Of all the feelings you expect to go through when you're diagnosed with this deadly disease, guilt is not top of the list. Yet almost all the fellow cancer survivors I've met since my diagnosis say they've felt guilt to some degree.
All in all, my Spa weekend at OneWorld Retreats was both inspirational and pleasurable. I cannot wait to go back there to join one of the retreats; having experienced a taster of what the place has to offer, I can only imagine how its own healing energy can magnify the retreat experience.
Health scares can be good for the health if you can learn from them. I am addicted quite seriously to cigarettes, but I don't smoke anymore. There are times when I miss them (when I have a cup of coffee or I'm waiting for a train, blah blah, yawn etc.) but I know myself far too well. I can't go there. Post- DVT, us smokers put ourselves at the greater risk of a recurring blood clot. It's a non-runner.
Everyone knows cancer is one of the toughest fights anyone can face. Struggling with gruelling treatment and dealing with the emotional impact of a diagnosis is difficult enough. What many people don't realise is that cancer is an expensive disease.
Recognizing that we all have something to teach and something to learn - in line with the spirit of World Health Day - will be crucial for success in the changing dynamics of the new healthcare paradigm.
Over three hundred people from NHS bodies with their friends came together recently for a glittering charity ball in Newcastle Civic Centre. They had gathered to support and raise funds for Kurdish born orthopaedic surgeon, Professor Deiary Kader who founded the Newcastle-Gateshead Medical Volunteers to bring much needed medical relief to Kurds back in Erbil.
It was late at night when I accidentally consumed dairy, which I am - apparently - deadly allergic to. My tongue swelled up straight away, followed by my lips and throat. I looked in the mirror and tried to decide how serious it was. Probably not very, I thought.
I am not sure why Parkinson's chose me but I rather wish it hadn't and now, aged 44, it has been a rocky road which has included suffering bouts of self- harm and depression as a result of alienation from friends at school who didn't consider me cool enough to join them on holiday because I was, for want of a better word 'a burden'.
In the industrialized west we need only a change in the way we think about food to reduce appreciably the waste.
Knowing when to offer help, lending a hand, and realising when to step back and allow a disabled person the dignity of managing by themselves is a fine line and not easy to judge. It is also difficult for the sufferer, as I'm a classic case of someone who hates asking for help, but in my present condition, many times I cannot perform a task, which is frustrating beyond belief.
We've got it all backwards. Horribly backwards. And its killing us. This awful catch 22 situation. If we wait to admit and accept we have a drinking problem in our society? We are waiting for end-stage alcoholism. Or alcoholic Alzheimer's. Or being arrested. Or being injured horribly.
For years of life lost due to premature mortality, in comparison with the European average, the UK does worse in 2010 in ischaemic heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lower respiratory infections, breast cancer, other cardiovascular and circulatory disorders, oesophageal cancer, pre-term birth complications, congenital anomalies, and aortic aneurysm.
Research shows that achieving the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week by moving 12 minutes more a day could prevent lifestyle diseases
Despite the huge increase in donor numbers, brought about because more families have been asked about donation, the underlying rate of families agreeing to donation in hospital has not changed and consent rates have not risen. If we are to save more lives, something I believe we can and must do, then we need to see a revolution in attitudes towards organ donation.
If there's one thing we learned from the recent horse meat scandal, it's that we don't really know what's in the products we buy every day. We put all of our trust into the labelling provided, which can be difficult to understand, time consuming to read and - as we've discovered - might not always be 100% accurate.
I feel duty bound to highlight that it isn't just women who are expected to subject themselves to bizarre and often dangerous practices in order to look good on the pages of magazines.