What has got me through the past year! - Paul Foulger talks about staying positive

My name is Paul and have been on a cancer journey twice in my life to date. Like many people I have been living with and am now living beyond cancer.

Whilst my experiences over the past year are not cancer-related I have experienced quite traumatic illness. Over the past year I have had a triple heart bypass, followed by three stays in hospital with acute pancreatitis leading on to oedema in both legs which became ulcerated which meant having district nurses visiting me at home for almost nine months, as I was classified as 'Housebound'.

I am usually always active and involved in many things mainly to do with the NHS and areas that lead to the NHS in one way or another. I like to be on the go and to be couped up at home due to the pandemic is very foreign to me.

The most important thing that helped me to get through this was to stay positive, keep active as much as one can and above all do not give in. I know that one’s body knows what it can and cannot do, but it is very easy to give in, but that will not get you through.

Before the pandemic I was going to the three hospitals in our area for meetings. Although taxing I was doing something useful and putting something back into the NHS, after all they had kept me going and still are!! The pandemic stopped all my travelling but then the NHS started holding meetings remotely, so I was able to fully participate in the meetings, this made me think and do things I otherwise could not have done. This has certainly made the NHS sit up and think how meetings are to be held in future and believe that many will continue on-line once the Covid-19 is all over.

The moral is to keep positive, do not put off what can be done today, because we all know that tomorrow never comes, the momentum must be kept going, that is how I have managed to get through the last few months.

Paul Foulger

August 2021