Friday, 19 September 2014

Anthony Nolan #SaveALifeAt16 Petition

I have just signed Anthony Nolan's petition 'save a life at 16' This is something very close to my heart. I have previously blogged about Anthony Nolan, they are the UK's blood cancer charity and bone marrow register. 
The #SAVEALIFEAT16 campaign is the belief that the government should include information on joining Anthony Nolan's bone marrow register with every letter it sends to a young person informing them of their National Insurance Number. This is an amazing opportunity to expand the donor register and save more lives. 
My brother was my stem cell donor at the age of 16 and he said he would definitely do it again. Not many people are aware of the bone marrow registry and it wasn't until I was diagnosed that I became familiar with Anthony Nolan. Never in a million years did I think I would need a BMT and I was very lucky that my brother was a match. There is only a 1 in 4 chance that a sibling can be a match and I was told that I could have 10 siblings and none of them could have been a possible match. This is why the Anthony Nolan register is hugely important. A lot of people are aware that they can donate their organs but not their stem cells. 
The procedure for my brother was really easy - his words. You can read about it here . 

Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

This month is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in the UK. If you are already a follower of my blog you are probably aware of the charity who supported me and my faimily, CLIC Sargent as I have previously written many blog posts about this amazing charity. For any new readers who are not aware of who CLIC Sargent are, you can read here. Since being diagnosed I have a huge will to want to give back and help others and that is why I started to write my blog in the first place. I think that If I can help just one person by doing this then I have achieved a goal. Little did I know that it would be such a success and I have now had over 23,000 views. That is what keeps me motivated to regularly update my blog, I don't get paid for it and It does take a lot of time but it is something I really enjoy doing and by people reading and following encourages me more to stay motivated than ever.
Anyway, before I get carried away too much, this post is about helping to raise awareness to support Childhood Cancer. CLIC Sargent are the UK's leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. This year CLIC Sargent are asking people to wear a gold ribbon to show their support for people and their families affected by cancer. There are available in a lot of local places such as JD weatherspoons, Lidl and local CLIC Sargent charity shops. You can also buy one online here
If anyone lives local in Plymouth please contact me as I have a box of them at my house. You can also text GOLD to 70030 to donate £3 to CLIC Sargent
I love to help and raise as much money as I can for CLIC Sargent. Last year myself and my family took part in the, we had lots of fun and managed to raise £223 . Last week I helped my friend Pete with his bucket collection and it is amazing how generous people are. I am doing another one this week at our local Morrisons, Plymstock with my family and you can get involved to! 
If you want to be involved in the Big Bucket Collection you can sign up here 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Brain Fog

Recently I have been really forgetful and struggle to concentrate. I joked around with my family and friends saying I have chemo brain and I thought I had made it up myself but after researching more into it I found that it is some thing a lot of cancer patients suffer with commonly known as brain fog. I always say to people how I am a lot more forgetful about everything post cancer and really have to push myself to remember. It wasn't until I seen a forum on the Macmillan cancer webpage that I looked more into it and noticed that I suffered with a lot of the symptoms and it was totally normal. PHEW!

Post cancer treatment some people notice changes in concentration, memory and the way they think. It is not clear what causes these changes in people with cancer,
some common side effects that I suffer with are memory loss, trouble concentrating, fatigue & confusion. If you ask my friends and family they will tell you how I always forget what I have been told...I always end up repeating a question which must be pretty annoying but I can't actually help it. I annoy myself where I have to think so hard to remember something and most of the time I struggle even remembering. I am trying to improve and cope with this by trying a number of things. Firstly I always write lists and always have a notebook in my handbag. I write everything down and tick off things when I have completed them ..I think I now have an obsession with buying notebooks. OOOPPS! I also use my diary on my phone to help me remember when I have important dates such as hospital appointments and birthdays. Also in the last few months I have been going swimming regularly and I have read that exercise can help. It sounds silly but I have also bought a lot of puzzle books as I have read that puzzles such as crosswords and sudoku can help improve memory and concentration.
 It can take up to a few years for it to improve but I pray that it improves sooner rather than later because it can be really annoying, not just for myself but people around me. 

Always Smiling x