I am cancer researcher based in Glasgow and it happened I am also cancer patient....
If you have time, you can read how my life changed in quite dramatic way
My twitter: https://twitter.com/CancerWithStyle
I come from Prague, I grew up there and also studied Chemical Engineering with respect to interface phenomena - from bachelor through master to PhD, this was my dream. In 2015 I moved to the UK (Newcastle upon Tyne) for my first postdoc in the field of physics; it was more experimental but still with interfaces. As time went I was looking more to biochemistry and cancer research to connect those fields for early diagnosis methods or tools. But all changed just before the end of my contract when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer (do not ask me how could I develop it since I have always behaved completely unrisky, but this is cancer...). To have it even more adventurous, it was adenosquamous carcinoma - so very rare type and my pelvic lymph node was already involved. So no surgery but harsh radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Not forgetting I was unemployed that time. Too much to take as the time (and since I am crazy perfectionist, almost nobody knew about my illness that time). So once towards the end of my treatment, I was thinking, I had nothing to loose and I browsed through vacancies at universities well known for cancer research. And found an interesting position at Glasgow Uni together with Beatson Institute CRUK. It was just wow! And less than 24 hours to apply. I did that and moreover, I was invited for interview! The first one was via Skype one day after my HD radiotherapy, I practically escaped from the hospital in the morning saying that I had interview and wanted to do it at home. And since then, it all went so well! I was invited to another interview, in Glasgow that time to meet the bosses personally and yes yes yes. Got it! Not being from the field originally!
And since May 2017, it was like a dream for me - treatment was finished, new dream job started...it was hard at the beginning with all the new knowledge to get, but I liked it so much! And I felt, I was doing something useful in cancer sciences.
I realized later, I had some tiny health issues but I though, it must had been associated with early menopause or some other radiotherapy side effect. I went for the scheduled PET scanned that was planned just to confirm I was completely healthy and I was not even stopped in my positivity when they moved my results appointment few weeks earlier. And my doctor started that my cervix was cleared but...then everything went so wrong...the lymph nodes did not clear but it spread to my back lymph node. And I was still not getting the info. Quite shock. She wanted me to start the awful aggressive chemo (Taxol, Carboplatin and Bevacizumab) and I was just in shock. Then I though about all, I had loooong hair till my waist and I decided to donate them to Little Princess Trust and moreover, I wanted to go back home for Christmas with my hair. And yes, the nice lady understood it and scheduled the treatment so I started before Christmas but without Taxol and cut my hair after new year - 60 cm braids for some little princesses! I was sad but taking the control made me bit happier. And for that I also started my very first fundraising for two cancer research charities to make most of the bad situation and to kick cancer's a**.
I had PET scan after my 3rd chemo and one information was good - one pelvic lymph node shrunk a bit but...again BUT!...it spread to my neck. Come on, are you kidding me, cancer? I did not want to know more that time because my mom was visiting me here that time and I did not want to be sad or upset but I was told, cure is not my word anymore but managing. Pffffffff....still refuse to accept such information and believe in abilities of my body and fitness. I have never been ill before! I was eating so healthy and was so fit! So let's see!
I still have my work that I like so much and keep some ability to work meaningfully. It is even better with the new steroids, I am not knocked out for so long. And I plan to publish a paper at the end of the year, attend some conferences or training schools and behave as nothing is wrong with me as much as possible.
My regular complain: My head is freezing!