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Confessions of a Coach - I Could Have Let Cancer Get Me Down

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

As a Coach one of the things I ask my clients to share with me is what they have learnt about themselves from their experiences, particularly while working through their goals with me.


Those conversations are confidential of course but I thought it might be useful to share some of my personal experiences in life and what I learnt from them.

I hope my series, 'Confessions of a Coach' helps you or someone you know too.


I’ve always had in the back of my mind that cancer would come knocking on my door and probably in my 50’s.

My Mother had been diagnosed with it in 1974, succumbing two years later.

She was just amazing though at keeping it from me. I was never able to confirm this but I truly believed she wanted me to remember her for the person she was, an amazing loving courageous and forward thinking woman.



I never saw her in hospital, I never saw her when she was having treatment. Only once did I see the damage cancer had done to her when a blanket slipped from her legs as she watched me in a school concert. I didn’t go to her funeral either.


I remember being told by my Aunt at Norwich Rail Station she had died two weeks earlier.

This made me angry at the time, but as I got older I appreciated what she had done.

She had spared a twelve year old remembering her as a cancer patient. My memories to this day are ones filled with happiness, joy and kindness, thanks to my Mother.

I’m grateful that I have all positive memories, I’m fully aware that others who have lost loved one’s may not.


Fast forward to December 2020 and apart from passing out on Christmas Day...


...I had blood in my pee. A month earlier it was brown, I thought I was dehydrated, the LIVI doctor thought I had a UTI. I rang 111 on Christmas Day and by the end of the month had spoken to my actual Doctor who was brilliant and referred me immediately. By early Jan I was with the specialist.


The back of your mind does not prepare you for the actual words, “We’ve found a tumour, you’ve got cancer”. Even though I had been ‘preparing’ for this all my life my body was shaking, my mouth was dry and I wanted to throw up.


To be honest that was the worst part over for me. At least I knew what it was, I also knew that I would be in hospital within 2 weeks. From calling 111 to having the tumour removed had taken just a month.


Reasons to be cheerful, thankful and grateful…


My Doctor was on it straight away.


The diagnosis was bladder cancer and my local hospital is one of the top three bladder cancer specialists in the UK.


The first surgery was quite traumatic, however because of COVID I had unexpectedly been moved to a private hospital and my own room.

My tumour was 4cm, which apparently is quite big, it was caught in time though.

My husbands support kept me grounded and reduced my anxiety around the situation.


My follow up treatment was not pleasant but not awful either. I’m grateful I didn’t need chemotherapy.

The tumour returned in summer 2021. It was much smaller and taken out with ease.


My surgeon & nurses kept me informed, listened and answered all the questions I had.

I’m cancer free since summer 2021 and after 21 treatments over a period of 30 months, I’m finally at the check up only phase.

There is plenty of support out there during your cancer journey, if you want it.


You really know who your friends are, they are the one’s that don’t change because you have cancer.

I’ll be monitored and cared for by the NHS until at least 2026.


Men…listen up!


If your pee or poo is not the colour it should be or your body is telling you something isn’t right, get checked straight away.


Don’t be shy, don’t be proud, don’t be ‘strong’, don’t be untouchable…. don’t leave it!!!


I was fortunate, I had a sign of something wrong and caught it in time. If I’d have ignored it, I might not be telling you about it now.


Your loved one’s will thank you for it too!


Please share if you know someone who could benefit from this.



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