Hello my name is Debra Vinecombe. I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2011, had surgery and started on chemotherapy, and became a member of the Cancer Care Centre.

I remember walking through the door of CCC and thinking, ‘I cannot believe I am here, that I am a cancer patient.’ I said that I needed to talk to someone and sat in a chair while a volunteer listened to my tearful, stumbling and frightened words. Joining the Centre was one of the best things I did and the beginning of a wonderful journey. Although the word ‘journey’ is rather overused these days, it is very appropriate because this cancer experience has led me along many interesting paths, helping me to understand, accept, change and heal. It has also introduced me to many friends, not just other cancer patients but practitioners and volunteers who have all been so caring and helpful.

Professionally I am a writer having works published in fiction, non-fiction and poetry. In my younger days I was a qualified health and fitness instructor and lived a lifestyle that should have protected me against cancer. But not so. My non-fiction writing involves a great deal of research so it was natural for me to plunge myself into finding out all I could about cancer. It’s quite a maze. Although I believe that most of the paths that I chose to help me get better have been useful, one of the areas that I kept turning back to was Belief. Putting my faith in God gives me hope and strength in what is sometimes an insane situation.

I am not an expert in any area of cancer or its treatments whether medically or otherwise based. But I have learnt a great deal in the last 2 years – still learning – and would be delighted to share with you some of my experiences and what I find to be most useful.

Debra will be talking about her experiences on Monday morning 8th April at 11.00am here at Cancer Care Centre.