Writer, researcher, music lover, cancer survivor, optimist, Buddhist.

Author: writersamr (Page 1 of 42)

National Television Awards 2021 – or, I’m not crying, you’re crying

After a long week at work, I’ve had the most glorious afternoon catching up with the National Television Awards (NTAs), which took place last night. I was out last night, otherwise I would have watched it live, so instead I decided to treat myself to pizza for lunch and curl up under a blanket, watching with rapture. And it was wonderful.

I mainly decided to watch it because I knew Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin was nominated in the New Drama category, and I absolutely loved that show. I watched it in two or three sittings on demand before it was all broadcast, and then I watched almost every episode as they were shown on Channel 4 as well. And I cried almost all the way through. Then I saw the clips of a couple of episodes on Gogglebox and cried watching them for the third time. And I don’t know if it’s because of the menopause or because I’m an emotional person anyway, but the entire NTAs had a similar effect.

I do like a good award show, when I am familiar with most of the nominees and invested in a couple of them. So many of my favourites won – Mollie Gallagher in Coronation Street for starters, whose hate crime storyline was so good and felt quite close to home for this former goth/greb/emo kid. And little Jude Riordan for best newcomer, again for Corrie – he’s so adorable and a great actor. And Coronation Street itself won best serial. I say I don’t watch a lot of TV – I’m not really up to date with whatever new thing is popular most of the time, and I often don’t follow up on recommendations people give me. But I watch Corrie every episode without fail. It’s like coming home and escaping elsewhere all at once. It’s a comfort blanket.

I was pleased to see It’s A Sin win New Drama, and was hopeful when Olly Alexander was nominated for his performance – but also pleased when David Tennant won for his performance in Des. He’s one of my faves. Beat The Chasers won best quiz gameshow, The Great British Bake Off picked up best challenge show, Gogglebox best factual, and Ant and Dec won The Bruce Forsyth Entertainment Award for I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! as well as their 20th award for best TV presenter. All fairly unsurprising, really, but all my favourites so I was very pleased. Seeing Kate Garraway win best authored documentary for Finding Derek was emotional for obvious reasons even though I haven’t watched it, and I think the topic of that documentary is part of the reason why it all felt so emotional. Because it wasn’t just any award show – it was an award show in the context of over a year of events and shows not happening in person. It was a celebration of the programmes that distracted us when our worlds as we knew them were falling apart. And I suppose there are people who think staring at a box in the corner is mind-numbing, time wasting, pointless, and we should all be reading or climbing trees or something. But when an art form – and TV is an art form – makes us feel this much, and entertains us, distracts us, introduces us to new experiences, and informs us – that’s not an easy thing for any creative to do, and it’s worth something. In fact, it’s worth a hell of a lot.

This time of year makes me excited for television. Bake Off is coming back, I’m A Celeb will be on in a couple of months, and with it, the promise of Christmas. Winter is coming, and along with it, dark and cosy nights, great television, and comfort. It’s partly this feeling that made me so emotional watching the awards today. That, and I just love seeing people do things they are passionate about and be rewarded for it. And did I mention it’s been a really long week? But this was the perfect way to close it.

Cancer Scribblers Introductory Video

I’m launching a new series of webinars called Cancer Scribblers, designed to help people living with and after cancer, and caregivers, to get into writing, hone your craft and share your story in your own way! This first video aims to give you a flavour of what the webinars will be like and to introduce you to the world of writing about cancer. As well as explaining what to expect from future webinars, in this video, I also explain how we can practise self-care when writing, and introduce some of the writing forms and routes to publication.
 
Please do let me know what you think of the plans so far!
 
 

What I mean when I say I have a checkup

What I say: I have a hospital appointment

What other people hear: She’ll be there for a couple of hours

What actually happens: Hospital on Friday for covid test; spend Saturday panicking; no food from Sunday 9am until Monday 4pm; Sunday evening drink two litres of bowel prep; at hospital for 9am Monday; actual endoscopy(ies) at 10.30am with sedation; another 30-60 mins in recovery, discharged around 12pm; home at 12.30pm. But hang on, it’s a capsule endoscopy too, so no drinks allowed until 2pm; no food until 4pm (a total of 31 hours without food) then waiting for the capsule to *evacuate*; panicking when it doesn’t in case you need an x-ray to check if it’s still there, or the test might need to be retaken if there wasn’t enough footage and you have to go through the whole thing again, or need surgery to get it out; then finally relief when it does come out right before bedtime and the recorder thankfully hasn’t run out of battery; worrying still though in case the bowel prep wasn’t good enough for clear pictures and the test needs to be redone, or if they find cancer again; then work in the morning (but only from home as you had sedation and can’t drive again yet), where you need to be a productive human being and ignore it all, while awaiting the capsule endoscopy results.

Welcome to cancer. That was my “weekend” – how was yours?

On the plus side, the gastroscopy found nothing abnormal. Hoping for good results from the capsule endoscopy, too. That would make up for the sore throat and jaw and the embarrassment of chatting absolute nonsense to the nurses while sedated. And getting bile in my hair.

Creative Writing Webinars For Cancer Survivors – Sign Up For Updates!

Creative writing webinars for cancer survivors

I’m starting a new webinar series on creative writing! It will be aimed at cancer patients, survivors and caregivers who would like to write through their experiences.

The series will include topics such as poetry, memoir, essays, blogging, body image, getting published and more.

The series is still in the planning stages right now, but if you would like to receive more information, please fill in the email signup form. Make sure to tick the “webinars and workshops” checkbox at the bottom.

Additionally, if you know anyone who may be interested in this webinar series, please send them the link to this post so they can sign up to find out more.

Creative Writing Webinars For Cancer Survivors

I’m planning some webinars/workshops on creative writing for people living with and after cancer. Topics might include writing poetry, writing your memoir, getting published, blogging, self-care, exploring identity, exploring body image and more.

If this interests you, it would be extremely helpful if you could fill in my survey to let me know the types of online events you’d like to attend. Please also share the link with anyone you think may also be interested. Thank you so much in advance!

Here is the survey link.

What Does A Cancer Patient Look Like?

I don’t have any photos of me in the hospital or in a gown or anything like that. I don’t have many photos at all of me during the time of my diagnoses and surgeries. However, I have dug out a few from around my first diagnosis in 2010 and my second and third in 2018, to show in picture form what my cancer experience looked like from the outside. Brace yourself:

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Gut Feelings: Coping With Cancer and Living With Lynch Syndrome Out Now!

My memoir Gut Feelings: Coping With Cancer and Living With Lynch Syndrome is out now on Amazon!

Gut Feelings: Coping With Cancer and Living With Lynch Syndrome by Sam Rose

“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.

Gut Feelings in the Media

An extract from my memoir is available on the Bowel Cancer UK website.

I appeared on The Hope-Makers Podcast chatting to Erica Bowen about my book and my experiences.

I wrote an article about the writing of my memoir for Lucy Turns Pages.

Part of my story appears on the Womb Cancer Support UK blog.

In March, I’ll be on an episode of Radical Care Podcast.

Gut Feelings is out now in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon!

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.


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