‘What’s Next?’ After Cancer (part three of three)

jemtalkThis was what I was going to do. I couldn’t pack Cancer up and shove it in the attic ready to start my life again, this was me starting again with Cancer, taking it like an old familiar friend with me. The learnings were too huge not to share, not to take with me everywhere I went. I was now known as ‘the woman who talks about Cancer’.

This was my role. Making Cancer an easier word to hear. Not sugar coating or gilding it, but being real with the challenge, and positive with the lessons. This is what people needed to hear.

My second talk was at the London Vegan Festival May 2017. This time I was going professional with a power point mostly of the photos I took through the Thailand hospital process and early-cancer days, but I they illustrate the situation and the story well.

As soon as I started speaking the response was the same, faces of fascination in amongst the deafening silence. Even the noisy festival through the doorway seemed to quieten to a lull to hear me speak. Through-out the talk I get to see this new crowd looking at me, and their faces transforming during my talk. Often people start out looking pretty non-bothered, some sceptical, and judgemental. But as I speak the changes start to settle in. Some look amazed, with eye brows raising throughout and leaning forward so transfixed that they don’t notice that they’ve been holding that leant forward position for the full 45 minute talk. Others look vulnerable and in awe. Others have tears in their eyes, or wipe them off their face, as I’m assuming their relating to their own cancer story. I had one man nodding with agreement throughout. He’d arrived early hoping to get a seat for the talk after mine on ‘Best Vegan cafes in London’, but I convinced him to stay. Afterwards he came up and shook my hand, saying how before the talk he’d been in creative block with lots of negative self-talk (he explained he was a theatre writer) but listening to my talk had somehow reset him and kick started his positivity and he was ready to get creative ad promote his work again, as he passed me a leaflet of his up and coming theatre production.

Afterwards I always invite people to come and talk to me, and plenty do to let me know how my talk touched or inspired them and to share their own tales. The mailing list went round and people added their emails and some added nice messages of thanks also. It wasn’t till I got home that one person had written underneath her e-mail that she was struggling with ‘life after cancer’. This resonated with me massively. I emailed her straight away and told her she wasn’t alone. I shall write a blog soon on that subject. Plus I think one day I shall give a talk on ‘Life after cancer’, as it’s not easy to navigate.

I know this is important to be sharing my story. So I do invite invitations to speak at events, large or small. This story isn’t just for people who have had or been touched with cancer. This story of positivity touches us deeply in those places were the negative self-talk knows it can hurt us.

Please get in touch with any future talk or event invitations: 07525 175 922


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