A holiday to the top of Snowdon? #Sarcoma

  Yes, you read right. A holiday to Snowdon? Let me explain!

My sister, Sue, decided to climb Snowdon to raise funds for Sarcoma UK – her target was £150. Before we knew it, most of the Tickle clan had decided to join her. The team consisted of Daddy Tickle, Eldest Tickle (Sue), Naughty Tickle (Mike), Baby Tickle (Laura), My nephew Danny (the youngest of the team) and my cousin Karen.  Karen is actually on holiday in the UK, from Australia, and somehow, our Sue managed to get her to do the climb! The day was horrendous, with downpours and bad winds, but the team managed to reach the summit. Daddy Tickle (who is 60 by the way) arrived 30 minutes before the rest. 

Every day we are asked for donations from people doing different tasks which are a challenge – they are not easy as some people may perceive them to be. The team returned wet, sore, emotional and shattered. Tears were shed, laughs were had and money was raised. It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t a walk in the park and they deserve every penny donated to them. So, how did they do?

10 times the target

The team raised more than the targeted £150. In fact, they raised over ten times that, with the total standing at £1200 as of today. Donations even came from Karen’s friends in Oz.

I am so grateful that the team raised so much money for such a worthy cause. The money raised will go into research which is the key to finding a cure.

Thanks so much to all who donated.


60 today…it can’t top his 59th #cancer #sarcoma

Its my dads 60th birthday today so firstly I wanted to say a BIG Happy Birthday. I’ve obviously got him a present although I think he got the best present for his 59th birthday….

This time last year I was sat in a lovely room on the private ward at Broadgreen eagerly awaiting for my second and final operation to remove the last speck of sarcoma from my left lung.  I was scheduled for an 11am operation but this was delayed to the afternoon so my dad spent his birthday at the hospital. Anxious. Stressing. Waiting. But it all paid off and I was wheeled out after a successful operation performed by the amazing Dr Shackcloth.

Honestly, I can’t believe I’ve had a year, yes a full year, treatment free since I was diagnosed in October 2012. That’s certainly cause for extra celebrations tonight at my dads birthday meal….well it would be but I’m never drinking  again…. (Yep you’ve all heard it before!!)

Cheers folks


Taking control #Macmillan #sarcoma #cancer #cancervoices

I am a Cancer Voice.

Cancer voices is a network of people, hosted by Macmillan, who all have one thing in common. All people in the network have been or are affected by cancer.

I have helped in various ways and wanted to share my Cancer Voice experience this week.

Helping People Take Control (HPTC)

I was lucky enough to visit the Macmillan HQ (which is next to MI6!!!) yesterday to take part in the all day session. HPTC is one of Macmillans sub strategies. They have six in total and are running sessions like this to gain insight and produce plans to ensure that the strands are included into the 2015 main strategy. We were separated into four tables with approx five people on each for discussions where we had to think about and share our stories on the following themes:

  1. Diagnosis
  2. Treatment
  3. Survivorship
  4. End of life

There were people in the room who fell into each category. I put myself in category 3 although I reworded it to ‘Survivorship/Post treatment’.

I was on a table with two other ladies who were patients. One had a rare Cancer too so for once I didn’t feel like the spare part. We held frank discussions around each of the stages and talked about what our lives were like throughout each one. I created a visual timeline to talk through and it certainly brought back lots of memories of everything I have been through.

We also held discussions around Supported Self Management and what we feel someone on a Cancer journey would need. Throughout ALL sessions, these common themes came to light:

It’s so important that people have the right support network from family/friends and professionals. Cancer is a life changing experience. Not only for those with the illness, but for those who live it with you. The husbands, the wives, the mums & dads, the brothers & sisters, the kids, the families, carers, neighbours & friends. It changes us all, in different ways. Some people get through it and some people part ways – this doesn’t mean you’ve failed but that it wasn’t meant to be. With the help and support of charities such as Macmillan, people don’t have to face cancer alone. 

Keeping things normal!!! Yes, people like normality. We don’t care if you think it’s boring….any conversation is better than talking about appointments, cannulas, chemo, sickness, fatig….zzzzzz sorry fell asleep there!

A good employer is essential. It’s hard enough fighting for your life, chuck fighting for your job into the mix and it can be soul destroying. Macmillan run training sessions to help Employers and line managers. Click here to view the options.

I am so pleased that I was selected to take part in the day and I know I’ve contributed to an extremely important part of Macmillans focuses for the year. Plus, I had a cracking view!

Click here to find out more or become a Cancer voice.

What a year…and it’s only February! #sarcoma #cancer

I haven’t posted for a few weeks as I’ve been a busy bee!

Firstly, I changed jobs at work, and had a manic one week in before jetting off on holiday.

Secondly, whilst on holiday, John and I got married. We eloped to paradise! We wanted our wedding day to be just about us two and it certainly was that. We booked it in October so God knows how we kept it a secret for 12 weeks! Luckily our family and friends weren’t offended that we didn’t tell them or invite them!

Here’s our breakfast on the following morning in our private garden. Bliss


Thirdly, I had my scans…

Scan disaster
We landed back in the UK on 23rd January and on 30th I had an MRI and CT scan.
I have MRI scans on my leg and so that the doctors can look at the origin of the tumour. The CT scan looks at my lungs.

So on scan day, I had a CT immediately before the MRI scan which turned out to be a problem…..Problem I hear you ask? Well for the CT scan I need to drink a litre of fluid…this combined with my weak bladder is a recipe for disaster! MRI scans are lengthy and can take up to 90 minutes. 90 minutes of telling myself I do not need a wee…. The lady doing the scan wasn’t sympathetic to my situation and really upset me. I seriously wonder how some people get to be employed in the nursing/medical profession – I’m sure some people think we go for scans for the fun of it. Luckily my lovely CNS Sarah was waiting outside for me. I’d also like to give huge thanks to Claire for taking the time out to come with me. It was so nice to have company whilst waiting around

Moving on…the results were clear! A year since I finished chemo. This is great news and I’m so happy.

Spare a thought
I would like to give a “shout out” to people who are going through or just about to start treatment. Keep going and don’t give up. When you feel like things are going wrong, please spare a thought for this facing gruelling treatment and put things into perspective.


#CancerDoesntTakeABreakForChristmas #sarcoma @clatterbridgecc

This time last year I was having chemotherapy at Clatterbridge Cancer Hospital and this time two years ago I was having radiotherapy there. I wanted to give something back so today, our Sue and I volunteered at the hospital to spread some festive cheer. We delivered mince pies to the patients on the wards and they went down a storm!

When I was receiving treatment I was really grateful to the wonderful volunteers who gave up their time to help make this hospital the amazing place that it is. Whether it was to bring treats to the wards, give us massages or just pop up for a natter, I found these people an absolute God send. So I know that we helped today. We helped to cheer up some people who were receiving treatment and going through some of the darkest days of their lives. I look forward to helping again.

Please remember those who are facing a difficult Christmas and also those wonderful people working tirelessly to keep the hospital running 24/7.

Cancer doesn’t take a break for Christmas.


Never give up #Sarcoma

It’s been almost two years since my relationship with Sarcoma began. I hear of people being diagnosed with cancer and my heart skips a beat as I wonder how they are coping with the news. Now this is really hard to explain so please bear with me….. You think you would never be able to cope with hearing such life shattering news like “You have cancer” – but, actually, once you have processed the information, you carry on. I don’t know how or why, but you do. I’ve been told I have cancer, not once, but twice. Yes, TWICE! It’s upsetting (You can trust me on that!)….but you then commence on another journey – the fight for your life. It’s so hard to explain how, but you just get on with it. People say I’m brave, but I don’t feel brave – I am doing what most people would do.

Enough of the bad….
I’ve recently learned of a fellow patient who passed away from this disease. She was diagnosed in July 2013…. Whilst this is upsetting and terrifying, I try not to dwell on the devastating news and I try to focus on the positives. Six months ago, I heard from another patient who has a rare form of sarcoma. He was told that it was too advanced for any ‘normal’ treatment. Now it seems that he has a consultant as wonderful as my Mr Chandrasekar, who discovered a different chemotherapy treatment and offered it to him. He accepted and has been undergoing treatment. This morning he confirmed that the treatment is working. This is just amazing news and confirms that you should never give up….

Goodnight xx

Does cancer change you? #Sarcoma

I get asked this question on a regular basis. And the answer is YES. I’ve found it so difficult to put into words exactly how I’ve changed but then I saw this post on a fellow cancer fighters facebook page. Thanks Donna for sharing it


Thanks for reading x

Sarcoma Awareness Week and the amazing @marathonchamp

Yesterday I went to The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham to support the ‘On the ball’ campaign as a patient rep for Sarcoma UK. The aim of the campaign is to create awareness and drive early diagnosis of sarcoma – ideally when they are the size of a golf ball (5cm).

Sarcoma is treatable if detected early so this is a great campaign. For more information please visit the Sarcoma UK website by clicking here.

The amazing Richard Whitehead was there to support and I was lucky enough to meet the lovely man.

Here are a few pictures.
This picture shows Richard Whitehead, Professor Grimer, Nigel & Myself as patient reps.


Support Group Website for Merseyside & Cheshire
I’ve been constructing a website to complement our support group. This has now been published to the Sarcoma website which is great as it enables other people affected by sarcoma to see what support we can offer. Click here to take a look.

Sarcoma (and Mr Chandrasekar) in the news
Here’s an interesting story about another patient from the North West. Click here to view it.

And lastly, I will be taking my Sarcoma UK t-shirt away with me. I’ll snap myself wearing it in The Big Apple. It is Sarcoma Awareness Week after all….!

Great news with perfect timing for Sarcoma Awareness Week #Sarcoma #cancer

Morning everyone,

June has been a really busy month for me. I’ve been working most days, had an MRI scan and a CT scan. So, here’s an update.

I went for my three monthly check up on my leg. Mr Chanasekar wasn’t there so I saw Dr Yin. (I’ve only met him once and that was a few days before diagnosis so it’s been almost two years) he immediately made reference to the lump I have under my scar. Sarah (my CNS) and I explained it has been there for 14 months or so and all scans have showed up clear since then. Dr Yin wanted to be on the safe side so he referred me for an MRI. Cue whirlwinds of scary thoughts around my head…. I had to go for my results last Monday – John was at work, and Mum was on holiday so Laura came along with me. Now for those of you that don’t know Laura – she cries at Peppa Pig….! So by the time Mr Chandrasekar had walked in, we were both in tears! Bet he was gutted to have two emotional Tickles sat in his room! Great news though, the scans were clear! Phew!

The following day, I was scheduled for a CT scan to check my lungs. Now this was the scariest one for me. The scan itself was only a few minutes but it’s the torture of waiting for results and not knowing if there is anything lurking. As I left the scan, Sarah, my nurse, was sat waiting to say hello. She was with another sarcoma patient who had a scan at the same time so it was like a reunion!
On Friday (not even 72 hours after my scan) I was sat at work, minding my own business, when my mobile rang with a number I wasn’t familiar with. I wasn’t going to answer as I had lost all my numbers the previous day so assumed it was just another Tickle wanting a chinwag. Curiosity got the better of me and I answered to hear Mr Chandrasekars voice at the other end. Time stood still (cue music from a horror film) and I felt sick. I asked why he was calling and he immediately informed me the brilliant news that my lungs were clear. I have never felt relief like it in my life. Thanks to Kate and Joe for being there when I needed celebratory hugs!

I know that this journey with cancer is far from over but each time I get a ‘clear’ scan, it spurs me on and gives me more hope.

My thoughts go out to each and every one of you fighting cancer, that have appointments, scans, biopsies, results, surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or any other treatment. Keep going.

Sarcoma awareness week
Today is the start of Sarcoma Awareness Week, and I am going to Birmingham for the press launch. I am so excited and I hope I get to meet Richard Whitehead!
I am off on holiday this week so I am going to take my Sarcoma t-shirt and get pictures at some famous landmarks. I will post them when I get back 🙂

For more information about Sarcoma please visit the Sarcoma UK website at http://www.sarcoma.org.uk

Goodbye for now. Take care xxx