Cancer, Me and Pauline- Post I of the series

These posts are running for “Cancer, Me and this time, its Pauline for the interviews.”

Cancer, Me and Pauline is the first post of the series. Eventually I would talk about those women who suffered deeply from the disease.

The post aims to lift the spirits of people suffering from this deadly disease, which claws into the very human soul.


The place I live in, was considered one of the healthiest places on Earth. The water, the weather and the world around was unpolluted in so many ways. Eventually, I realized, living in a healthy place was one of the chiefest priorities towards feeling safe.

But, then I got admission in a new school and for the very first time, I saw a company coughing out black soot and sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere. When I was small, rather innocent and ignorant, I often mistook the white smoke for mist and fog.

I was big enough by then and my questioning abilities had already taken shape in my mind.

I asked myself this question for the first time- how can a place which smokes out soot be safe, clean and healthy?Since, in school I was taught about pollution quite early in my life, so I knew it.

Then, I looked around, in winters we had so many tourists. All visited here since all knew the place was healthy.

But,t hen pollution seemed to be touching every corner of the Earth by then. I was scared, and this fear gave me more questions over the years.

In school, I skipped the disease and read little about it.

But then it hit my home, crumpling it down. Seeing your own destruction with your own eyes can be painful. Additionally, a rigid society with very few people helping us, it was hard.

I had thought now for years to start my own blog space and I aim three things with it.

  • To spread awareness.
  • People need to realise it is not a communicable disease. They must not desert people around their neighbourhoods, in their relations simply since they got the disease.
  • To inspire people who are suffering from it either directly or indirectly (families),

Stories of women who have suffered from it, lived with it only to come out and still be with the scar many abhor even in the 21st centure is a triumph in itself.

Those feeble voices and their worries afflicted by cancer, can also be a part of their world. I would be continuing my story in the next posts but here’s what you must hear from one of my most esteemed guest list.

To begin with, I begin it with Pauline, a poetess, and the ambassador of Brain and Spine Foundation of the United Kingdom.

Here’s what she has to say about Cancer and her life.

How did you feel when you first heard of cancer?

At the prime age of 35, I felt my world crumbling down around me and feared for the future of not being on this planet to see my young children become adults with the thought of undertaking lifesaving spinal tumour surgery. I was inconsolable.

Were you writing poetry before you were cured of the disease?

From an early age at primary school, I have always been incredibly passionate about reading and writing poems. I loved limericks poems and I found that I could write them easily.  Nevertheless, my creative writing skills laid dormant until my late thirties when I attended l college, where my writing skills were re-ignited in 2007.

Although, saying that I had never stop writing because I was keeping journals of my mental and physical health battles but did not realise the significance of keeping a journal.

How did poetry revive you?

The feedback is the fuel that drives the engine so to speak and just keeps me driving on.  By putting words on paper this instantly transferred the heavy burden from my shoulders. Which in turns releases the endorphins as we all know as the happy natural pain relief.  The solace is powerful and yet at times overwhelming and the feeling of something being shared.  It is a blessing. I want people to know that whatever life’s emotional experiences that you are going through you are not on your own.

What changes did you embrace after recovery and how did you include poetry?

I decided to take a leap of faith to enter in the world of education not once but twice, to study creative writing and English Language.

I decided to challenge myself and take the leap of faith by going back to my local college and to do a literacy course and then years later go back and undertaking a GCSE English Language to get my brain working again by structuring my poems and short stories after my diagnosis of a malignant cancer spinal cord tumour and radiotherapy treatment channelling all my fear,joys, and woes on paper.

Did poetry bring a sense of contentment in your life?

Each of my poems reflects and characterizes on the raw heartfelt emotions of the ranges of moods being played out at the time of the writing them.  Learning through poetry has helped me to self-managed my coping mechanisms and structures. If the book can resonate with people, then I am proud that my writing has been put to good use. Self-empowerment is a wonderful tool to have in the toolbox.

Are you in peace now expressing yourself through poetry?

As a she- warrior, lioness, overcomer of cancer, I have a sense of solitude, a feeling of joy, euphoria, and a strong belief that no matter how many barriers are put in your way they will come tumbling down like the walls of Jericho and you will be triumphant and victorious. How I have written these poems is to create a feeling of being uplifted to live to fight another day. Within the pages of The Tapestry of My Life – A Poetic Portrayal of Harmony &Dissonance, you will discover that there is a strong spiritual flow coming through because of my upbringing in the Pentecostal church. I may have left the church, but God never left me. He patiently waited for my return.

Do you think that every woman who faces the dreaded Cancer word can look forward to something meaningful and can they?

Read more about Brain and Spine Foundation here

Of course, I firmly believe that every woman who is faced with a diagnosis like the dreaded C word, can as strange as it sounds discover power and strength within her for which she never knew existed.

I believe strongly in taking one step at a time, deal with one moment at a time.Ride high when you feel you are having a good day, acknowledge when you are having a bad day.

Moreover, cancer can and does change your life. Furthermore,you emerge from this experience with a different perspective on the essence and value of life. It certainly makes you realise just how precious life is. We are only here on borrowed time. Nevertheless, I am passionate that we can make a difference to other people’s lives from the traumas and shared experiences we have gone through on our long road of our new life.

Everyone’s journeys are different and unique at the same time. No two journeys are alike may be similar but not alike!

I am busy with doing my charitable works. I am an Ambassador for the Brain & Spine Foundation UK doing various things. We are working on me setting up a group. Just of late, I participated in#YoureOnMutechallenge raising vital funds for Brain & Spine Foundation UK. I am also a volunteer for one of my local charitable organisations called the Huddersfield Harambee Association facilitating the running of a Social Book Club for the over 55’s in our community.  I find both roles extremely rewarding as I feel I am giving back what I have received.






Amazon:The Tapestry of My Life: A Poetic Portrayal of Harmony & Dissonance: Hanson – Gilman, Pauline, Publishing House, Marcia M, Hall, Barrington A: 9781916170186: Books

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