In a previous life my career was as a Buyer. I remember those days when we had telex machines, typewriters and one computer between ten! Indeed, my first job was working for a small company which produced modems and multiplexers, allowing computers to "talk" to each other.
My job involved taking the cost out of the product. A very exciting job, very stressful and one which meant I had to use all available tools, I was therefore, up to date with computers!
My children came along ten years ago and my life changed dramatically. I decided that a change in career was in order and set up my own business as a mobile dog groomer which meant that I could work the hours I wanted and around the children who were and are my primary concern.
My business was so successful that I didn't have to advertise, indeed, I began to turn business away. So, having a successful part time business to run, two children one of whom has special needs meant that my life became a bit of a roller coaster to say the least. This meant that I didn't have the time or the patience to keep up to date with computer technology and I officially classed myself as a "Technophobe" - strange when you consider the industries I have worked in!
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer on 4th February 2009, stage 3, HER2 Positive and hormone receptive, in short AGGRESSIVE! On that day, my whole life changed in a way it never has before. It was life shattering. Suddenly my business had to be put on hold due to risk of infection, my plans for my first 10K running race on 1st March were ruined. I had planned to do the Race for Life again this year, the BUPA Manchester 10K in aid of the National Autistic Society, followed by a half marathon in preperation for the Snowdonia marathon in 2010 which I was going to run in aid of the Love Hope Strength Foundation, a cancer charity. I was no longer able to swim, take saunas, the treatment leaves me tired so I can't walk the dogs as I used to. I had to relinquish control over my sons special needs.... I felt as though my life was over.
Then, I was given a present by my friend which has changed my life and current situation for the positive. She gave me a laptop.
Suddenly a whole new world opened up for me. During my recovery from my operation and through chemotherapy I was and am able to take my laptop to bed and communicate with the world via Facebook and my own Blogger (blogger.com). I have become adapt at downloading videos, music and pictures! So, when I am too tired to talk, I can communicate online.
I have made so many friends via Facebook, Weight Watchers NCU site and my blog. I have friends who are running the Race for Life in my name, I have received care packages from friends I have never met and who live in America, I receive messages every day. I always find something on facebook or the blogs I follow which make me laugh or smile. Anyone who has battled with cancer knows that laughing and smiling are the strongest weapons.
My blog has been theraputic for me because I am able to share my experience with others. I have posted pictures of my scar and of my balding head in the hope that those starting out on the War with Cancer will be reassured by them. I have raised awareness of the Love Hope Strength Foundation, established by rock musician Mike Peters of The Alarm whose vision is to have a cancer resource centre in each country. I have shared his music with my online friends and we have all gained strength from it.
My online friend in America works for Relay for Life, something I had never heard of before and because of her, I am taking part in an event on 12th September 2009 as a SURVIVOR two days after my final round of chemotherapy. I am also signed up to a newly established charity which can be found on facebook called SPIRIT JUMP. The aim of the charity is to lift peoples spirits during their cancer fight. I am lucky to be surrounded by wonderful friends, neighbours and famliy and so I don't feel the need to get a "Spirit Jump" myself but I am signed up as a "jumper" and as such, I send out cards and small gifts to those in need. It helps to think of others rather than yourself.
So......... Summer of Social MEDIA Good............ At a time in my life when everything I lived for was taken away from me by CANCER........ I found the social media and it found me. As a result, I am doing good, I continue to help others, I still have a purpose and I am winning my fight against Breast Cancer. As my blog says "Cancer Ain't Gonna Beat Me"