Podcaster | Blogger | Former Palliative Care Nurse Specialist | Founder and facilitator of Southampton Ovarian Cancer Support Group | Online Support Group facilitator for Ovarian Cancer | Super-Mum | Woodland Owner
I live in a beautiful part of the U.K known as the ‘New Forest’ in Hampshire, but previously lived and worked in Glastonbury, Somerset. In fact, I have lived in the English countryside for most of my life except for when at one time I lived in the Australian outback for a short time which was a wonderful experience. I was a Nurse for over 30 years and having taken ill health retirement due to cancer, I am now finding new ways to continue to utilise my skills and experience to support and guide others.
In 2014 I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and since then have campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of this disease and provide support to other women who have also been diagnosed with this type of cancer. During my long nursing career, I mostly specialised in Palliative Care as a Clinical Nurse Specialist, so I have a vast amount of experience in this area of which I now find myself being a part of as the patient. The experiences of my patients had a profound effect on me throughout my years of nursing practice and as a patient myself now with this disease, I find myself remembering their words of wisdom. Those words most certainly help me personally to navigate my way through the world of cancer and palliative care.
My nursing experience gave me the skills to be able to set up my own Podcast ‘Living with Ovarian Cancer’ two years ago. In each episode, I give women a voice to share their hugely valuable stories in their own words. Not only does this provide support and education for others who are living with this disease, but it also becomes an everlasting legacy for those sharing their story. For me it is a huge honour to hear each woman share their experiences and I hope to continue with the podcast for as long as I am well enough.
I am in the throes of palliative care myself so this gives me the most unique insight into what it feels like to face mortality, so through my professional and personal experiences, I encourage people to talk about death and what their wishes would be at the end of their their own lives. I promote the specialist area of palliative and hospice care and share my experiences to dispel the fear and myths about death and dying.
As a spiritual woman, I feel deeply connected to the Earth and follow a nature centred spiritual path. Through that connection I hold an empathy for others including humans, animals, and the whole natural world. You will often find me sitting amongst the trees in our woodland which is a privilege to own with my husband. We consider ourselves to be guardians of the woodland and our aim is to conserve and protect it to the best of our abilities. Nature is known to be so healing and I am sure that living so close and in harmony with the Earth that this has helped me to live well with cancer.
As a part of my spiritual practice, I have advocated for other women and supported them so that they feel empowered to live their best lives. Some of my best memories in life are those sat within a circle of other women in a ‘red tent’. When women gather and empower each other, amazing things happen so I am committed to encouraging this to continue.
It is such a privilege to be involved with the ‘Love Yourself Project’ and I am very excited to share what I have learned about living whilst dying and to learn from the other mentors. Thank you for taking the time to read my bio. Please do get in touch of you would like to know more about my work.