Being asked to share some of my story as part of the Patient Support video project last week felt hugely rewarding. I am hopeful that all of us who are taking part will be able to offer a really useful insight into just what it is like facing a blood cancer diagnosis, its treatment and beyond.
I thought a lot of what I went through may not be of any interest, but it became clear that there is no typical journey, no obvious diagnosis route or clear A-B for anyone. Which makes these collections of stories and insights seem all the more valuable to those at the start of the crazy paved path of cancer.
The interview gave me the chance to consider just how the last fews years have shaped where I am today. A one time very poorly PR now full time PT in the gym I trained in when I was ill. More than ever, I am convinced my commitment to exercise throughout chemo and afterwards made a huge, air-punchingly positive, impact for me. While I was chatting with the team, I was asked what my message would be to people facing a diagnosis (I won't spoil that, as hopefully it's being edited into something halfway intelligible as I type!) But I have explored the similarities with taking on cancer versus any other obstacles in life on my own fitness blog Can Do Fit.
It was great to meet so many wonderful people who work at the charity and are all so commited to helping patients and their carers, friends and family in what can be a really difficult and lonely time. It is always a pleasure to get involved and I would recommend others to consider it too.
Plus, I also got a kit kat for taking part which went down a treat. Other chocolates are available, but not in the local deli to the charity's offices it would seem.
(In fact, in the photo I am actually talking about said chocolate bar. Everyone has to find their muse. Little insider secret there.)
If you've recently been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and have yet to receive treatment you could be eligible to take part in a new clincial trial. Read more here.