Une noisette, une interview
Donna McWilliam, une lady qui a du chien !
1 – Pour que chacun puisse te connaître, peux-tu nous parler de ton parcours, de ton doctorat jusqu’à ton activité actuelle de dog-sitter ?
- Un roman : Dissolution de CJ Sansom
- Un personnage : Marie Curie et pour la fiction, Sherlock Holmes
- Une écrivaine/Un écrivain : Agatha Christie
- Une musique : Le Canon de Pachelbel ou "Jésus que me joie demeure" de Bach
- Un film : Slumdog Millionaire
- Une peinture : Tout Rembrandt
- Un animal : Le chien, peu importe la taille, l’aspect, la personnalité, tous !
- Un dessert : Gâteau à la crème et aux mandarines
- Une devise/Une citation : "Dans le milieu de la difficulté se trouve l’opportunité" Albert Einstein
- Merci beaucoup Donna, et bonne promenade avec tes chiens ! https://www.facebook.com/donnasdogwalks
Version originale en anglais
1 – Firstly, so that anyone can get to know a little bit about you, could you, please, tell us about your road, from Ph D to your present job with the dogs ?
In 2003, aged 41, I attended the local doctor with a breast lump- I was told it was probably just a cyst and to stop worrying. Further changes made me return to the doctor in 2004 and I was sent to the hospital for mammogram and biopsy. These showed I had breast cancer and the tumour was close to the chest wall due to the delay in diagnosis. This meant I had chemotherapy first to try and shrink it then a radical mastectomy followed by radiotherapy. This took about 10 months in total and has been followed by regular examinations- my 10th one due in October this year.
When I’d recovered sufficiently from the intensive treatment, I began work as a data manager in oncology clinical trials. Although a very worthwhile job, the contents of the case notes could be distressing especially given my cancer history. It was then that I thought of doing something that would be healthy to both mind and body and I started "Donna’s Dog Walking Service" in April 2013 and have no regrets.
2 – This fight agaisnt breast cancer was obviously a very difficult perio. What were you medical concerns ? What were your fears, your hopes ?
On diagnosis my greatest fear was that it had spread outside the breast but my lymph nodes came back clear which was a great relief. Then I worried that if my nodes were removed that I ‘d suffer lymphodeama, my arm swelling up but, again, I’ve been very fortunate.
As someone who won’t travel to countries where inoculations are required because I’m scared of injections, getting through the blood tests and administration of chemotherapy was always a trial but one hides many of the fears so as not to further upset those close to you.
Personally my hope is that there is no recurrence of the original cancer or a development of new cancers caused by the powerful treatment. Further hopes include trying to get back to a normal life where the spectre of cancer is not hanging over it.
3- What would you like to say to the other patients and/or for people fighting against adversity ?
7 – Your work for few years involves pet care and dog walking. You told me once that you would never be rich but that you were doing something you enjoyed and getting plrnty of fresh air, exercise and being in touch with nature. Unfortunately, many people do not think like you in a money-orientated world ?
Unfortunately, I agree. I don’t think having money itself is a bad thing as you could choose to do a lot of good with it. In our materialistic society people may feel they deserve lots of money because they have worked hard for it and I can understand that viewpoint. However it would be nice if all of us who had a little more could give to those who have less. I can’t speak for anyone else but I know I’m happier now working with people’s pets even though I don’t earn as much as in previous jobs.
- A novel : Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
- A character : Real person would be Marie Curie and fictional character Sherlock Holmes
- A writer : Agatha Christie
- A music : Pachelbel’s Canon or Bach’s Jesu of Man’s Desiring
- A movie : Slumdog Millionaire
- A painting : Anything by Rembrandt
- An animal : Dogs...all shapes, sizes and personalities
- A dessert : Fresh cream mandarin cake
quote/motto : "In
the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" Albert Einstein
- Many thanks to you and all your readers Squirelito for giving me the opportunity of expressing some thoughts that have a lot of meaning for me.
- Thanks so much Donna and now have a good walk with your dogs ! https://www.facebook.com/donnasdogwalks