Since setting up Fabaferfifty I have had the privilege of meeting and talking to so many inspirational women. Many are nominated as ‘Fabwomen’ by friends and family.I don’t think I have been touched by anyone’s story as much as the one I am about to share with you.
I was recently approached by someone who wanted to nominate their friend, Julie Rogers, who had just published a book called ‘Don’t Cancel My Newspapers Yet’. They believed that Julie epitomised what being Fab after 50 was all about.
Julie has being diagnosed as having terminal cancer.
In 2009 Julie was diagnosed as having breast cancer. With treatment she thought she had beaten it, but a year later it came back- spreading to her lungs. On Christmas Eve 2010 Julie was told that her cancer was aggressive and that this time it was terminal.
Julie was in total shock. She had not expected her life to be cut so short. She had no idea what to do, how to behave, and initially retreated to what she describes as a ‘deep, dark, place’. She became introverted.
A practical guide to dealing with terminal illness
Julie says she has always been a ‘bookie’ and so tried to find a book which would help. There were many books describing holistic therapies and people’s own stories of coping with their own journeys with cancer- either their own or those of loved ones. What Julie was unable find was a practical book- covering topics which most of us avoid discussing. As Julie made her own notes about the issues she was concerned about, she expanded her notes and research into a book, with worksheets, for others going through the same experience who were unsure of where to go for answers.
Topics such as the ‘Advanced Directive are covered’, where the patient decides how their end of life medical care should be conducted, while they are still able to have discussions and make informed decisions. Making a will, how and when to tell friends and family, how to advise employers of your condition, making a bucket list. Managing your finances- such as looking at critical illness cover for mortgage payments, even arranging your own funeral. All these topics are covered. Julie also said managing time and your concept of time is a subject which is often difficult to come to terms with when coping with a terminal illness.
Julie is keen to stress that she does not see herself as a victim- she is still very independent and is extremely ‘no nonsense’. Hence her wish to offer others a practical guide based on her own research and experience.
Julie is still very involved in Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity- and is one of the ambassadors for the ‘TLC’ Touch, Look, Feel’ campaign, giving talks at coffee mornings and events. Early diagnosis is essential, and Julie is strong advocate of more education in this area.
All proceeds of the sale of her book will also go to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. One person has already given £100 for 10 books to be distributed to hospitals of Julie’s choice.
So what about Julie’s own bucket list?
Julie’s own list included places to visit, and things outside of her control which she would like to see happen, including seeing her son get married and seeing her first grandchild. Happily both of these events have taken place n the last 18 months!
For Julie, if her book helps just one person then she feels it will have been worth writing. Julie is still positive and strong.
A remarkable woman with a remarkable outlook on life.
I came away from my chat with her feeling incredibly emotional.
Julie’s book ‘ Don’t Cancel My Newspapers Yet ‘ is available to order from http://www.positivewomen.co.uk
Please help Julie in her campaign to raise awareness.