my partner - 13th February, twenty-or-so years ago, but really, who wants to admit to having the equivalent of their wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day? (Reader, I didn't marry him).
After I finished treatment I felt under an enormous amount of pressure to be 'normal' and 'happy' again and for life to go back to how it was before I had cancer. I was keenly aware that treatment had been just as tough on my fiancé and family as it had been on me and I was desperate to protect them from any more anguish and worry.
Anyone who has ever made a curry will know that turmeric is that annoying yellow powder that stains your fingers and clothes. What you might not know is that it grows as root and is related to ginger - in fact, it looks like bright yellow ginger. Like I said, it's big in India.
When Mair was diagnosed our world fell apart because of the uncertainty that this threw up. Having never heard of anyone being diagnosed with cancer in pregnancy before, let alone be treated for it, we were worried. Would it affect the baby? Could we even continue with the pregnancy?
Working out how we all relate to each other as a family is just one more difficulty in the mountain of change that occurs when someone dies. I know that we will get there and I'm really glad we're close enough to work through these things together.
There has been much written about mortality, but there are no handbooks to help the sufferer cope with the darkness that engulfs them through their treatment and after. I went through 10 months of life without colour or everydayness.
I've never thought of myself as a carer but when my dad was discharged from hospital care, after choosing to spend the last months of his life at home, he was cared for by myself and our family as we were the people that were there day in, day out. I'm one of five children, and three siblings already lived close by, but my sister and I moved home to be there too.
Under the current legislation you don't have to tell your boss if you have cancer. The worry for many people is what it means for their career - will they be written off, never again seen as an effective, 'can-do' employee?
We have previously undertaken research which has shown that there are so many reasons behind women not attending screening and these vary across age groups, ethnicities and socio-economic groups. Lack of time, embarrassment and not understanding what the test is for are but a few.
Being told that you have a gynaecological cancer can come as a total shock - especially as many women in the UK are not even aware that there are in fact five forms of gynaecological cancer - Womb, Ovarian, Cervical, Vulval and Vaginal.
When cancer research hits the headlines it's usually to announce the latest big breakthrough. With cancer affecting so many of us, the media know we are desperate for any new information that genuinely offers hope.
From experience, I find that for this well proven technique to work best certain other boxes need to be ticked first. We need to be emotionally and mentally ready for CBT. Confused? Let me explain.