A patient blogs his prostate cancer journey

“Blogging and using social media is a very natural thing for me to do and it is really good to know that it may be helpful to others as well. It certainly helped me to feel I was engaged with what was happening, rather than simply being the passive patient being treated.”
Edmund Hulme, Birmingham Prostate Clinic prostate cancer patient

Birmingham Prostate Clinic patient Edmund Hulme has produced an informative and frank blog charting the journey of a man with prostate cancer.

He even blogged using his smart phone while in intensive care, just 24 hours after having his prostatectomy.

They were asked how they felt about the results of their treatment.

Mr Hulme’s surgeon, Alan Doherty, comments: “This is a really interesting and valuable blog which shows how patients and social media are transforming healthcare.

“Not very long ago, if you wanted to know what your recovery would be like after surgery, you would ask your surgeon.

“You might be able to read a patient’s account, but these would be the ‘success stories’ selected by the surgeon and written usually months or even years after treatment.

“What makes Edmund’s blog so valuable is not only that it is well written and informative, but that it has that immediacy of a patient in intensive care, writing about how he feels and what he is doing.”

Mr Hulme is an IT consultant specialising in innovative applications of technology, so it is not surprising that he would bring his professional skills to the experience of being a prostate cancer patient.

“To start with, I was using my smart phone simply to listen to music and text relatives while I was in intensive care. But when I found out that I could go online without affecting the machines in ITU, I started blogging. I wrote about how I was feeling, what I was doing and recorded who was treating me and the medication I was given.

“My son came to visit me in hospital with an extension lead as I was running two smart phones, a tablet and a lap top. The doctor said to me – ‘You do like your gadgets don’t you Mr Hulme?’ But they were happy for me to carry on.”

Mr Hulme, who is 52 and lives in Shropshire had his prostatectomy in October 2012. A Scout leader, he is planning to climb Snowdon just two months after surgery together with other Scout leaders.

“Blogging and updating social media such as my Facebook page was really helpful in terms of letting relatives and friends know that I was okay and that everything had gone well.

“But there is a wide value to beyond people who know me personally. I am in contact with people through the prostate cancer forums and for example, through Facebook and scouts, a woman who had been finding it hard to support her father through prostate cancer got in touch and I was able to sign-post her to some help.

“But there is a wide value to beyond people who know me personally. I am in contact with people through the prostate cancer forums and for example, through Facebook and scouts, a woman who had been finding it hard to support her father through prostate cancer got in touch and I was able to sign-post her to some help.

“Blogging and using social media is a very natural thing for me to do and it is really good to know that it may be helpful to others as well. It certainly helped me to feel I was engaged with what was happening, rather than simply being the passive patient being treated.”