Mum of 2 & Writer.
Currently studying for a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Cambridge.
First class Joint BA Honours in Creative Writing & English Literature.
Had slightly dramatic fight with cancer - I won!
Author of The Fabulous Woman's Guide Through Cancer
Did you see the webinar that I did with the fabulous Coaching Emily last Thursday as part of my Virtual Book Tour? If not, great news, you can see it here…
It was a fantastic experience and the time flew past, meaning that it is actually over an hour but, hopefully it’s worth it.
Once you’ve watched the webinar you will know that there is our unique community supporting people after cancer on Facebook, set up by a qualified coach and health psychology specialist – Coaching Emily herself! If you’re not already a member, you can request to join the group here…
Already signed up, no worries, that means you are already entered into the draw!
Hope you are enjoying the Virtual Book Tour. I am having the best time doing it, but would love to hear what you guys think, so please do let me know. And don’t forget that we have LOADS more coming up. I have a book review coming on The Writing Garnet, I am giving an interview at TEND Nutrition, a guest blog post about writing at Womb Cancer Support UK, a webinar about how to get started writing at Coaching Emily, my Birthday Giveaway draw, and a review at Through the Looking Glass… Plenty more to keep you entertained.
It has begun! That first day of my Virtual Book Tour and I am so excited… especially as I am starting off at the completely fabulous Nicola Jane.
Nicola Jane know everything that there is to know about post-breast surgery fashion. From mastectomy bras to swimwear and everything in between they have you covered.
They wrote a fabulous section in my book, full of styling tips and information for shopping after breast surgery and I feel very honoured that they asked me to be their first ever ‘Book of the Month’ in the community part of their website.
Nicola Jane Book Of The Month: March
Wednesday, 1st March 2017
Introducing our Nicola Jane ‘Book of the Month’ for March: “The Fabulous Woman’s Guide Through Cancer” by Nicola Bourne
I am so excited to be able to tell you that we have a very exciting time coming up in March. This Virtual Book Tour is going to be FULL of events, interviews, giveaways, guest posts, blog visits, hangouts, vlogs – both on this site and on some other awesome blogs and websites including Nicola Jane, TEND Nutrition, Womb Cancer Support and more!
Sign up here so that you can keep up to date and find out about EVERYTHING that we have going on!
As a way of highlighting the fact that it is World Cancer Day I thought that I would answer a few of the questions I’m repeatedly asked about my cancer experience, so here we go…
What was the best thing that someone did / bought for you when you had cancer?
People are always asking me this because they want to know how they can help someone else. You don’t need to wait to be asked to do something, no one is going to mind you turning up with a casserole, they will love it, but equally don’t expect to eat it with them or be messaging twice a day asking for the dish back because that just makes it stressful. Do things without expecting anything back.
The gifts I appreciated the most were uplifting DVD’s (keyword uplifting) and microwaveable gloves and booties as your extremities can get very cold when you are having chemotherapy.
Do your children know you had cancer and how did you talk to them about the illness?
When I was diagnosed my son had just turned two years old and my daughter was three months old. My son could see I was very sick so we always explained it in a language he would understand. Things like, mummy has an owee and the doctor is giving her special medicine and we have always tried to encourage both kids to ask plenty of questions.
As my kids got older they’ve asked more questions which I have answered as honestly as possible so they now know that I had an illness called cancer. They also know that the reasons we do so many Cancer Research UK campaigns is because they raise money to help people like mummy get better and I just love being able to tell them that! My wish is that one day every parent can tell their child that they are cancer free.
It is really tough being a mum whose sick, there are no two ways about it. I actually wrote an article about coping strategies and the subject gets a whole chapter in the book because being a mum with any long-term serious illness has such a massive impact.
Was writing a book about having cancer therapeutic?
It was but it wasn’t always easy. I remember when writing about (and reliving) the moments that I was so low I wanted to give up, I came away from my computer crying. But at the same time, that was what I wanted, an honest account that did approach the harder emotional parts of having cancer, so I felt I had to go through that. I think that, combined with the time that has passed, definitely helped me come to terms with what I went through.
Have you got an advice to anyone wanting to write about their cancer experience?
I think writing is a unique and amazing way to process emotions, good and bad. Obviously you don’t have to keep a blog or write a book, it can be private thoughts just for yourself. If you do want to publish, I think WordPress is an excellent blogging platform, it’s what I use. If you want to write and don’t know where to start, check out a book like Let It Out by Katie Dalebout which gives prompts and different ways of looking at your illness.
What is it like for you when people donate to Cancer charities?
Ok, so the only people who ever ask me this are cancer charities but it really is an AMAZING feeling! You feel like people are doing something very personal for you and your family – they are helping to ensure that you live. It feels incredibly personal and incredibly moving. I feel the same way about people who volunteer in charity shops. Because of YOU, I was offered a type of chemotherapy that my mother, 8 years earlier, wasn’t. The fact that people I don’t know and never will are actively doing something which helped save my life is a very unique and powerful feeling that I can’t fully articulate.
If you want to be one of those amazing people – great news – you can! Give whatever you can to the cancer charity of your choice and know that you are doing something this World Cancer Day to literally change the life of someone with cancer!
With love & Unity! x
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I can’t believe we are already three weeks into the new year. If you love the feeling of a fresh page that can come with a new year, why not settle down with an awesome book about new beginnings and starting over to inspire you in 2017! Here are some of my favourite…
One of the things I love about it is that although it is about new beginnings she doesn’t abandon her whole life to make it happen (despite the name), she discovers a new way to enjoy what she already has – although some much-needed changes are made along the way. A book about fiding your own inner strength and making positive changes.
I have spoken about this book before. It is moving and powerful and you may need some tissues at the ready. The main theme of this book is identity and how much you identity is tied into your family and the people around you, as well as asking the question about if it is possible to ever really ‘start over’ again.
If you haven’t read the book then I am sure you have seen the movie with Julia Roberts (which I equally love). This book is creative non-fiction and Gilbert’s personal experience of the year after her divorce. Its honest and moving and will probably have you wanting to travel the world by the end.
This is a poignant and moving novel – especially in light of the recent inauguration and possible wall building – is about people moving to the United States of America as a way to make a new life and discover their place in the world. Themes of family, identity and what it means to be an ‘American’ wrapped in a story about different forms of love.
A novel to make you questions why people do the things they do.
This is a great book to start the year with. Another non-fiction book in which Ruben decides to start the year making changes to her life to make herself happier. Ruben does a new thing every month with each chapter showing what she does that month so you can try to emulate these ideas. In my case I didn’t follow everything but picked out the parts that I knew would work for me.
Two books by Elizabeth Gilbert on one list – outrageous! But if you write books about making changes and positive living, I guess that’s inevitable on this type of list. I’m such a massive fan of this book, all about living creatively which is clearly completely up my street. You don’t have to be in a creative industry or anything, this book is more about being creative everyday and is a great place to start bringing joy and creativity into your life.
Again, even if you haven’t read the book you may have seen the awesome film. The plot is not a million miles away from Eat, Pray, Love in that its a woman trying to figure out what makes her tick after the loss of her mother and recent divorce. Rather than travelling the world she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA, spending much time on her own to reflect and think.
Very honest and raw reflective memoir of change.
Please do comment below and let me know if you have read any of the books and what you think of them, and what books you would recommend that are around based around new beginnings or starting over.
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