No I am not talking about the behaviour of our politicians, as I certainly don’t want to give any single one of them the publicity oxygen they so crave. Unfortunately our NHS is controlled by these people and it is now easy for everyone to see why things are in a complete mess. Year after year the big decisions have been ignored causing delay upon delay for both patients and staff. We are now in the position where we are short of key staff and our infrastructure is crumbling, in more ways than one! The service is an incredibly difficult place to work and morale on the whole is low. This is not something that can be solved by money alone. I would like to talk specifically about the cancer
There is nobody who likes to look at the world through ‘rose tinted’ glasses more than me! But at times that view must be tempered with a cold dose of reality. One of the headlines I read recently was ‘Britain sits at bottom of global league table for cancer survival rates.’ Unfortunately headlines like this don’t shock me anymore, why should we expect anything else? With a Government that has lost interest in governing, a Health Service trying to stay afloat, and large cancer charities jostling each other for money and influence, what chance is there for patients? Yes the figures are only up till 2014 and of course people are already arguing that things have improved, but those are policy makers, and not patients, having their lives torn apart
Life has been very fast and furious in the last few weeks! So many incredibly positive things happening around me at the moment that it is becoming difficult to take time out to write about them through this blog. In this post I would like to focus on the work that my charity SimPal is doing and the progress we are making across the UK. We are the only charity in the UK giving free pre-paid sim cards and mobile phones, to people affected by cancer, with no means testing and including ‘people affected by cancer’ not just patients! Our offer is to sponsor people for an initial 6 months, which is then reviewed. Once your application has been approved, the card/phone remain yours, at the end of the term.
I have just been sent a copy of the latest set of accounts from Macmillan Cancer Support, the headline being that ‘fundraised income’ dropped from £247.7m in 2017 to £230.8 in 2018. A drop of nearly £17m, which is large in anyone’s book. So finally even the ‘big green corporate beast’ of the cancer world is being impacted by it’s continual practice of wanting to totally dominate the sector, from small groups right up to Government. Doing it’s best to tell us what we want/need, which of course must be right because Macmillan tell us! This organisation has become the darling of the media and politicians. On almost any cancer related issue it seems it is not complete without a quote from their many highly paid ‘media friendly’ team. Macmillan
This week I was a member of an ‘expert panel discussing’ ‘travelling with and after cancer.’ I was invited by Avril from Cancer Central who had got together an incredibly diverse mix of experiences which seemed to answer all the questions we were asked. They came in as we went out on YouTube and Facebook live. Several of us are living with cancer and could answer them with passion and authenticity! Leaning on our own personal experiences, not all good, but great for us all to learn from. We have received lots of positive feedback since, and many who were unable to watch live have followed the discussion later on the video that was made. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed sharing our experiences with
The one thing we all know is that cancer does not wait for anything. It continues on it’s destructive path no matter what is happening in the world, showing no respect to any human in it’s way. My belief is that it is the modern day plague. On most days our media will contain stories about food, pollution and lifestyle encouraging the relentless charge of cancer. Also we hear about wonderful new treatments that might change our lives in the future. We have indeed made some progress over the years with approximately 50% of us actually living with the disease rather than dying of it. But our chances of being directly affected by cancer have got worse, going from 1 in 3 to just 1 in 2! We have already
Yep that’s me too! Despite the number of projects I am involved in, every one takes a massive effort, not only physically but emotionally too! I often say I have the best job in the world. Meeting and helping incredible people whilst having fun can’t be beaten, but for me it is a major task to just get out of bed, as my treatment side effects and the ageing process take their toll. But being able to improve the lives of people affected by cancer has become my oxygen. Recently I was contacted by the incredible Jelle Damhuis from Holland. He is a man who has experienced cancer more than once in his young life and like many of us wanted to use his personal experience to help others. He
Having been a cancer patient for twelve years now my emotions have changed dramatically since I was initially told I had just six months to live! I still attend my oncology clinic every two months for regular monitoring of any sign of disease and side effects worsening. With my writing and speaking continuing, and the demand for support from SimPal increasing I find my self talking cancer, for many hours a week. This continues to reinforce how unique every case of cancer is, and our reactions to it are. On my diagnosis and prognosis I was frightened like nothing I had ever felt! The fear of the unknown and how my life was changed forever. It is certainly very different now, but not in every case for the worse. I