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Who needs oestrogen?

10 April 2016

So I've completed my breast cancer triathlon, but it's not the end of the journey. My breast cancer is sensitive to oestrogen. This means that the oestrogen I produce could stimulate any remaining cancer cells to grow and spread. It was time for Operation 'Lose the Oestrogen'. I've been trying to tie this in with the triathlon analogy. The only thing I can think of is to liken it to the strength and conditioning workouts we all know we should be doing, but never get round to.
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Feeling hot, hot, hot

13 April 2016

It was time to start the maintenance treatment - tablets and injections that will hopefully keep any lingering cancer cells fast asleep, and keep me around for as long as possible. Taking my first Tamoxifen tablet was quite an emotional thing for me. I had to face the fear of what side effects I might get, and deal with a daily reminder that I have had breast cancer, for the next 10 years.
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Let's talk about sex

4 July 2016

I bet that title caught your eye, didn't it?

Friends and family alert - I'm going to blog about the thing that no-one ever mentions after you've been diagnosed with breast cancer. Sex. I've spent several months talking about this with many breast cancer survivors, and felt the need to share just a little of what I'd learned.
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14 July 2016

I can't believe that it's almost a year since I was diagnosed with breast cancer. A lot has happened in that time. Those of you who've been following my blog will know that I've had chemotherapy, 2 operations and radiotherapy, and it's getting harder to remember how I felt during that time.
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Giving something back

16 August 2016

It's been a while since I last blogged. I guess I just needed a couple of months to mentally recover after all my treatment had finished. But now I'm back, and there's a lot to catch up on. And that all starts with giving something back.
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The Big Pink

12 October 2016

Ever since I was a teenager, I've had an aversion to the colour pink. Now before you panic, I wasn't traumatised as a child, I just didn't think it suited me. So becoming a breast surgeon and treating breast cancer - which is permanently linked to the colour pink, was very frustrating at times. I somehow managed to get away without wearing pink at work charity events, And then I was diagnosed with breast cancer myself, and got to experience the joys of October - pink month.
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Work and Cancer

28 October 2016

I'm about to start returning to work, and I have to say I'm a little nervous. It's going to be incredibly tough to go back into the breast cancer environment having had breast cancer myself. But I've also realised it can be quite complicated. When I was first diagnosed, I was shocked to discover how little I knew about taking sick leave, what my rights were, how much full-pay and half-pay sick leave I was entitled to. I also realised how little I knew about what rights I had as a cancer patient when I returned to work.
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Know your rights

17 November 2016

A couple of weeks ago I hosted a tweetchat for Macmillan to help people with cancer learn about their rights when they go back to work. I was amazed at how little I knew when I had my first meeting about returning to work.
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All I want is a bra

21 November 2016

I'm still off work at the moment - waiting for things to fall in to place so I can be re-skilled before being let loose on live patients again, and that means a lot of time at home during the day, and I might watch the odd Friends repeat every now and again just to pass the time. And that means I see a LOT of Christmas adverts. And one in particular made me feel quite sad and teary. It's a lingerie ad featuring 3 beautiful models prancing around in beautiful underwear. And it killed me - knowing that I'll never be able to wear bras like that again.
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Quantity or quality?

14 December 2016

This time last year I was recovering from my mastectomy and reconstruction, and I still can't believe how much my life has changed in the year that followed. I have made so many amazing friends - and sadly lost a few. And my
jar of joy is almost completely full.
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30 December 2016

I've just come back from a fabulous few days in Switzerland, and got to spend time with my family over Christmas. This is Dermot and I in Zurich about to have a very very good hot chocolate. And we fly off to Reykjavic today for New Year's Eve, hoping to also see the Northern Lights. Dermot has seen them sailing, and I've always been incredibly jealous. So I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the odds are in my favour.
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27 January 2017

I'd never heard of the word
scanxiety until I was diagnosed with breast cancer and started talking to the breast cancer patient community on Twitter. I didn't understand it. Until it happened to me.
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World Cancer Day

3 February 2017

As a breast surgeon, I was always vaguely aware of World Cancer Day, but the significance of it passed me by. And then I got diagnosed with breast cancer myself, and I went from being a doctor to a patient, having the very illness that I was an expert in. I never thought breast cancer could happen to me, and I didn't check my breasts regularly – which goes against everything I tell my patients.
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....and relax

8 February 2017

If you remember, I was waiting to see my surgeon to have my neck nodes looked at. It was meant to be Friday but my surgeon was poorly, and so my appointment was moved to Tuesday. However, last Thursday night I was having a rummage around. I'd seen my GP who couldn't feel any other nodes, but I thought I'd double check. And I found a couple of large lymph nodes in my right armpit (the other side to my original breast cancer). And this worried me a lot more than the neck nodes.
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Tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer?

15 February 2017

Independent and the Daily Telegraph published articles yesterday saying that less than half of all GPs knew that Tamoxifen can reduce the risk of breast cancer, and that they are denying women this cheap drug that could slash their
risk of breast cancer by 40%.

I thought I'd try and explain this a little, as it's not as simple as - take Tamoxifen and you won't get breast cancer. It may be that GPs need to be educated about the benefits of Tamoxifen, but we also need to educate the patients so they can make their own, well-informed choice.
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The language of cancer

23 February 2017

Firstly, I realise that I've left those of you who don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook anxiously waiting to hear the results of my tests, and I'm truly sorry. I'm delighted to be able to tell you that everything was clear, and my lymph nodes were just reactive - enlarged because of a bad cold I had.
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Who am I?

22 April 2017

This is not the blog I thought I was going to write today. I know it's been a while since I last posted, and quite a lot has happened. I went to the UK Blog Awards in April where my blog was highly commended in the Health and Social Care Category, which is a huge achievement. However it made me take a closer look at the blogging industry, because it is an industry. Many people write blogs with the hope that they can turn them into a business, and eventually make a living from them. That's not why I started writing. Initially it was because I was in denial about my cancer diagnosis, and writing about my treatments helped it seem real.
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This is who I am

1 March 2018

Almost a year ago, I wrote my last cancer-related blog - '
Who am I?'

After finishing my treatment and planning how to get back to work, whilst training for a half-ironman triathlon, I didn't have the time, energy or focus to continue blogging.
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Relax and Restore

I’ve written before about being turned away in tears from a local spa during chemotherapy in 2015. All I wanted was a massage during my good week before I went back for round 2. Little did I know that most spas / salons refuse to treat anyone with cancer without a letter from their doctor.
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One door closes

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

So much has happened since August last year, and I might get around to filling in the gaps in due course, but there’s something I need to get off my chest and it can’t wait.

It happened a few weeks ago, and it’s taken some time to get my head around. It’s probably going to take a really long time, but I wanted to let you know.

Here goes…
Deep breath…
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