Myself and two other cancer patients were recently invited to share our Cancer Story with a group of Chemotherapy nurses from across the UK. They were attending a conference at College Court Centre in Leicester, organised by Professor Paul Symonds of Leicester University's Department of Cancer Studies.
We took it in turns to tell the highs and lows of our cancer journey,but more especially how our cancer diagnosis had affected us both psychologically and emotionally.
We had all made a CancerStories video with Dr Alex Mitchell and the conference gave us an opportunity to explain to the nurses how these videos could be beneficial to their patients. They can be accessed 24 hours a day and are an excellent way of making individuals feel less alone when dealing with the distress of diagnosis and treatment. Themes such as how to deal with hair loss, financial worries and how to tell your family are also dealt with.
I also used the occasion as a means of raising awareness of womb cancer symptoms and the great work of Womb Cancer Support UK,which has been a lifeline for me.
Afterwards I was approached by Professor Symonds,who admitted that medics too often dismiss Endometrial Cancer as an easy cancer to both have and treat. Hopefully my experience will make them feel differently in the future.
He also explained that my consultant Miss Esther Moss is currently involved in some interesting research into womb cancer,as Leicester City has one of the fastest growing rates of the disease in the country. It is affecting many of South Asian descent and Miss Moss is hoping to find a link between womb cancer and diabetes,which is also prevalent in those communities.
Overall I found it a worthwhile experience,with plenty of positive feedback. We also had an offer of some funding to further promote CancerStories to a wider audience.
CancerStories can be found on:www.CancerStories.info
We also have a facebook page Cancer Stories and are on Twitter @cancer_stories