About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Wednesday, 21 November 2012

What else can I do?

So you know a little bit about my volunteering experience as a Guide Leader, Rainbow Leader and all the passion I have for that. 

But that's only a few hours a week, so with only 2 children, and 22 weeks minimum to go until number 3 arrives I need a bit more of a challenge.

In July 2011 when I was taken into hospital & told that I had cancer one of my major worries (which in hindsight was rather silly) was that I wouldn't see Isaac start or graduate from preschool (I hadn't even thought about real school).

The preschool were fantastic in supporting Isaac and I through that horrible time of chemotherapy & numerous appointments so I knew I wanted to give something back.

Our preschool is not local government funded, it is not centrally funded, It is funded by the  generosity of the parents and the tireless efforts of the volunteer committee to raise awareness and money.

So, in April once I knew I was cancer free, I spoke to the staff and offered my services. September & the new term arrived and I was being introduced to all the new parents as the chair of the preschool committee. 

I am in a slightly strange position in that Imogen is not due to attend the preschool until April 2013 (3/4 weeks before bump is due to make an arrival, well timed Ruth!!) so I am not interacting and meeting the parents everyday and am not an ever present force. But I am passionate about the preschool & raising as much money as I can for the benefit not just of my children, but all the children who will go on to attend the preschool in the future. 

Something that has been taking up a lot of my time recently is recruitment. The manager of the preschool has recently decided that the role is not what they want and has asked for the opportunity to step down. As a committee we agreed and so I have been thrown into a whole new world of recruitment.

I do have some experience in this matter. I have dealt with staff & staffing issues before. You can't manage a bank, even a tiny branch like I did, without having to recruit staff & interview them.

But this was a whole new kettle of fish. I have, in the last 6 weeks,

  • Written a job advertisement 
  • Negotiated with the local paper a reduced rate for placing the advertisement
  • Placed an advertisement with the job centre
  • Written a candidate specification & job description
  • Read, reread & analysed CV's
  • Written interview questions
  • Sworn at google a lot!!!
Alongside this I have still been 'mummy' on call 24/7, I have still been running my Rainbow unit, and juggling the multitude of hospital, Dr, Midwife and other appointments that go with being pregnant, being in remission from cancer and having 2 children who have both had chicken pox.

Now I am coming to the conclusion of this process, I am about to start the interview process. I could not have got here without the insight of the committee & a certain person with a lot of experience in this matter. So thank you.

Yes, its hard work & it doesn't always fit in around family life. I was hoping to get lots of the work done in the evenings. Unfortunately a lot of the companies that I have had to deal with do not work evenings. This has led to some stress on my part as I tried to negotiate a toddler, school run and numerous phone calls.

Do I think I have taken on too much? No absolutely not. Not only am I giving back to the community, but I am gaining transferable skills that when I come to resume my job hunt & enter the world of work I can say I haven't just stayed at home. Look at what I have done!!