CC Day 1 – Guest Post from Helen Tanner

It is a great privilege to be asked to open Guest Posts for the 2017 Cholangiocarcinoma Awareness month. 

Regular AMMF supporters may recognise my name.  You could call me one of the lucky ones – diagnosed with CC and still here more than 6 years later.  I was lucky to be able to have surgery and even luckier to have nearly 5 years clear. Last year a routine CT scan found a recurrence.  I had chemotherapy and then some very clever surgery by my amazing surgical team, who said they would “see what they could do” if I “was willing to take the chance”.  Of course I was willing – the only thing I wasn’t willing to do was give up.  The surgery went very well and my most recent review scan was all clear.

I have come to realise that there isn’t a magic point at which you don’t have cancer any more.  I will always have it, but it is just a question of how much I let it rule my life.  I’m trying hard to make myself take more chances, because I can and the only person who can stop me is me. I’ve recently threatened to dye my hair purple or get a tattoo – my daughters (pictured with my husband and son-in-law) are much amused by that. I have now retired and am enjoying a range of new challenges, including some patient involvement work. 

I am humbled by the fact that most of the contributors to Guest Posts are doing so in memory of a loved one.  It’s this that drives me and all AMMF supporters on with our fundraising, knowing that Helen and her team are constantly striving for that “something” that is going to make a difference for the next person with CC. 

Helen and her family.