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Sam Rose - writer, geek, music lover, cancer survivor, optimist, Buddhist.

Cervical Cancer Screening Campaign #MyCat

This has been getting some attention on Twitter – it’s a campaign to encourage people to go for cervical smears. It’s based on the statistic that 57% of women don’t want to go to their smear test because the beauty salons are closed. (I question this figure later.) And the campaign is to get people to share a photo of a cat whose fur best represents their pubic hair, in order to raise awareness.

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Mr Postman / Mr Sandman

In light of the news this morning that clinically extremely vulnerable people will start to get their letters this week inviting them to get the covid vaccine, I wrote this little parody – to the tune of Mr Sandman, of course:

Mr postman, bring me a dream (bom, bom, bom, bom)
Make it an invite for the covid vaccine (bom, bom, bom, bom)
Say it will reduce my risk of exposure (bom, bom, bom, bom)
And that the pandemic will soon be over

Postman, I’m vulnerable (bom, bom, bom, bom)
And all this shielding can feel miserable (bom, bom, bom, bom)
Please help me get the vaccine
Mr Postman bring me a dream

Bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom,
bom bom bom bom bom!

Guest Appearance on WhyMe with Vera-Lee Podcast!

Earlier this year I was invited to be on the WhyMe with Vera-Lee podcast, and the episode has just been released!

During the episode, we talk about my three cancer diagnoses, Lynch syndrome, my PhD research and my writing. Vera-Lee and I had such a great connection, and I loved our conversation. Give it a listen and let me know what you think! I’m happy to talk about any issues brought up in this episode.


My Goals For 2021

I’m slightly late with it, but it’s that time of year when I get all introspective and retrospective and all the spectives, really, and think about what I achieved in the last year and what I’d like to achieve next year/this year. It’s been difficult to get into that headspace this year – even though the time between Christmas and new year is usually my most productive and thoughtful time, it hasn’t come naturally, probably because – well, look at the state of this year.

Regardless, I’d like to have a little think about it, look at my previous goals and set some new ones. So this is what I said I wanted to achieve in 2020:

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31st December 2020

standing at the back door accommodating
winter in gusts, the clear sharp moon in my throat
and my friends on a screen on my coffee table
but I can’t hear them over the bangs and they
have left their seats already to watch their own
displays. I had run upstairs with Peter and counted
again, at least eight of them, like I did on November 5th.
It’s the first year I didn’t hear a countdown – I always
forget the Hootenanny ignores the coming of the
new year, carries on, and the TV was muted anyway,
but this time, with just the two of us in the house,
at least in flesh, we did not count but we did kiss late
and the bang and crack and light that had been going on
since daylight now overtook the house, everyone’s house
as our web conference brought six of us together in stereo.
Amidst the madness I was grateful for the fireworks blurring
one year into the next because the expectation would have
been too much weight to place on one count, on ten numbers
standing separate and fragile, so instead the community
decided we would have a gradual bringing in of cheer, a blurring
of time, as it had been all year, and watching all the displays from
the back door, the clear sharp moon in my throat made me hopeful,
each blast of light and sound proving that despite everything,
so many of us were standing upright on this earth
and celebrating, still finding some glimmer of joy or hope
and throwing it in the air like a penny in a fountain.

Pre-order My Memoir On Kindle!

My Lynch syndrome memoir Gut Feelings is now available to pre-order on Kindle!

Gut Feelings Lynch Syndrome Memoir Sam Rose

If you like your books in electronic flavour, pre-order now and my guts will be spilled onto your device on the official release date of 7th February 2020!

Here’s the blurb:

“Lynch syndrome is a genetic condition that makes it more likely for a person to get cancer. In other words, it’s the world’s worst loyalty programme.”

Colon cancer, uterine cancer, duodenal cancer. Colostomy bags, infertility, genetic testing. But also, joy. Also adventure. Also grit.

GUT FEELINGS spans ten years from the author’s first diagnosis to the life-changing surgeries for her second and third. Racking up a collection of medical experiences – and losing countless organs along the way – Sam Rose has stories for anyone facing the uncertainty of cancer or Lynch syndrome, to help patients and survivors feel less alone.

Pre-order your copy of Gut Feelings on Kindle now!

What are the Benefits of Having a Creative Hobby?

When it comes to work, we’re all looking for ways to re-engage with our productive sides. It’s been a long year for everyone, whether your work shifted to all remote or you’re still going into an office. Now, this year, more than ever, we all have a lot to balance. However, adding something creative to your plate could really help your work life.

Hobbies are a great way to help you focus and get rid of short-term bursts of stress. They give purpose to downtime in a good way, giving you a sense of accomplishment. And now, even in these isolated times, they can give you a chance to engage with a community, even if that community is online. So how do you do that and what should you try? This graphic offers some insights, and it taught me a couple of new things – including the meaning of “eustress”. As someone who has a day job but also multiple creative passion projects, I found that some of this really resonated with me.

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57% of Cancer Patients Missing Out On Mental Health Support

57% of Cancer Patients Missing Out On Mental Health Support

Despite the huge emotional burden of a cancer diagnosis, many patients and survivors are missing out on vital mental health support when coping with the illness and its aftermath.

According to a 2014 study, 54.1% of cancer survivors need help managing concerns about their cancer coming back. Another study suggested that it’s common for cancer survivors to experience some symptoms of PTSD such as nightmares, avoidance, hypervigilance and negative self-perceptions. Despite this, not all cancer survivors are receiving mental health support to help them deal with a potentially life-threatening diagnosis.

As a three-time cancer survivor engaging with the online cancer community about this topic, I recently Tweeted the question:

 

I was overwhelmed by the number of responses my Tweet received in just a few hours. Experiences varied, from patients not being informed at all of the mental health support available, to being given leaflets or names of resources, being referred for counselling upon request, or being provided counselling without needing to ask. The number of people that fell into the first category was concerning – though for me as a cancer survivor, unsurprising.

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