Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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A simple post with a simple message…

Sadly, one in nine women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so help raise vital funds for life-saving work by organising a fundraising activity, making a donation or shopping with Cancer Research UK.

Cancer Research UK is the largest single funder of breast cancer research in the UK. They are making fantastic progress, but they can’t do it without US.

Join the fight for women’s survival and help beat cancer.

Breast cancer in men

They are also fighting for men’s survival too – although it’s much rarer, breast cancer can affect men as well as women. Find specific information about breast cancer in men.

My first year blogging

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Today this blog is one year old, I have to admit that i am surprised to some degree that i have managed to keep it going for this long and that i have actually found it to be a excellent resource for myself as a way of exploring new ideas and gauging opinion from people. Never underestimate the value of “drafts” in developing your thinking..

I have used it on the whole for work related discussions but did use it for a period last year to share my thoughts and reflections of my wife’s and my family’s journey with Thyroid Cancer. Taking the decision to share those personal experiences with potentially so many people, wasn’t taken lightly, but i felt i needed to get “stuff” off my chest and in doing so i made some great connections not just for myself but for my wife.  It also proved to me the benefits of allowing people in to your personal thoughts and feelings sometimes and gaining a very different kind of support which i cherished and valued so much.

In terms of work, my blogging has enabled me to feel supported when on occasion that wasn’t happening internally. It also (along with twitter) gave me a new network of colleagues and peers. You all add value by sharing your insights and thoughts. Without these tools i don’t think i would have felt supported, in touch, networked and accessible.

Now i didn’t set myself any measurements or targets for my blog, i just did it for me and hoped along the way what i wrote would also offer value to someone else.

Some statistics about my blog’s first year

  • First year visitor numbers (June 2008 to June 2009) – 13050
  • Average visitors per day
    • During 2008 – 33
    • During 2009 – 39
  • Posts and Comments
    • Total Posts: 181
    • Total comments: 226

Reflections

What i found interesting about these stats was that it really does help to connect the multiple channels and multiple networks to enable a wider audience to participate or at least read the content.

I was also really pleased with the numbers. I never expected anything huge and was thinking something like 10-20 visitors per day would have been good  – considering the most logical audience base is in local government and that is where “access to social media” is such a challenge.

If others could have access and start similar blogs and share experiences in this way, i wonder what impact that would have on the pace of change in our local councils. It would be like attending a conference everyday and gaining insights and lesson from other people trialling new ways of doing things and all for FREE.

I have many personal highlights over the last year for my blog, here are a just a few of them;

  • starting it in the first place – huge step, and no cost to the organisation or resources in ICT
  • getting my chief executive supporting social networking on camera and available via the blog
  • sharing and developing my councils social media policy and guidelines through the blog
  • connecting with many new friends and colleagues

Some connected benefits and i’m not entirely sure if these are connected to my blog or twitter or both, but in the last 12 months i have also spoken at a number of events on the lessons we have learned and ideas etc. That has also enabled me to connect to more and more people as well as get challenged by people, which is also a really valuable process.

What next?

So many things have happened in the last year and the next 12 months will be even more exciting. I haven’t set any targets as such as i’m not yet in a position to think that my blog is a marketing medium for me. Maybe in the future i will enter the consultancy arena (as do many others) and will re-evaluate my online presence and align it with other channels to get the maximum benefit.

In the meantime, i am keen to continue to share the lessons i learn here and my thoughts on the ever expanding area of social media and social networking in local government and i want to connect to many more people who are also doing excellent things as well as those making mistakes.

There are a few events i am speaking at or involved with via panel sessions this year and i have listed them below. If you are going to any of these or are speaking then i look forward to meeting you. Do stop me and let me know what you are doing.

Raising money for Cancer Research UK

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My wife is doing the Race for Life event later this year to help raise money for Cancer Research UK.

If you don’t know anyone locally or personally who you can sponsor then we would very much welcome your contributions (we have set a very modest and realistic target which we hope to smash)

Follow the link below or go to Sharon’s Donation Page

A Personal Story – Part 4

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A short and brief update.

Sharon had an appointment today to get the results of all the scans that she went through (MRI & CAT scans) to find out whether or not this was the end of a difficult but enlightening journey for us all or the beginning of another more difficult one.

well the great news is that she has been given the all clear, so we can finally draw a line under this and be thankful that we learnt our lessons before it got any worse.

She will need to have regular check-ups for a period of time to ensure her Thyroxin levels are enough to ensure that her brain doesn’t start thinking that she needs to start growing thyroid cells again as this could cause the cancer to return. But that is something which is straight forward.

This blog was not intended for this story but it has provided me with a way to express my thoughts and concerns without burdening my wife and family. This blog has also helped me make some great contacts with people and families who have experienced or who are experiencing the same or similar challenges.

If you need any more proof that these social media and web 2.0 tool can really connect people by interest and to provide support and encouragement across in reality thousands of miles in an instant, then this story is an example of that.

To each and everyone who has read this journey, sent comments, messages, emails of support, encouragement and love to my family.

I THANK YOU

Carl :)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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I know i am 3 days late in posting this, but there is still a whole month to go. It is a good cause and well worth spreading the message.

Our local school is even collecting old Bra’s as part of its awareness and fundraising.