I am Jackie Buxton, Author of "Tea & Chemo" Ask Me Anything

Jackie_BuxtonJackie_Buxton Posts: 21 Cancer Author 🤓

Hello, I'm Jackie Buxton (@jaxbees), winner of the 2017 Live Better With Cancer Spotlight Award for Best Cancer Book, Tea and Chemo, as well as the author of Glass Houses (my first novel).

As well as a writer, I'm also a writing teacher, blogger and editor – not to mention loyalty card holder at my local oncology unit – and I'm here to answer your questions about cancer and my journey.

Please leave your questions below and I'll be online on Tuesday 4 December @ 7pm when I'll do my best to answer them =)


Ask Me Anything Event allows the Community to post questions for Jackie, who'll be online with us on Tuesday the 4th of December! Leave your questions below and join us for the live event!

Whilst Jackie will endeavour to get to everyone's question, we can't guarantee that she'll have time to respond to everyone and we may group together similar questions. The Team here at Live Better With will look to help any unanswered questions after the event!

As with all discussions on the Community, our AMA event is governed by our Community Guidelines and any information shared here is not a substitute for the advice of a medical professional.

Team Live Better With

Check out my website and my award winning book available at LiveBetterWith.com
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Comments

  • VeritercVeriterc Posts: 8
    Any tips on how survivors can get more effective care, and arrange this directly rather than have to channel a request for an appointment through that useless organisation C(r)apita?  All my GP's requests for appointments for DEXA scans, check-ups, mole checks, have to go through this firm - and it can take six months before they deign to hand out an urgent referral.  It is unproductive, time wasting and means we are having to waste GP's time when chasing up necessary referrals.It's an extra layer of Admin, that just seems designed to make us wait longer.  Get rid of Capita and we might have shorter wait times. 
  • LeuanLeuan Posts: 4
    How did you manage to keep up to date with your blog? I keep trying to start a diary but I find I always end up leaving it and then I forget. I know it helps but I don't feel I have the strength to organise my thoughts   :s
  • VeritercVeriterc Posts: 8
    I find I can copy and paste some of the many emails I have to send out, managing my cancer care - and this gives lots of content for www.aftercancers.com
  • Hi Jackie, lovely to e-meet you! I've just been diagnosed and my hubbie and I are yet to tell our two young girls about the diagnosis. Do you have any tips or any resources you used? Thanks so much
  • KenKen Posts: 1
    Hi. Our  son has brain cancer grade 3, and my wife and myself just not coping. We put on a brave face, and are up every night crying. 
    Just so scared for him, his wife and two young children.
    Sometimes we feel so guilty. 
  • BrucieBrucie Posts: 7
    Hi Jackie, 

    Thanks so much for doing this. At what point did you decide to write a book? What specific moment gave you that flash of inspiration? I don't know how you managed to find the time, and how you even found the motivation. 

    Thanks a lot.  :)
  • cosiecosie Posts: 27 ✭✭
    Hi Jackie,  aside from cups of tea :) what was your favourite food when you were going through chemo?  And did you go off anything? I find changing taste so hard!! I don't really feel like eating but I love food :( 
  • trdlondontrdlondon Posts: 6
    Hi Jackie, 

    I have quite a few questions - I hope that's ok!! 

    I wanted to know first if it affected relationships with your loved ones in any way. Both how you treated them and how they treated you. 

    I also would like to know  if you had any ways of cheering yourself up in the roughest moments. It's very easy to get into a spiral, I find. 

    Then it would be good to hear where you found most support. Was it from others going through cancer on forums like this? Or from your friends and family?

    Thank you so much and I  look forward to reading your replies!!!
  • CarolinePCarolineP Posts: 1
    Hi Jackie,

    I’m a year post surgery for grade three breast cancer. Had everything thrown at me and now on the hormone therapy journey and just have two more herceptin injections left.

    Did you have any advice regarding moving forward. Im trying to strike a balance between being vigilant about recurrence and not over analysing and getting anxious. Don’t want to miss anything but tending to ignore things as I’m scared of being ina permanent state of anxiety which is where I was just before my diagnosis. Was completely debilitated by my anxiety and desperately not to go back there. Equally want to catch a recurrence in the early stages if it’s going by to happen.

    Have a busy busy time as have three young sons and can easily distract myself away from myself.

    would love to hear your thoughts.

    thank you for sharing yourself like this. This is absolutely what money can’t buy.

    warmest wishes

    caroline
  • puppy3puppy3 Posts: 15
    Hello Jackie,  I love your book!!! :)
    I'd  like to hear how you kept smiling and your confidence even whilst losing your hair. 
    I'd also like to hear how you managed to keep yourself  doing exercise and running and cycling - how did you motivate yourself? Thank you in advance XXX

  • JojoJojo Posts: 1
    Hi Jackie, firstly my apologies as I haven’t read your book, although I will now!  This is the first contact I’ve made with the forum!! I have tried to remain positive since my diagnosis in January and through my surgery, chemo and radio however I too have an issue with trying not to let fear take over where my treatment has left off!  I don’t feel I have had enough reassurance that I’m “fixed” so to speak and haven’t heard the words “all clear” is this something I should have been told by now, 3 months after my last radiotherapy session? Just feel I need a wee bit more clarity!!! 

    Looking forward to your response
    many thanks 

    JoJo x
  • RitaBRitaB Posts: 1
    Hi Jackie, did you find your skin changed at all? Mine is paper dry :worried:

  • funflirtyfaband50funflirtyfaband50 Posts: 3
    edited December 2018
    Hi Jackie - thanks in advance for answering my question!!  (apart from yours)  :) any other books you read that were helpful to you and you could recommend to me? Or other personal blogs?
    Thanks again, M xx
  • Hatter88Hatter88 Posts: 3
    Hi Jackie,
    I'd like to know what the most helpful things your friends and family said/did for you and why? Also, what wasn't helpful
    Thank you!!  :)
  • j12345j12345 Posts: 1
    HI I have not yet read your book but I will. My question is to you or anyone else is a tricky one for you to answer I guess and I realise you may not wish to answer but did you hate your family and friends for it being you and not them? I feel so guilty that it was my sister and I felt useless to help her. Have people let you down and if so were you honest with them? I read so many stories from people who talk of the amazing support they have received from people but often feel there must be lots of lonely strugglers and wonder how we stangers on the net can support them.



  • carobab46carobab46 Posts: 1
    Hi I had an Ivor Lewis 2 years ago for Oesophogeal cancer which has left me with a dreadfully dry mouth. Have seen umptten specialists privately and on NHS and have been told the chemo has permanently damaged nerves in my mouth and no one is able to help me.
    I am appealing to you - have you heard of this and if so any advilce to make my life mor bearable. Also have no energy and am tired all the time.
  • hessomhessom Posts: 112 Community Admin
    Hi everybody, thank you for joining us for the AMA with Jackie! She's now live and setting up. We'll be starting in the next few minutes!
  • Jackie_BuxtonJackie_Buxton Posts: 21 Cancer Author 🤓
    cosie said:
    Hi Jackie,  aside from cups of tea :) what was your favourite food when you were going through chemo?  And did you go off anything? I find changing taste so hard!! I don't really feel like eating but I love food :( 
    Eurgh! The taste thing! I'm afraid I went off pretty much everything - it all tastes of mud stirred with bicarbonate of soda, doesn't it? And then there's the chipboard texture.  Nice! Two things really, the first was that in the third week of the chemo cycle, the one before the next dose, my taste didn't go back to normal but it was much better and then I used to eat loads of salmon and vegetables as they tasted so darn good compared to how they had done before! I could only drink tea and coffee during that week, too. 
    But I could palate green tea and mint tea during chemo and really plain foods such as digestive biscuits (sorry!), white sauce (as in a roux) pasta, chicken soup, white bread - unhealthy stuff I'm afraid - but it meant that I was craving healthy stuff in the third week which helped to balance it out. I couldn't bear the taste of water but did try to constantly sip it because it helped my dry mouth. I had lots of ulcers too, so sloppy foods were best. 
    I'm not sure if that's very helpful but I do sympathise  :'(
    Check out my website and my award winning book available at LiveBetterWith.com
  • Jackie_BuxtonJackie_Buxton Posts: 21 Cancer Author 🤓
    trdlondon said:
    Hi Jackie, 

    I have quite a few questions - I hope that's ok!! 

    I wanted to know first if it affected relationships with your loved ones in any way. Both how you treated them and how they treated you. 

    I also would like to know  if you had any ways of cheering yourself up in the roughest moments. It's very easy to get into a spiral, I find. 

    Then it would be good to hear where you found most support. Was it from others going through cancer on forums like this? Or from your friends and family?

    Thank you so much and I  look forward to reading your replies!!!
    Hi there, no problem!!
    Hmmm, I think I'm very lucky in that I found my absolute soul mate in my husband and close family and friends were also  very understanding that I would prefer to just go quiet, hunker down, not be sociable when treatment was at its worst, and come out to play when it was better! The most difficult for me was with my teenage girls - even though they were absolutely brilliant with me and with getting on with life - as I didn't like being what I felt was a sub standard mum. I still tried to do as much as I could for them and do you know, I realised that they were cool with that. 
    Are you having some difficulties? People deal with these things in very different ways don't they and that can be tricky. I would say that the age old adage of talking through everything has got to be your best shot. I always feel really guilty if I'm grumpy but I realised that we can be too hard on ourselves, nobody is expecting you to be upbeat and positive all of the time when you've had a diagnosis of this type. 
    Everyone's different but cheering myself up for me always has to do with endorphins. I LOVE running and even though chemo turned my legs to lead, my husband would drag me out and we'd trot along very slowly together. letting nature and their endorphins do their bit! And because I wasn't working as much, I used have more time to wander upstairs to the bath and read a book there until the water had gone cold! I would say that realising that I had more time to indulge myself and that I was allowed to indulge myself were a great boost. I used to plan things for the third week of chemo when I knew I'd feel better, even if it was just a coffee with friends, so that in the darkest days, I had that to focus on. 
    Again, I think everyone's different but personally, I got most support from family and friends and only really discovered cancer forums towards the end of active treatment, but other people get so much from the cameraderie of other people in the same situation and this kind of forum/ online groups,/ physical groups are all great for that.
    I wish I could write more but I'm conscious of time - I hope that's helpful?
    Check out my website and my award winning book available at LiveBetterWith.com
  • Jackie_BuxtonJackie_Buxton Posts: 21 Cancer Author 🤓
    CarolineP said:
    Hi Jackie,

    I’m a year post surgery for grade three breast cancer. Had everything thrown at me and now on the hormone therapy journey and just have two more herceptin injections left.

    Did you have any advice regarding moving forward. Im trying to strike a balance between being vigilant about recurrence and not over analysing and getting anxious. Don’t want to miss anything but tending to ignore things as I’m scared of being ina permanent state of anxiety which is where I was just before my diagnosis. Was completely debilitated by my anxiety and desperately not to go back there. Equally want to catch a recurrence in the early stages if it’s going by to happen.

    Have a busy busy time as have three young sons and can easily distract myself away from myself.

    would love to hear your thoughts.

    thank you for sharing yourself like this. This is absolutely what money can’t buy.

    warmest wishes

    caroline
    Hi Caroline, I'm sorry, I'm going to have to be brief as time's against me but wanted to give you a cyber hug and say that everythign you're feeling is entirely normal. I was at my absolute lowest when active treatment finished and I felt it was just me now, trying to fight off a recurrence and responsible for spotting it. Two things! 1: my oncologist said that it takes time to regain trust in our bodies and boy, is that true. Time will never take away the fear of recurrence completely I don't think, but it really does push it back so that it's not the first and last thing you think of every day. So I think it's early days and it will get easier and 2: are you in contact with any other people who've come through the other side of treatments? I think that only people who've been through what we've been through can really understand that cauldron of emotions we 'enjoy' after active treatment comes to an end and just being with people in the same situation can be enormously comforting and helpful. There are lots of online groups and physical groups out there and you can find them easily just searching google or FB.
    I hope that helps? All best to you  :)
    Check out my website and my award winning book available at LiveBetterWith.com
  • Jackie_BuxtonJackie_Buxton Posts: 21 Cancer Author 🤓
    puppy3 said:
    Hello Jackie,  I love your book!!! :)
    I'd  like to hear how you kept smiling and your confidence even whilst losing your hair. 
    I'd also like to hear how you managed to keep yourself  doing exercise and running and cycling - how did you motivate yourself? Thank you in advance XXX

    Thank you!!! That's so good to hear! I just don't like being still and that's a great motivator in itself and I also knew that if I didn't get out and run, I'd go down very fast. I know this about me and sport, particularly running, but it's horses for courses. I think that if you normally exercise and the motivation is hard, you could tell yourself you're just going to get some fresh air for ten minutes and go for a walk. That might be enough but you might also find that once you're out, you stay out much longer than planned  ;) I also try to remind myself how wonderful I know I will feel once I've got myself out of the house. It's easy to forget this when you're on the sofa isn't it, but it is true! 
    I have to dash as it's already gone 8pm but goood luck!!!
    Check out my website and my award winning book available at LiveBetterWith.com
  • hessomhessom Posts: 112 Community Admin
    edited December 2018
    Firstly, a big thank you to @Jackie_Buxton and all of the Community members that posted their messages and contributed to the discussion tonight!

    Unfortunately we've run out of time and won't be able to accept any more messages but Jackie has kindly offered to respond to the outstanding questions over the next few days so stay tuned!
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 763 ✭✭✭✭
     Thank you @Jackie_Buxton for your answers, I found them helpful, insightful and inspiring. Have a good evening. 
  • BrucieBrucie Posts: 7
    Brucie said:
    Hi Jackie, 

    Thanks so much for doing this. At what point did you decide to write a book? What specific moment gave you that flash of inspiration? I don't know how you managed to find the time, and how you even found the motivation. 

    Thanks a lot.  :)
    Hi Brucie! You know, I never intended to write a book! I was writing my blog posts and had started to get the most wonderful of letters which generally brought me to tears (!) to be told that something I'd written could be helpful to people. People said I should write a book and I was touched they thought so but couldn't really see the need was there as it was all there in my blog posts. Then came the moment of inspiration. It was the end of 2014, the end of my year of treatments, and people kept saying that they thought I'd be happy to see the end of that year and I found myself constantly saying, You know, it wasn't all bad. And then I thought, that's it! I want to get the message out there that cancer treatment can be doable and if we're lucky, there'll be lots of silver linings along the way. 
    Does that make sense??
    Thankyou so much for answering. It's so humbling to hear you wanted to help other people going through tough times, and that you found good times in the bad. 

    Fingers crossed for lots of silver linings :) 
  • puppy3puppy3 Posts: 15
    puppy3 said:
    Hello Jackie,  I love your book!!! :)
    I'd  like to hear how you kept smiling and your confidence even whilst losing your hair. 
    I'd also like to hear how you managed to keep yourself  doing exercise and running and cycling - how did you motivate yourself? Thank you in advance XXX

    Thank you!!! That's so good to hear! I just don't like being still and that's a great motivator in itself and I also knew that if I didn't get out and run, I'd go down very fast. I know this about me and sport, particularly running, but it's horses for courses. I think that if you normally exercise and the motivation is hard, you could tell yourself you're just going to get some fresh air for ten minutes and go for a walk. That might be enough but you might also find that once you're out, you stay out much longer than planned  ;) I also try to remind myself how wonderful I know I will feel once I've got myself out of the house. It's easy to forget this when you're on the sofa isn't it, but it is true! 
    I have to dash as it's already gone 8pm but goood luck!!!
    Hi @Jackie_Buxton - thank you so much for your response!! I I'm going to try your idea of just going out for a walk and take it from there. Thank you again for replying, I really appreciate it
This discussion has been closed.