In support of National Cancer Survivors Day, this year cancer survivor, Lynda King Taylor, shares her own experience.
Lynda, who lives in Paddington, has been receiving cancer treatment in North West London hospitals over the last 35 years.
National Cancer Survivors Day is an annual worldwide celebration of life, held on the first Sunday in June. It is the one day each year that people around the world come together to recognise cancer survivors in their community, raise awareness of the challenges these survivors face, and most importantly, to celebrate life.
In spite of living a healthy and happy lifestyle, Lynda was diagnosed with endocrine cancer in her early twenties after suffering from severe abdominal pain. After diagnosis, Lynda’s womb was removed and she received both chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. Unfortunately, the cancer spread to Lynda’s ovaries, a few years later.
Lynda explains: “The loss of my womb and ovaries was a sudden and sad shock due to my hopes of one day having children. After all these years I am still living with the effects of my cancer treatment. I have bone degeneration and lesions on my pelvis due to radiotherapy treatment for which I have also had recent surgery”.
In spite of her illnesses, Lynda has always remained determined to win. She has written many business books and travelled the world teaching hundreds of organisations about corporate social responsibility, stakeholder satisfaction & management motivation. She is in the process of writing her next book and credits the medical and nursing teams that looked after her for the support they provided, enabling her to survive.
Lynda says: “I am alive thanks to the NHS. I know the NHS is often condemned but there is a superior service across our hospitals especially at the front line. I am grateful to be a survivor in order to help make a difference and create change. I would not be here today without my many friends, supporters, colleagues and my NHS. Thank you to all for your inspiration and belief that I would win.”
In North West London we are working to ensure that all patients receive integrated, joined up care. Work is being done to create new models of care and IT systems that share information between care providers. Lynda champions the hospitals in which she has been treated. Although Lynda admits there is always room for improvement, she says the care she received between the hospitals and her GPs worked well together. Whenever she attended hospital in an emergency her notes and medical history were readily available and she has had access to tests and top teams whenever needed.
Lynda’s advice to other cancer survivors is to: “Keep making the effort to stay energetic - to get out and about, socialise and smile to survive. It is not easy but you cannot sit indoors feeling sad and sorry. Always have hope!”
For further information please contact Ayesha Baker, Communications Officer, North West London Collaboration of CCGs on 020 3350 4639 or at Ayesha.Baker@nw.london.nhs.uk
Notes to editors
1. We are a collaboration of the eight NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in North West London who are working with patients and the public to design, develop and implement major transformation programmes to improve healthcare services for the two million residents who live there: www.healthiernorthwestlondon.nhs.uk