I love and appreciate and use the power of metaphor, in learning and training and teaching and for myself in healing. If you’ve been reading this blog over the years you or No More Bingo Dresses the book, you will have read my spider story (curiously one which some people trend to delete as spiders are scary for some people – not me). Here’s a link to a great metaphor and story that landed in my Inbox this morning, well worth reading and includes earthworms,bugs and beetles for heating cancer. Click here
So-called ‘Chemobrain’ affects around 70 percent of all chemotherapy patients. The term is use to describe several different types of mental impairment that the patient undergoing prolonged chemotherapy may experience these include a feeling of confusion, difficulty learning new tasks, short attention span, and poor short-term memory. Research has now been carried out at Rutgers University in the USA into these types of impairments. These show that patients will find it hard to learn new tasks. Link to this article here.
What is unclear is will this have long-lasting effects?
The Next Big Thing is a meme initiated by other authors which encourages typically self-effacing writers, like me, to BIG UP their work and share why we wrote it.
If you are an author and want to join in, all you have to do is write a blog with this title answering the questions that I have below. Then tag other authors, like me, who are joining in with the programme.
My tags below …
1) What is the working title of your current/next book?
My current book is entitled No More Bingo Dresses – using NLP to cope with breast cancer and other people. My next book is Forget Leadership – Listen – using NLP language skills to really listen and understand
2) Where did the idea come from?
It was the realisation that people see cancer not the person behind it and the need to spread some humour as well as skills for coping with others.
3) What genre does your book fall under?
4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Dawn French and Bill Nighy
5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
See the person and listen, instead of hear the word cancer and panic.
6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
My book was published by MX publishing thanks to Tom Evans who was sent a tweet of mine.
7) How long did it take you to write the first draft?
Around six months.
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There aren’t any as no one appears to inject humour into accounts about cancer..
9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A young woman called Sam Grant who said ‘write it we don’t talk about cancer often enough and especially not with your approach.’ (No medication)
10) What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The varying reviews in the book and this blog
Other Next Big Things
Here’s some of the other author’s answers to the same questions …
It appears, according to my Breast Care Nurse, that not many women know that they are entitled to a new boob/breastform/chicken fillet around every two years. That’s because that’s about the period of time a prosthesis lasts.
Think about it. We squash that thing in and out of different bra pockets every day (well I hope we do – not changing your bra at least every other day is a little mind blowing – to me).
About six weeks ago one of the Velcro spots that attached the comfort lining to my breast form came off the breast form. Shortly after that the breast form began to leak. Thereupon followed a moment of indecision. Do I panic? Will more leak out? It’s quite like a kind of putty (well think about it, it has to be) will that leak all over me, all over my bra, all over my clothes? At the time I mentioned to my beloved Jim that my boob was leaking. Jim had other things on his mind, so he ignored me. Next morning he asked if my breast was still leaking. My response to him ‘if it had been my breast we would have been hotfooting to the hospital’ (mind you in retrospect we were in Dundee when I said that and in light of recent events that wouldn’t have got me anywhere, would it?)
I stuck a sticking plaster over the leak. Great that worked. But like the old story of the Dutch boy and the dam a few days later another leak appeared in a different place. More plaster? Yes more plaster and a phone call to the Breast Care Centre at Raigmore Hospital (where they do care for the patient, it’s in Inverness and some of the caring has been about getting to know one another). I made an appointment. Unfortunately the appointment was on the day when I tripped and fell whilst out for an early morning walk. ( I do ask myself if the fall was worse because when exercising early in the morning I don’t wear my breast form and perhaps that would have cushioned my fall a little better? Who knows?)
Anyway we got to the Breast Care Centre last week. Evelyn the Breast Care Nurse had already said when I spoke to her originally, that the Climate Breast form with comfort padding no longer existed. So now I have a new breast form that fits in my new M&S bras. I’m not sure if I previously wrote M&S recently have a fine range of very comfortable post-surgery bras? These bras have a nice wide soft strip along the bottom, which is great on top of my scar.
Anyway my point in this post is – that Evelyn told me women just aren’t aware that breast forms will leak due to the pushing and pulling and that we are entitled to a new one every couple of years and that we should have one. She says she has seen breast forms that are ten years old and really horrible.
We also had a little chat around the fact that I know what the shape of my breast was, as it hangs on the wall of my bedroom (not the real one in case you have neither read this blog before, nor the book;))
I live a charmed life it seems up in Moray and under the care of both NHS Highland and NHS Grampian. In NHS Highland and some of the Moray (part of Grampian) patients are treated as people, as individuals even. Although the NHS does tend to focus on problems and prevention (well when it suits them) there is more thought given to the individual up North. Tayside or Ninewells in Dundee or NHS 24 only wants patients who fit within their rigid tramlines of expectancy.
Never ask for their help for something that fails to fit in with or comply with tramlines, never ask to be treated as an individual by either Ninewells Hospital or NHS Tayside, because you must conform.
I have a severe pain in my left hand/wrist resulting from a fall I had 4 weeks ago and it’s only arisen in the last 2 days. According to the original diagnosis carried out by X-raying my finger, not my hand which is where I said the pain was (at the time I was too much in shock to discuss and I do believe that doctors know what they are talking about, or was it I did believe?) I am okay to drive it would be healed after one week. I have driven from home to Dundee via Aberdeen, because I am self- employed and I need to work and network and I have commitments to people (who are individuals).
I tried NHS 24 yesterday to see if I could get an emergency appointment. Because the pain is in my left hand a length of questioning ensued which went down the ‘stroke’ route. I am aware that if the patient argues with anyone in the NHS or states their case by getting irate this is deemed abusive so I patiently answered the questions.
I was told to go to my GP, I’m three and half hour’s drive from my GP and I need to work until Sunday (I can get someone to drive my car home on Sunday by the way). I was told to rest my hand to elevate it. By now it’s eleven forty five pm (what do you think I’m doing?) I was told I could visit a local GP but they would only tell me to visit my GP.
So blithely innocent that I am in the belief that the NHS cares for the individual I went to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. I was nicely informed by the receptionist that I would have to go my GP, so sorry told again. I was immediately seen by a nurse who said she would get a senior doctor who would tell me (and she had shown me a procedure (hello person here see No More Bingo Dresses, there’s a patient attached to the wrist, this person is in pain – silly person driving car because doctor in hospital said after one week it should be fine). I went back to the waiting room. The senior doctor arrived not long after he told me the same he was personable and he addressed me as Rosie and told me his name was Fraser. I did say politely the treatment was inhumane. Fraser sent me a senior consultant who arrived in no nonsense brisk manner and abruptly said Mrs….? I’m Dr Nicol the Senior Consultant. He was abrupt, no nonsense, told me I was wasting their time and to go away, that’s the basic gist.
In this period of time I could have been seen and treated, they were not busy, there were only two people sat in reception, it they had been busy none of them could have seen me so quickly.
I now know why the NHS is pilloried in the UK outside of Highland and Moray.
The patient is a person, the patient is a customer, and the patient pays your wages.
The patient is not a thing, is not part of a procedure, process, regulation, ruling, system or whatever you ant to call this thing.
Take care of the individual, treat the individual as you would like to be treated. And if the patient is respectful, polite and honest treat them with care.
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When I log onto Facebook, so often I see a status that says something along the lines of ‘wine o’clock’, ‘me and a bottle of wine’, someone has checked into a new bar for a few glasses of vino and suchlike. And there is also when you read ‘No More Bingo Dresses’ the local GP who told me ‘everyone drinks a glass or two of wine a day!’ (Someone else has been drinking mine for a while.)
Alcohol alters our minds and how we feel. Is that a good thing? (WE could use NLP to ‘make us feel better’). To me that’s yet another mind altering substance and to me worse still it’s a body altering substance. The Office for National Statistics states that 60 per cent of women prefer to drink at home rather than in a bar. The recommended weekly limit for women is 14 units of alcohol. However between 1998 and 2009 the proportion of women drinking more that 35 units a week doubled! The 2009 study found that even a few alcoholic beverages per week (three to four drinks) increased the risk of breast cancer returning in women who’d been diagnosed with early-stage disease.
Stress, increased socialising for more women in business brings them into contact with alcohol more often. How many events do you go to where ‘just one glass of wine’ is okay? We are frequently presented with images of women laughing and bonding over a glass of wine.
Research in the USA and UK shows that consistently drinking alcoholic beverages – beer, wine, and spirits – increases the risk of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol can increase levels of oestrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. Alcohol also may increase breast cancer risk by damaging DNA in cells.
Women who have three alcoholic drinks per week have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who don’t drink at all. Experts estimate that the risk of breast cancer goes up another 10% for each additional drink women regularly have each day.
This next piece if information is mind blowing to me – girls aged 9 to 15 (mind blowing because why are they drinking at this age? Advertising? What they see powerful women doing?) who drink three to five drinks a week have three times the risk of developing benign breast lumps. (Certain categories of non-cancerous breast lumps are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer later in life.)
The bottom line is that regularly drinking alcohol can harm your health, even if you don’t binge drink or get drunk. All types of alcohol count. One drink means 340 ml (that’s a can) about 2.4 units of beer, 150 ml of wine 2.3 units (large glass of wine = 3.3 units), or 44ml = 1 unit of spirits.
Large scale studies show that there is a link between alcohol consumption and cancer. One in five (20%) of all alcohol-related deaths are due to cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women and second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women.
Think before you drink that next one – it might happen to you. Cancer is not something that just happens to other people.