Mental Health Thoughts & Inspiration

Cancer Research UK: Workplace And Teacher

Cancer Research UK

In February last year I handed in my notice and became a stay-at-home-mum. I had worked as a legacy fundraiser at Cancer Research UK for almost 6 years. It was my dream job. Deciding to leave that dream job behind was not easy.

cancer research uk

Cancer Research UK: workplace

As soon as I began to work in the Voluntary Sector my ultimate goal was to work for Cancer Research UK. It is the largest and most successful charity in the UK. But it is also a charity that I support and I believe passionately in the cause. I knew it would be an inspiring place to work.

Working there did not disappoint. It was amazing. I met and worked alongside fantastic people and I made life-long friends.

I had a job that I loved. A job that I knew I could do well and that gave me great satisfaction.

During my time at Cancer Research UK I changed as a person. I developed both professionally and personally.

But I did not expect that working at Cancer Research UK would teach me more about life. My day job taught me some valuable life lessons. Lessons that I am not always brilliant at following. But lessons that I need to remember and that I try to use as motivation for how I live my life.

Cancer Research UK: teacher

These are the life lessons that working at Cancer Research UK taught me:

Life is precious

We can never know what life has in store for us. We can not predict what is around the corner. And we can never know whether tomorrow will be the day when our life changes … for better or worse.

So, dear readers, my advice to you is to live in the moment.

Carpe diem.

Seize the day.

Appreciate the wonder in this world and the goodness in your life.

You need to savour every waking moment because life is short. It is too short to be stuck in a job that you hate or hanging around with friends who make you unhappy.

It is too short to spend your days believing that if only you had that new car, partner, job or house then you would be happy. Learn to love your life as it is today.

You need to be courageous. You need to have fun. You need to spend more time playing, reading, listening to music, walking in the great outdoors, talking to friends, dancing, singing, loving, experiencing and doing. You need to spend less time worrying. You need to embrace life because life is short and extremely precious.

Aging is a privilege

Not everyone born into this world is given the opportunity to grow old. They aren’t given the chance to get grey hairs or see wrinkles develop on their face. They will never see the day when they get to blow 10, 20, 30, 40 or more candles out on their birthday cake.

That is why I will smile when more wrinkles appear on my face. My grey hairs will become my badge of honour.

On my next birthday, I won’t feel sad that I am 37 and another year older. Instead, I will be grateful that I have seen 37 birthdays.

Humans are amazing

Human beings are continuously surprising. Our bodies are the most complicated and marvellous machines. They are capable of enduring so much. Yet they are simultaneously as fragile and breakable as a butterfly’s wing.

Our bodies deserve respect. They need to be protected and nurtured. You need to show gratitude for all your body does for you every second of every minute of every day. You need to give your body the love it deserves. Treat it right and it will repay the favour.

Humans are inspiring.

A person can cope with sadness and grief and still find reasons to smile. A scientist can look down a microscope and see the potential for saving thousands of lives. An individual can face great suffering but still find the time and love in their hearts to help others.

There is always hope

There were days when working at Cancer Research UK was emotionally draining. I heard personal stories that broke my heart.

But I also met people who filled me with hope.

I met people who having been told the worst lived to see their children getting married and were able to hold their grandchildren in their arms. I met scientists who hoped that their work could discover the break through that would save thousands of lives. They would not give up until they saw that dream came true. Even if this meant sleeping on a camper bed in a cold laboratory  on Christmas Eve in order to babysit their experiments.

These people inspired me and they taught me that no matter what happens in life there is always hope. No one can take that away from you.

Wear sunscreen

Baz Luhrmann’s 1999 song was right. Sunscreen is the future. If you want to live a healthier and happier life then wear sunscreen. Oh, and don’t smoke!

Has your job taught you valuable life lessons? I would love it if you could share them in the comments below.


Mrs H


The List
Mami 2 Five


  • Reply
    Helen C
    July 30, 2015 at 6:20 am

    Great post! It’s so easy for us to take good health for granted. I had a cancer scare last year. I was lucky and it turned out to be nothing serious, but it really made me think about my own health and kick-started my journey to live a healthier life. Cancer Research UK do an amazing job đŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      July 30, 2015 at 10:18 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I am sorry to hear about your cancer scare. But these things really make you think differently on life. Working at Cancer Research UK gave me a real sense of perspective and for that I will always be grateful. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Adventures of a Novice Mum
    May 24, 2015 at 1:59 am

    O yes, my job has taught me many lessons; and I should really sit down one day and write some of them down. It has hardened me in some areas and softened me in others. It has taught me a lot of how to do things and how not to do it.

    What valuable lessons you’ve learnt from your job. O yes, we can’t bank on tomorrow; what we have is the present and we do well to cherish it as such.

    Thanks for sharing. #SundayStars

  • Reply
    April 28, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Gorgeous post. Very moving and thought-provoking, and you write so beautifully. Thanks for sharing this x

  • Reply
    Julia @ rainbeaubelle
    April 26, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Such a moving post, which I can totally relate to at the moment. It’s amazing that you took so much from your job my love xxx

  • Reply
    March 13, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Mrs H this post has just given me goose bumps!! You really are a wonderful person, this post goes to prove it. Life can be so short and cruel, I believe in making the most of it every day!

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 13, 2015 at 11:12 am

      Ahhh, lovely Heledd. I’m not that wonderful really. I’m just blessed that I had a job that I loved, that inspired me and that taught me lots. We definitely need to be grateful for every wonderful day we have on this planet. Thanks for your kind comment. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Hannah Mums' Days
    March 5, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Wow, no my job has not taught me anything like this, Mrs H xxx Great post and thanks for reminding me of some of the sounds of my youth (Baz Luhrmann)! thanks for linking up xx


    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 5, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Ha ha! You are very welcome. I was very lucky to work there. It was a fabulous opportunity. Thanks for your lovely comment and I am glad that I got to remind you of Baz Luhrmann’s song. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    March 5, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I love this post!

    I’m a PhD student studying cell biology, I want to carry on working on cancer because of the attitude it’s given me; just like you! I love understanding how cancer works, it’s recently affected my life, as my mother is currently battling breast cancer, but something I’ve found along the way is that knowledge is power. I’m really proud that my mum is calm in facing this because she knows what she’s facing and she can ask me about these things; the treatment makes sense.

    After my doctorate I’d love to start something on public knowledge, allow people to learn why things are happening.


    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 5, 2015 at 3:14 pm

      Thank you for your truly lovely comment. I was only a mere fundraiser. Your job sounds a lot more inspiring. I am so sorry to hear about your mum. But it sounds like she is doing amazingly well. It seems only right that you should be proud of her. I wish her a swift recovery. Your plans for after your doctorate sound fabulous. You should definitely keep that as a goal. Thanks again for visiting my blog. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Leigh - Headspace Perspective
    March 3, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    I’ve been meaning to comment on this for days, lovely Mrs H. Your time at Cancer Research UK sounds incredibly rewarding, I understand how difficult it must have been to leave. I agree with all the life lessons it taught you. I work at a hospital, and I know awful things happen to people every single day – nothing can prepare you for it happening to you, though xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 3, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      Awwww, Leigh. Thank you for your lovely comment. It was very hard to give up that job. I am now so grateful for everything it taught me. But as you say, nothing can prepare you for when the bad things come your way. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Karen (@karenjwhitlock)
    March 1, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    Amazing post and beautifully written. So important to treasure the life with have and how lucky we are for each, healthy day we have x x x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 4, 2015 at 11:58 pm

      Ahhh honey. Thank you for your kind words. It always makes me smile to know that people have enjoyed my writing. It is so important to enjoy every moment of life. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Beth Twinderelmo
    February 28, 2015 at 7:34 am

    Its people like you with such drive & passion that makes wonderful charities like Cancer Research so amazing. It’s a massive step to give up any job but one you love must be even harder xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      March 1, 2015 at 7:42 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment. That is so kind. I only played a little part in the wonderful work that Cancer Research UK do on a daily basis. But I was very proud of it. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Kat | Beau Twins
    February 27, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    What an amazing opportunity to work for such an amazing charity and likewise for them to have you work for them. You are such a beautiful person inside and out and it takes a special kind of person to work somewhere like this much like a vocation! Which for me, I admire and respect anyone that does a job like that. Pure dedication and for the love. These are beautiful life lessons darling and that is why you are the amazing person that you are today! I love you lots! xxxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 27, 2015 at 11:09 pm

      Ahhh Kat, your gorgeous comments always make me cry. You are far too lovely. I can’t believe how kind you are. I really don’t know how to respond. Except to say “thank you”. You are truly wonderful. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Laura @ Life with Baby Kicks
    February 27, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    I love the sentiment of this post, it is truly a reminder to live each day as it comes as you do never know. A lesson I sometimes need reminding of so thank you for the reminder!

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 27, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      Hi Laura. Thanks for your comment. I really need reminding of these lessons too. I especially need to remember that life is short and I need to appreciate every day. Not so easy when everything seems to be conspiring against you. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Lindsay @ Newcastle Family Life
    February 27, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    What a lovely written post. I worked for social services with adults with learning disabilities before leaving to have children and that was my dream job too. I miss it as it taught me a lot about people and made me appreciate life a lot more x #TheList

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 27, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you for the kind comment. Those are the exact reasons why I miss my job at Cancer Research UK. It was a challenging job but it was also hugely uplifting. And I have never worked in an organisation before where everyone is so passionate about the cause. It was wonderful and I feel so lucky to have worked there. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Megan - Truly Madly Kids
    February 27, 2015 at 10:54 am

    This is such a beautiful post in both content and writing style. The bit about scientists on camp beds in labs on Christmas Eve really made me stop – there is an increasing body of anti cancer drug people, do they know this sort of stuff even goes on?

    Wonderful Mrs H!


    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 27, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment. You are such an amazingly talented writer. So praise from you means the world to me. I don’t think that many people do know about the dedication and hard work that occurs behind the closed doors of a research laboratory. Normally because the researchers are very unassuming and shy. They just think that what they do is a job. A job they love. I think they often forget what a huge impact they are making. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    February 27, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Wow, lovely perfectly post and filled with such important info that we all often overlook. Life is precious and we should be courageous and enjoy all that we can x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 27, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      Thanks for your comment love. Exactly, life is precious and we should push ourselves and enjoy every drop of life. I am so grateful that working at Cancer Research UK taught me that lesson. I just wish that I remembered it more often. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    February 26, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Wow what a beautiful post and so wonderfully written!
    One, as you know, that I needed to hear. It’s so difficult facing a terminal illness and to stay positive especially when life throws itself at you. But there are little beauties to see and be grateful for of you look closely. Definitely need to stop and see more!

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 26, 2015 at 10:41 pm

      Dearest Martyn. Thank you for your lovely and very kind comment. I am still shocked when people enjoy my writing. It is good to remind ourselves of these lessons every now and then. I am not always brilliant at following them. But I do try and when I do I know that I feel a lot happier. Take care of yourself. You are much more amazing than you realise. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Hayley (@hayleyfromhome)
    February 26, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    This is such a beautiful post Lucy! Ahh gosh, it must have taught you so much working there and you can tell the way you speak about it how much it meant to you! My job before I became a SAHM really was just a job, when I go back to work I really want to do something I feel passionate about as I think it is important to love what you do xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 26, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      Thanks for your amazing comment. I did genuinely love working at Cancer Research UK. And even when I had an awful day, I knew that my job was making a difference. I definitely learnt so much from working there. And even though I love being a SAHM I do miss it. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Lisa (mummascribbles)
    February 26, 2015 at 11:17 am

    What a wonderful post and what a wonderful opportunity to work for such an amazing charity. I’ve always wanted to do what I do for a charity like that but have ended up going corporate where I am now! It must be so worthwhile going to work everyday and it must have been hard to give it up (even though you get to spend every day with your beautiful lady!). Thanks for sharing this, it really does make you think!

    I currently work in organising diabetes conferences for healthcare professionals and am learning just how serious it is and just how much we should look after our bodies! I’m going to have another sneaky slice of cake later though! xx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 26, 2015 at 11:10 pm

      Ha ha! I hope you enjoyed your slice of cake. It sounds like you are doing a really worthwhile job too. I never intended to work for charities. I just stumbled into it. But I knew it was the right fit for me. And working at CRUK was fantastic became I had such a personal connection to the cause and believed passionately in the work they did. Thanks for your lovely comment darling. You are too kind to me! Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    You Baby Me Mummy
    February 25, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    Such a wonderful post huni. I can imagine it would be a hard but fabulous job. Thanks for writing this xxxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 27, 2015 at 12:34 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment sweetie. It was a fab job but you are right, sometimes it was very tough. But I always felt proud to work there and I felt proud that, in my small way, I was playing my part in ending cancer. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    February 25, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    A lovely and special post Lucy and so very well written. I agree – and for me, I like to try and be like this too. Whilst I am not working now I tried in Human Resources to learn from all the experiences and different people I met to take this into my personal life with me. Thanks for sharing, Jess xxx

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 27, 2015 at 12:36 am

      Thank you for your gorgeous comment. Until I had worked at Cancer Research UK I had never been greatly affected by my jobs. I was surprised that working at CRUK taught me so much. But it did! And they are lessons that I will never forget. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    Kiran at Mummy Says
    February 25, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    Lovely post, and sounds like a wonderful job. You are right, too, there is always hope. Thank you for the reminder x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 27, 2015 at 12:38 am

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment and support. It was an amazing job and I was privileged to be able to work for such a ground-breaking and inspirational organisation. I am not always brilliant at following all this advice. But I do try and bear it in mind every day. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

  • Reply
    SArah christie
    February 25, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    Ah a lovely very touching post, and so true Lucy. Live each day as it comes a be grateful I discovered that when Jack was diagnosed with diabetes x

    • Reply
      Mrs H
      February 25, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      Hello lovely Sarah. Thanks for your comment. It is so true. We really should live every day as it comes. I really wish I was better at doing it. Hopefully, this post will serve as a reminder. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

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