Welcome to Dani’s Blog

A journey through throat cancer

Finishing It

I can’t configure
a tablet 
chiselled by God’s finger

or forge
a scrawled prescription,
but here’s an inscription, formed

on the small white dot
of its own
full stop,

the sugared pill
of a poem, one sentence
that speaks ill

of illness itself, bullet
with cancer’s name
carved brazenly on it



Three Years Clear

The first day of Spring I missed my three year anniversary in January mired in anxiety about more cancer. The fear can strike us any time. I spent a miserable Christmas worrying about increasing reflux that wouldn’t respond to treatment. PPIs, drastic diet change, sleeping upright and surfing the net for quack remedies. With myContinue reading “Three Years Clear”

Bees and Honey

At my last hospital appointment I dropped off some honey for the two consultants who look after me. I said I’d update the blog with a little info so especially for Mr Kittur here is a glimpse at where your honey comes from. If there are any beekeepers reading this it’s just a simple glimpseContinue reading “Bees and Honey”

Post Treatment Follow Up Trial PETNECK2

Research Question: Does PETCT-guided, patient-initiated follow-up result in similar overall survival compared to current post-treatment routine surveillance for head and neck cancer (HNC) patients? International guidelines recommend regular routine follow-up, aiming to detect recurrences early and enable successful re-treatment. This regimen is effective at detecting recurrences. However, because detection rates are low in asymptomatic patientsContinue reading “Post Treatment Follow Up Trial PETNECK2”


I have been chatting to a friend on the Macmillan forum about coping with lymphoedema. This unpleasant swelling occurs when lymph drainage is damaged by either radiotherapy or surgery. It can vary between a mild inconvenience to a painful hard to put up with and hard to manage condition. The earlier you tackle it theContinue reading “Lymphoedema”

Two Year Anniversary

Today has been a day of contrasts. A bit like the last two years; not much to say except to leave a few snaps

Another Birthday

Twenty years ago this morning I stood gasping but deliriously happy at the top of this mountain. So I’m raising a glass to the next twenty and bugger Cancer!

Happy New Year 2021

It just occurred to me that I haven’t posted here for months so the start of a new year seems to be a propitious time. Time to reflect and the mirror for these reflections is deep this year. Not a year to simply reflect on my recovery and marvel how life goes better than IContinue reading “Happy New Year 2021”

Surviving Covid-19

Well we are still here. Time I put some more work into this blog. I have been terribly lazy and not visited here for some weeks so I should get off my backside…or rather on it… back at the computer keyboard. In my defence Stan and I have been busy in the garden and polyContinue reading “Surviving Covid-19”

After Treatment

This is an excellent article about life after treatment. I’ll put a link to it at the end in case anyone wants to save it but I thought I’d put the whole piece here. After the Treatment Finishes – Then What? Dr Peter Harvey Consultant Clinical Psychologist Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust Imagine a roller-coaster. SomeContinue reading “After Treatment”

Robot Surgery

A significant number of oropharyngeal tumours are in difficult to reach places and have conservatively been operated on by splitting the lower jaw and prizing the two parts apart (a bit of an oversimplification here, but humour me). As you can imagine this causes much post operative pain and disfigurement and results in longer recoveryContinue reading “Robot Surgery”

Acupuncture Update

Today I had another session of Acupuncture so I thought I would add some pictures. Excuse the ragged gardener’s nails! This type of Acupuncture is called Auricular Acupuncture and there is lots of data on how well it works for salivary function. It is designed to stimulate those minor salivary glands that are often largelyContinue reading “Acupuncture Update”

The Customer Knows best?

This from CRUK’s Twitter feed made me smile and just had to share it With profuse apologies to my two lovely doctors from Oncology and MaxFac

World Cancer Day

February 4th was World Cancer Day and Radiotherapy for Life were at an event at the House of Commons trying to raise the awareness of the importance of Radiotherapy in the successful treatment of cancer. RT is severely underfunded and understaffed in the UK (what part of the NHS isn’t, come to that?) and manyContinue reading “World Cancer Day”

First Anniversary

One year, one whole year has passed since I scrambled off the linear accelerator treatment table at the Singleton for the last time. I have had a year of incredible ups and downs, of pain and joy, of delight and horror but I’m still here and more or less in one piece. I am notContinue reading “First Anniversary”


Honey is good for you, miles better than sugar. Naturally produced, raw unheated, unrefined honey with the pollen unfiltered has vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants aplenty. Most honey is significantly antibacterial.Some people swear by it to help them with seasonal allergies. It tastes good. Take your pick from any of that I’d like to mention Manuka HoneyContinue reading “Honey”

10 Months on

Yesterday was my 10month anniversary, or to be more precise 43 weeks and 3 days since my last radio session. While my general fitness marches on I am still working hard on the saliva front. I can manage most foods, needing a drink with only the driest but I am getting quite frustrated with myContinue reading “10 Months on”

Christmas is Coming

This last couple of days I have been wrapping presents for the Radiographers on LINAC 1 and the Head and Neck Nurse Support Team at The Singleton Hospital There’s a bottle of Prosecco and a jar of our honey and I might add some chocolates too. Last year I was getting zapped daily and IContinue reading “Christmas is Coming”

Getting Fitter

Today I woke up to this The day proved to be a Shepherd’s Delight not a warning. The sun shone and it certainly made me feel alive. Time to get out of this pit of indolence and get fit again. I used to run. Nothing serious since that London Marathon more than ten years ago,Continue reading “Getting Fitter”

Onward and Upward

I am now nine months post treatment and on two month check ups split between the surgeon and the oncologist. On my latest visit I asked about checking my thyroid hormone levels and my carotid arteries. Radiation to the neck can destroy thyroid tissue and 50% of people need thyroxine therapy so monitoring is advisedContinue reading “Onward and Upward”

This summer

Since then Stan and I have visited his mum and his children and grandchildren. We upgraded our camper in February to a bigger new mobile home so that our collie Bracken can come with us in comfort. We visited the Malvern Autumn Show and walked three miles there and back and I felt comfortable withContinue reading “This summer”


Here is a list of the drugs I got through. Some are from my own team and some I got myself from MacMillan Community advice: Things for my mouth: Biotene mouthwash is nice and soothing Gelclair and Caphasol helps mightily with the mucositis A Benzydamine mouthwash called Difflam is a good numbing agent before youContinue reading “Drugs”

Results and a hiccup

Five weeks later there are a lot of people in the consulting room again and I am pitched into the dark again as I’m told that the PET/CT shows an 8mm hotspot and they need to biopsy but everybody tries to reassure me that they have never had a failure at this stage, especially asContinue reading “Results and a hiccup”

Recovery and scans

Two weeks pass and life begins to reappear somehow. I have an appointment to see Dr Banner in four weeks time. It seems a lifetime since I saw him. I forget what he looks like. I have been plagued with nausea from week three. I suspect it’s the morphine but I can’t do without itContinue reading “Recovery and scans”


I have to add a few words about support here: The MacMillan nurses have been absolutely stupendous in propping me up. Both teams at the Singleton and in Carmarthen have been exceptional in their care. My brilliant daughter, Cat, has Skyped me from Berlin and sent me encouraging messages throughout. When I couldn’t face anybodyContinue reading “Support”

My Journey through thick and thin: August to December 2018

August Believe in your body and in your second sense. Usually if you know there is something wrong there is…trust me; women are particularly good at this. My GP couldn’t appreciate much to see but at my insistence he arranged a fast track referral. September A quick word here about waiting. You get used toContinue reading “My Journey through thick and thin: August to December 2018”

My Story

The first part of this blog is retrospective though based faithfully on my diary account. I’ve always been a “Glass Half Empty” girl. It’s the way I am. It’s a form of self defence. Expect the worst then be prepared for it. Positive mental attitude doesn’t cut it for me but I luckily have aContinue reading “My Story”

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