Avril Chester - the IT genius behind Cancer Central - on her inspiration to create a one-stop shop for cancer services

 

For this month of September, I have some real treats lined up for you here! 

It’s been a real pleasure to interview a range of different people who are all doing incredible things in this world with their gifts, and all because of their experience with cancer - either their own or that of a family member. 

Get ready to be inspired…

First up, we have the amazing Avril Chester from Cancer Central - a groundbreaking and award-winning new digital platform providing a central source of information for those affected by cancer and those who care for them. If you have a question, or want to find local services, Cancer Central is THE place to go. 

Ave (the AI bot who answers your questions) is constantly learning and evolving - with every question she is asked, she learns and develops better search capabilities, so every day Cancer Central becomes a more and more powerful resource.

Founder and creator, Avril Chester, tells us about how it all began, her biggest...

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Talaya Dendy - on how to find a healthy and happy life after cancer

 

Life can seem so unfair at times.

Why is it that some of the most beautiful, kind and big-hearted people are the ones who get cancer?

I used to think like this - in fact, I used to be quite one-dimensional in my thoughts about suffering in this world.

That is, until I met a family who flipped this notion on its head. This family taught me what it truly meant to rejoice in all circumstances, even through suffering.

And since then, I’ve had the honour of getting to know many different people whose attitude to sickness, suffering and life’s big disappointments have totally blown me away.

Including the guest on this week’s interview.

It is my absolute pleasure to share with you an interview with the lovely Talaya Dendy of On The Other Side.

Talaya was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and has spent a lot of time reflecting on how her mindset has impacted her healing journey. This year sees her celebrating her 8th cancer-free anniversary, and here she...

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Petra O’Hara - breast cancer champion - on socks, cheeky pants and the greatest lesson having cancer taught her

 

This week I had the absolute joy and pleasure of interviewing the hilarious Petra O’Hara. I met Petra recently at a business “discovery day” session and I instantly warmed to her infectious personality and knew right away I had to interview her and share her story with you all.

Petra was diagnosed with breast cancer 6 years ago, and describes this episode in her life as “the best thing that’s ever happened to me”. She talks candidly about her frustrations and fears, things that irked her, and how she used her incredible sense of humour to get her through the tough times.

Click on the video above to watch our interview and be inspired by the belief that her cancer experience brought her to: NOTHING is unattainable.

Go ahead and grasp the nettle!

Be the BEST version of your professional self

No one gets into this line of work with selfish ambition and an hollow tin chest! I’ll bet you are a giver to your CORE.

But we’re all human and...

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Discerning ‘It’! Renewed purpose for life after cancer

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at some of the emotional aspects of a cancer diagnosis by looking into the past - unfunking your funk, completing the past and letting go of past hurts. This week, let’s turn our attention to the future and finding the joy in life after a cancer diagnosis. And for this last week of Generous April, I’ve also created another free guide to help you discern ‘It’.

And with it being Easter this weekend just past, I’ve been reflecting a lot on new beginnings, resurrection and rebirth. I went on a long productive meditation walk this morning to think through the content of this particular blog post and the phrase “life after death” sprang to mind. As I ruminated on it some more, I realised I wasn’t thinking about this phrase in the literal sense, but rather, figuratively.

Stick with me here: a cancer diagnosis is a huge, life-changing event. The phrase, “You’ve got cancer”...

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How “completing the past” can help with healing

Last week we talked about getting “unstuck”, or “unfunking your funk”. Part of the reason we can sometimes find ourselves stuck is because we’re looping and re-looping the past in our heads.

As the Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan so eloquently put it:

“We drive into the future using only our rearview mirror.”

So. TRUE!

The trouble is, sometimes we’re too tied up in what’s happened in the past that we can’t fully consider the future.

Now, before I continue, I’m conscious that I run the risk of confusing my readers. Is this site for patients or is it for practitioners?

Well, yes, Essential Cancer Education primarily exists to serve the professionals who work directly with patients. However, this week - this month in fact - I want to shift the focus of my writing to help those living through the cancer experience. I’ve felt prompted to do something for patients for a while, and I’m not quite...

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