August 5, 2008
I wrote a post the other day to highlight a book which aims to help people let go of their fears following a diagnosis of cancer. The comments I received in response were notable for their honesty and also for the understanding shown about serious illness. I believe that cancer has been a taboo subject for far too long and that people would really like to talk about it more. Here is a link to a very powerful statement on living with leukaemia, which started me thinking.
Practically everyone knows somebody affected by cancer so I thought it might be an idea to ask the readers of this blog to stop and think about cancer for a moment. What does the word ‘cancer’ mean to you? Are you a survivor? Does the very word fill you with dread? Did cancer change your life? Please feel free to voice your thoughts here in as many or as few words as you like. You are welcome to remain anonymous, it’s your choice. I’ll start the ball rolling with the first comment below.
UPDATE: This is your space to say what you feel about cancer. I will not comment on your contribution unless you specifically request me to do so. Thanks 😀
9 Comments | ageing parents, cancer, diagnosis, health, hospice care, living with cancer | Tagged: leukaemia, oesophageal cancer | Permalink
Posted by Steph
March 17, 2008
Anyone who’s ever read a book they can’t put down, will know exactly what I mean by compulsive reading. The story draws you in and you find yourself totally captivated until the last page is reached. Well, last night I found myself in exactly the same situation only on this occasion it wasn’t a book I was reading. It was blog and it’s stunning!
On looking through my blog stats, I noticed several visits from a referrer called Distant Rambler. I didn’t recognise this name and on investigating further, I couldn’t believe my luck at the blog I’d found. It’s beautifully written, very moving and is totally spell-binding. I can honestly say that of all the blogs I’ve ever read about patients and their medical stories, this one stands out way above the rest.
This inspirational blog is written by Laura, a 28 year old with a PhD, who is presently in hospital undergoing treatment for ALM, an acute form of leukaemia. It is in effect, cancer of the blood. This is not Laura’s first time tackling ALM as she was first diagnosed with leukaemia when aged just 12 years. Her cancer recurred last year but this time she has also had to battle a tumour on her back. She spent her birthday in isolation and also missed out on a family wedding. It takes pure grit and determination to achieve a PhD and these qualities shine through in her approach to her illness. Laura has recently undergone a bone marrow transplant (BMT) and is presently back in isolation, counting down the days until her release. She writes her blog like a diary, detailing all the daily ups and downs of her journey with cancer. Her story is written with such clarity and honesty, it’s quite breath-taking. Put simply, Laura’s life is on the line. She has spent a great deal of time in hospital undergoing intensive chemotherapy and despite suffering many setbacks along the way, she still manages to find humour in her situation. I love her writing – Laura does not beat about the bush, she gives it to you as it is. She is incredibly brave in the face of adversity and deserves huge admiration.
Today is Day 17 post-transplant for Laura – she received her third bone marrow transplant on 29/02/08 and has spent the last 17 days in complete isolation. Today is also St. Patrick’s Day, a day when Irish citizens are celebrating around the world. Laura is too ill to celebrate but through her blog, she still managed to wish everyone else a happy day. Her laptop is her lifeline, her contact with the outside world. Her blog provides her with a welcome breathing space from her illness and continuing treatment. Laura is feeling very low at the moment. Please, could I ask you to drop by her blog and let her know that you are thinking of her. You will be, quite literally, throwing her a lifeline.
I hope tomorrow is a better day, Laura.
21 Comments | health, hospital, isolation unit, medical, patient's story | Tagged: ALM, BMT, bone marrow transplant, cancer diagnosis, chemotherapy, leukaemia, tumour | Permalink
Posted by Steph