About

Hi all – Kate sadly passed away in July 2016 however i am continuing her legacy through #hellomynameis and will regularly upload blogs to here.  Thank you all

Below is the biography that Kate wrote in 2013/4

I am a 32 year old final year Elderly Medicine Registrar working in Yorkshire in the UK. Nothing unusual about that really. But I am also a cancer patient, a terminally ill one with a very rare and aggressive form of sarcoma. On my blog I muse about current issues especially relating to end of life care, communication and patient centredness. I also write about my experiences as I approach the end of my life.

I have written 2 books, The Other Side and The Bright Side. We sell these with all profits being donated to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre Appeal in Leeds. See my website for more details – http://www.theothersidestory.co.uk

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60 thoughts on “About

  1. Like so many other health professionals I was impressed by your recent posting regarding the LCP and your take on it from a professional and personal perspective. In defence of the LCP I have an idea in relation to starting a campaign via Change.org. Would you be interested in helping? If so then please e-mail me.

    • Hello my name is Cathryn, I have read both your books kate, you are a totally honest and genuine person and I am full of admiration for you with the work of “Hello my name is”, you always consider others before yourself and try to improve the interpersonal communication between HCP and patient.
      I know you have a lot of genuine tweeters and I too often think of you and admire your brave, honest and total commitment to your work as a consultant. I will be thinking of you throughout your treatment and hope you receive the support you need.

      kind regards

      Cathryn

  2. As a patient at Bexley wing, and meeting you briefly at a book signing, I have just come across your blog. It is very interesting to read and well written. Please keep me informed on any fundraising for YCC, as I myself and my family support them too.

  3. Hello,

    I have no medical knowledge what so ever and I have no burning desire to tell others what to do.
    My interest in cancer is that it killed my father, my sister has bone cancer and my brother has cancer as well. For myself I am in perfect health at aged 76.
    When my father died I promised I would put my mind to as to how to manage cancer and this is the result.
    It is based on two is company and three is a crowd.
    Take one mouse that has cancer and inject that mouse from another mouse that has cancer. the result is that there is no difference.
    Take a third mouse that has cancer and inject the first mouse that has cancer.
    The result should be that the first mouse will have cancer in remission, and continue living.while the three different cancer strains work out what to do.

    Wishing you well

    Jim Robinson

  4. Outstanding interview on today.
    So pleased that you did not support so called “assisted dying”.
    We need to bring dying into the open, and care for the dying properly and with a bit of luck you are making a major contribution.
    Best wishes.
    Charley.
    (Background – retired consultant anaesthetist / Intensivist / pain clinician who has seen his son die in ICU and is currently watching his wife slide away – she got Alzheimer’s at age 50)

    • I second that….I have been saying for years that it is time we stopped treating death as out dirty little secret….WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!! and until we die we are living,,,,,the dying are living……..why are we so reluctant to examine this crucial part of our lives until we are maybe in pain and afraid…… why is it morbid to want to talk about death and mortality….good on you!!! I did laugh at your posts about laughing….expecially your Mum and the handbag!!! You gotta laugh!!

  5. I am in tears reading through your blog. It brings back so many memories of my 15-year old son’s final days, he also had cancer. Your writing is excellent and deals with all the things that we shy away from. You’re doing a brilliant job at breaking the final taboo. Wishing you peace xx

  6. Dear Dr Granger,

    I am a third year medical student at the University of Manchester. I am currently undertaking a project looking into the power of social networking for expressing health narratives and the implications this holds for both the patient and the medical profession. I really am in awe of your blog and the topics you have raised. I can’t think of a better example of both a patient and a clinician utilising the power of social networking to express and share health concerns to improve medical practices.

    As part of this project I am creating a poster to present at a conference called ‘The Many Meanings of Quality in Healthcare’
    link: (http://www.cumberlandlodge.ac.uk/programme/Forthcoming+Events/Quality+in+Healthcare)
    I wondered whether I might be able to use a quote from your blog as a short example on this poster of social networking being harnessed for therapeutic as well as progressive purposes within healthcare. Please do let me know.

    Best wishes,
    Dorrie Imeson

    • Hi Dorrie, firstly please call me Kate and thank you for getting in touch. I would be honoured for you to use a quote from my blog on your poster. Good luck with your project and degree. Love K xx

      • Dear Kate,

        Thank you so much for getting back in touch. I feel honoured to be able to share your work with even more people! I look forward to reading more and hope to incorporate such forward thinking and compassionate considerations into my future practice. Many thanks again,
        Dorrie x

  7. I loved your book and I thoroughly agree with your opinion of “fighting” cancer. My breast cancer is in remission and I am grateful for this but I wish I had known about the effects of chemo on my cognitive function. I would have gone ahead anyway but I had a right to know, my hair grew back but not my skill with words. My husband died of prostate cancer and like you, faced up to his mortality with grace. I wish you joy in the time you have left.

    Kathleen

  8. I can’t remember where I first came across your blog, but I do find it fascinating. I’m an academic and a doctor and have now introduced 3 full years of medical students to your musings as well as I believe they will learn more from your blog about how to be a good doctor than any amount of conventional text books. Keep up the good work – you are not only an inspiration, not only touching lives, but also changing lives, and that’s powerful stuff.

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  10. Dr Kate I have just found your blog. I have multiple sclerosis which went urn diagnosed for 30 years until I was 50 when I became so bad I could not be fobbed off with this or that. I had to stop working as a care home manager for people with learning disabilities and additional sensory disabilities. It almost broke my heart to have stop working , my work had become my life’s mission. A couple of years later I have started of all things a degree in law and the issue of euthanasia has emerged as a specific topic of study. The slippery slope argument to not amending legislation seems to viewed by legal academics as a lazy argument. Most legal thinkers seem to think that the law should be changed to permit assisted euthanasia/suicide. It is quite shocking that so many a ad emils in the field of law with no real experience of how care is or is not delivered in the UK fill books with their views on the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide. Nevertheless why I have really left a message is on your definition of inspirational. Look deeper into the roots of the Latin word and the Greek equivalent enthusiastic and you will find the true answer of the definition. Very glad I found your blog.

  11. Hello Kate,

    Im just about to start my 3rd and final year as a student midwife and I would like to thank you for your #hellomynameis campaign. I’ve also read a few of your excerpts from your book and I would also like to thank you for sharing your experiences of the lack of basic care you received during such difficult times. One of my main motives for choosing a career change into midwifery was partly due to the lack of care I received during my own experiences of maternity services. I was often just another number to the very busy and process driven health professionals who rarely showed any compassionate cares in my very vulnerable state.

    I fully endorse your campaign and have shared this with my cohort, I think you’re doing fantastic work and I wish you a wonderful time left with your family enjoying completing your bucket list.

    Much love and respect to you Kate xxxx
    Charlotte

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  13. Hello Kate
    I have just been directed to your radio 4 interview yesterday on i player and have listened with great interest to your thoughts and feelings on living with your cancer. I am a psychologist living in Cheshire and am currently writing an emotional support work book to help patients following diagnosis rebuild and reconstruct their lives following a terminal diagnosis. I am endeavouring to create a supportive programme to help develop internal focus and reflection to help maximise positivity and day to day living. I wondered if I could correspond with you to share my progress and ask for any input you might have in the project if your time and health commitments would allow?
    Kind regards
    Helen Ranson

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  16. HI Kate, I have never blogged before, but with loved husband John and dear friend Dawn fighting cancer (both palliatively), having daughters the same age as you, and hearing you on Women’s Hour, I have been moved to share your word(s). Truly, Thank you, all my best wishes, Gail Cooper

  17. I came across your site via Twitter and wanted to add my voice to the praise and admiration here. I was a student at Edinburgh (Arts faculty) and had great friends amongst the medics – it is a wonderful place to study!
    Your website and #hellomynameis have done so much in such a short time and effected genuine, lasting change which is benefiting so many. Your voice has been heard far and wide and created an inspirational example. Wishing you strength and time to finish an amazing bucket list.

    Gemma

  18. While reading the paper (Vancouver Sun, Canada) there was an article by Gillian Shaw titled “Social Media Meets Medicine” and your web site was mentioned, so being curious logged on. Having just retired from working in healthcare for 47 years I was moved by your honesty and sharing your very personal journey. I will continue to follow you and have also encouraged my colleages to do the same. Thank you again for sharing and providing some thought provoking information.
    Karen Bunner, RN,MSN
    Chilliwack, British Columbia, Cana

  19. Kate – I have worked in Pathology for 35 years at Blackpool Victoria Hodpital and have recently been appointed Durectorate Manager – I am deeply concerned about how many wrongly labelled samples we get in our lab – to the point that we are going to harm/kill a patient – I have some really good ideas that link in your mantra – I need to see you to discuss ASAP – give me the nod Ian I’m on my way. We need to protect our patients x

  20. I have only recently discovered your blog. What an amazing read – so well written. You’ve been through, and continue to go through so much. I hope the the horrible side effects of this latest round of chemo pass very soon. Reading how your overseas trip at Christmas gave you the strength to tackle your latest round of chemo, I wanted to tell you about Willow – we’re a UK charity providing special days for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds. I hope that you can make use of our service and we can help provide even more strength to continue your fight. There are obviously many more people reading this blog who are in your situation too who I hope we can help. Find out more or apply for a special day at http://www.willowfoundation.org.uk
    Kate – you will see my contact details on this post so please do get in touch if you’d like to.

  21. Just found your blog on freshly-pressed. I too have a rare sarcoma (calf), only just recovering from radiotherapy; you write beautifully if that’s any consolation; I will now follow your blog and hope I can have the same courage on my journey – back to health I hope. I am following Traditional Chinese Medicine as complementary therapies and writing about it too (www.vickygoestravelling.wordpress.com). Others in our situation might find it helpful. Wishing you courage and stamina. Vicky

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  23. Dearest Kate, My heart goes out to you. I have just read your article in the Guardian and I hope you don’t mind me writing to you here, as I couldn’t find an email address for you anywhere else. There ARE ways to heal terminal cancer naturally. I have done it and so have many others. I am so sad that doctors choose to ignore this fact. You could have healed naturally without any loss of quality of life – in fact with Increased quality of life every day! It may be too late for you, and you seem to have accepted that, but maybe it is time you speak to people who have chosen the natural way and start spreading that message instead of the poison route’s message? This is a plea from someone without the contacts and position that you have – Please consider it – There IS another way! It is beautiful and life-enhancing and joyous. It is time the rest of the world takes notice and you have already done so much in putting your experience out there. I admire you enormously. Please feel free to contact me. With love and the very best wishes, Lizelle

  24. Hi Kate
    After hearing you speak on Friday I cannot think of any reason on earth why every health and social care professional should not become past of this.
    My name is John and never again will a patient not know that
    John

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  27. Hi Kate, I hear you & I thank you for courage , humanity and above all your clarity on a very real human condition. Though I must admit I have travelled on a similar journey with a loved one myself. I still constantly struggle within my mind back to forty two years ago and cannot understand the reasons why people have to suffer so much. If it is possible with the agreement of both yourself & your loving husband , I would like to come & stay awhile to visit you. Not for me to talk or impose my own views and opinions, but just to say Hi, hold your hand & listen to you. Maybe I can begin to understand something I don’t know . That’s your own decision Kate ! I shall not feel rejected nor offended in any way if you say no. Why should I.
    Luv Martin WWW.

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  31. Hello! I am a student from Singapore, my name is Wong Jing Hui. I just would really want to say that my group and I are extremely inspired by your blog. We are 17 year old this year, and our ‘A’ levels Project Work is about helping the terminally ill. I don’t have anything to ask from you, just wanted to tell you to hang on there!

    I sincerely wish you well 🙂 A doctor with the gifts of knowledge to revive life will triumph against the very thing that she is fighting, I believe. Take Care.

  32. Hi Dr Granger, I wanted to wish you good luck, your blog is an inspiration to everyone. I also wanted to let you know, I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award. There’s more about it here: http://wp.me/p2EdHi-7L

    I’m sorry if you’ve already been nominated, or if you don’t qualify because you have more than 200 followers but I thought you deserved a shout out 🙂

    Take care and good luck for the future.

  33. Hello Dr Granger,

    I really cant express how much you have inspired me, with your strength and courage in speaking about your condition . I am currently studying my A levels and I’m aspiring to be a Doctor. I really was motivated by your story and really see you as my role model.
    I am writing about your work and contribution in the Medical world in my personal statement and would really like you to read and have your opinion on it.

    Thank you so much and wishing you all the good health in the world.

  34. Even before I read your blog or your books I am overwhelmed by your courage to recount your life and experiences in such an inspirational way. While say you count your days there are many more who are taken unexpectedly and have not had time to reflect and prepare. Maybe that is a consolation.

  35. Hi Kate ,
    I am a 47yo physician just dxd 7 weeks ago with hepatocellular carcinoma – it had been devastating to me . I stopped seeing patients for now because I fear my emotional state would prevent me from being professional . Reading your blog has been a good experience – that I’m not alone – on the contrary – my experience is universal in a way. Nevertheless , I am struggling – with sadness , fear , grief , anger – and feel at a loss as to how to gain some control and find some peace. I just can not accept this…

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  37. Dear Kate,

    I have been reading your blog and I have found it really interesting, humorous at times and eye-opening. My name’s Hannah I am from North Yorkshire, Ripon, I’m in my final year studying BA in social anthropology at SOAS in London. For my dissertation project I’m researching how medicalisation and terminal illness are integrated together and the role that blogging plays in the daily process of living with a terminal illness. As part of my research I would like to interview (face-to-face or through online correspondence) people who have blogs recording this period of life. I wondered if you would be at all interested in being interviewed. If you would please let me know my email is h.jelley@gmail.com

    All Best
    Hannah

  38. Dear Kate,

    I am writing from Sierra Leone where I am working as a doctor with the IFRC in the Ebola Treatment Unit in Kenema.

    Someone sent me your blog recently and, while I was saddened reading it, I am thankful that you shared your story, thoughts and feelings with us.

    I hope you are comfortable and continue writing.

    It is hard work out here, but not nearly as hard as what you are going through.

    I wish you the very best and to say thanks again.

    Alexander Kumar
    (Doctor, Infectious Diseases, UK)

  39. Dear Kate,
    I am currently a final year medical student.
    I only recently heard about yourself and have been fascinated reading your blog and other article since. I think the work you are doing is amazing and I have learnt so much from you that will make me a better doctor once I (hopefully) get though medical school.

    I recently suffered my own loss and before this I did not really appreciate how just simple words that we don’t think about have such a massive impact on a patient experience. I know that luckily most people don’t go thought life changeling losses so early in their careers and therefore I can’t express enough how important I think what you are doing is, giving people an awareness what’s it’s actually like to be a patient. I have been sharing your work with my friends and I know you have had an impact on them too.

    I also now always practice ‘hello my name is’ which I did nearly always before but never quite realised how something so small has such a big impact.

    I hope one day I have just a little bit of you determination and can use my own life experiences to help others too.

    So I just wanted to say thank you Kate, you are an inspiration.

  40. N.B. Do feel very comfortable not posting or leaving this post. I see it isn’t saying anything helpful at all.

    I came to your blog as a direct result of happening upon the October 2012 Daily Mail interview, which came up on a search for “deciding to stop seeing doctor,” (without the quotes). I did a search for your name, because I wanted to see how this doctor, who spoke plainly, was doing.

    It is probably – what do I want to term this – silly, I think is best – to come away from the rather dire sounding 2012 interview with great concern, to rejoicing at your present day aliveness – but that is inescapable. For me, an albeit brief respite from ill-centered non-living, a respite, nonetheless. (Yes. This is a selfish posting).

    Due to increasing ill-health, yet with no diagnosis, I wonder at the power of the mind to determine one’s day. That “live for the moment,” or “live for the day,” outlook is too much pressure for one so lazy as I am. But I do have considerations for the end game, and I am of an age where, if one is fortunate to live this long, (mid-60’s), some thought to planning is in order, as the immortality pill just doesn’t seem to be invented as yet.

    I don’t want my only-born to be fretting about me now, let alone dealing with final time, whether prolonged, “medically-approved” illness, or death.. I don’t want my only child to have that burden, and, frankly, I don’t want the burden of worrying about how much my state of health and mind is negatively affecting my child, no matter how old she is. You have talked about the effects of your illness on your husband, and, wonderfully, I want to have, and do not have, the courage to go off somewhere where I could manage to live, and even invent a grand story about how well I am, even if I were not to do well. Unfortunately, surprise, if you feel like doo-doo, it’s impossible to do. Hadn’t planned for that one.

    The people resources one has varies greatly. There are those who have strong and helpful people around them, whether friends or family. There are those with only one. There are those with none. Ultimately, I think it is not living for the day, or the moment, but doing what is best for oneself when one is well enough to do that.

    One could suggest this is a depressed attitude. Well, one does start looking back, as much as one focuses on today, and, by and large, the self-assessment/value on the planet type of thing – is less than mediocre. Ultimately, I believe it is not our business to know why we are in this existence, our attempt to glean to what purpose. Here we are. Here we’re not.

    As to the search for “deciding not to see doctor,” that search was undertaken because none of them, all traditional physicians, take or have the time to put all the pieces together, and it is crazy to push and push – or so it seems to me. Is this giving up, or just being worn out – and if worn out – will the body do what it would naturally do, and let go. I don’t want to hurry the process by giving up finding spirit and reason for existence, because, surely, that would hurry things up. I do not have the courage to subject myself to invasive procedures, and that sort of track, no matter how useful they might be. But as much as I admire people who can do what’s ordered without questions, one sees hundreds of thousands of comments on the internet, which indicate being better off without such things.

    It’s a tough business, this business of living. Always interesting. No easy answers. No immortality pill – darn it. Be well.

  41. Such a brave re-telling of heartfelt feelings and thoughts!! An honest interpretation of a horrendous situation-u are a very brave and remarkable lady who has already made such an impact on this world. Xxxx

  42. Hi Dr.Granger I saw your article on the BBC this morning and have written about your campaign in one of our free short Think Papers. http://www.knowanddo.com/resources. The theme is around communication and hopefully it will take your message out to a wider audience. It will be uploaded this week. Its a powerful message. All of us have a different path to tread; wherever yours lead you, may you live well and finish strong.

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  44. Hi Dr Kate,I heard a bit of what you had to say about staff not introducing themselves when you were in hospital.This,like so many general human actions is down to manners and as a society we tend not to teach just basic social skills anymore and this is what many people lack.From a medical point of view I would think the simple act of greeting someone who is a patient could be vital in establishing all sorts of things that could go towards an assessment of the patients current situation.

  45. Dear Dr Kate
    As a nurse of many years of experience I want to thank you for making us health care professionals aware of a fundamental expectation that ALL our patients should have fulfilled – that of knowing the name of who it is that is looking after them. We are privileged to be able to care for our patients and at times need to carry out invasive procedures that ABSOLUTELY can only be helped by us creating a relationship with those we care for by being friendly.

    As you have discovered , it is no more than we should all expect and all would like. ‘Treat people as you would wish to be treated yourself’

    I often hear myself saying this and see nodding heads in response amongst my staff.

    I wish you peace on your journey

  46. Hi Kate
    I think that you are incredible
    thank you for sharing your incredible journey
    from across the pond 🙂

  47. Hi,

    Just wanted to say thank you for your honesty in these posts. I am a junior doctor who is going through cancer and hadn’t found anyone I could relate to until I read your blog. Your journey has been a lot harder than mine but just knowing that someone understands what it’s like to have a medical brain analysing every little symptom, and dealing with uncertainty whilst just wanting to be working and living like everyone else, is so helpful.

    • Dear Susanna,
      Thank you for getting in touch and for the lovely feedback on my blog. I hope you are feeling are well as possible at the moment and that any treatment is going well. Being a doctor patient is a challenging place to be on many fronts & something I still struggle with 4 years later. Take good care, K xxx

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