When I started WCSUK back in April 2011 there were 2 things that I did not expect. One was for there still to be a need over 7 years later for an organisation like ours to be doing the awareness raising for the most common gynae cancer and the second was for my health to be as bad as it currently is.
I have spent virtually every day since then working to raise awareness of a cancer that many women then and now have barely heard of. WCSUK started initially as a support group – and that was what it was only ever intended to be. However, it very soon became obvious that there was a total lack of awareness around this cancer so it became one of our twin aims – to support women who have been diagnosed and to raise awareness.
However, due to my deteoriating health the time has come for me to rethink what I do. I can no longer cope with the amount of work I put in to running WCSUK. Most of what I do goes unseen; the women in the private support group and those who follow us on Facebook only see a small bit of the work I do in trying to raise awareness of womb cancer. I do it because I believe it’s the right thing to do, not because I am looking for a slap on the back or to boost my ego (which I have been accused of in the past)
So, as this year’s September awareness campaign has come to an end, I shall be cutting back on the amount of awareness raising that WCSUK does. That doesn’t mean that it will stop altogether; it just means that I will be taking a step back from my laptop and concentrating on me for a change.
Because of my health issues that arose as a result of my cancer treatment over 8 years ago I have been unable to do all the things that I wanted to do in order to raise awareness. I’ve not been able to attend conferences and events that I have been invited to for a start. These opportunities have arisen many times but I have always had to turn them down and that is hard for me because I feel frustrated that I can’t do more to further our cause and get womb cancer the attention it needs.
There are some wonderful ladies who are part of WCSUK who are doing lots of great awareness raising and I will always be there to support them and what they do. I just wish that WCSUK could have done so much more to give womb cancer the voice it deserves. Being such a tiny organisation means that our voice is very often over-looked or ignored, however loud we shout! I wanted womb cancer to have as high a profile as breast or cervical cancer but it seems that not enough people care as much about womb cancer as they do other cancers. I keep hearing that there needs to be more awareness of womb cancer but don’t see people actually do anything, apart from a few committed individuals. I can’t fight it anymore – womb cancer is overlooked time and again and the good work that we as a group of women who have been diagnosed with womb cancer are doing is not being recognised properly.
I have struggled this month to do all that I had planned due to my health situation and other personal reasons; I have been let down by several people who had promised me guest blog posts for the website and I have also had to face criticism from some people over various issues, ranging from the wording on our leaflets to the length of time I take to answer emails or FB messages. I’ve been told that the #PeachTeaPacks were not very good and I have also been told that I should stop calling September “womb cancer awareness month” and work with others as part of “gynaecological awareness month”. Anyone who knows me will know how passionate I am about womb cancer having a month of its own and getting the recognition it deserves.
I don’t need this. I don’t need the stress and the hassle. I spend around 6-8 hours a day online doing womb cancer related work and I am burnt out. I don’t get paid to do any of this, I do it because I care.
My health issues mean that my quality of life is deteriorating and I need a break. It’s as simple as that. The private support group will remain as will the main FB page and the website – basically the only thing that will change is that I won’t be tied to my laptop for hours on end every day.
Finally I want to say a huge thank you to those ladies who have stepped up to the mark this month and worked their socks off to raise awareness. You know who you are, and I am so grateful for everything you have done for the cause. WCSUK has never been about me – it’d about the women who are part of it and who make it what it is. Thank you to all of you and also to those people who support the work that WCSUK is doing - you know who you are too and I am forever grateful for all the support you have shown me and the organisation over the past 7+ years.
So as September is now over, my laptop is being disconnected and I am taking some “ME TIME”. Any social media posts that you see will be scheduled ones – if you need to contact me then please do so via the website. I will check my emails a couple of times a week.
As a famous movie star said "I'll be back" - I'm just not sure when!!!