New Blog

Blogs-contributors, Fighting Cancer — By on November 24, 2008 at 11:38 am

This is my first posting on my blog.

Since I have written two books on cancer (see for details) and already maintain a sort of blog – actually it is not a blog in the accepted sense. I use it to archive news and other people’s opinions – at, you may wonder what I need to have another blog for.

I’ve decided that this blog will be strictly limited to my own opinions and experiences in the world of cancer.

So let’s kick off.  Just last week I was at a small meeting of cancer patients organised by Macmillan Cancer Care. An interesting day in which I had very moderate success promoting my books. But I want to tell you about one particular lady. She was in her late sixties at a guess and very well dressed and well-spoken. She informed us that her breast cancer had returned, that there were ‘secondaries’ and that she had been quite shocked when her consultant had said there was no longer anything he could do for her. He had however told her what symptoms to look out for and she was comforting herself with the fact that so far these symptoms had not shown up.

Naturally, I interpreted the situation as one in which she had been told that she was in effect ‘terminal’ and that the doctors had seen no value in suggesting that she undergo onerous treatment. I quickly scribbled on a piece of paper the name of a drug that had shown some evidence  – in slightly more than 50% of cases – of being able to stop cancer tumours growing. They didn’t cure cancer just stopped it growing worse. (You can live a long time with a cancer that doesn’t grow worse!). Anyway, back to the story. I offered the piece of paper to this lady but she immediately waved it away, saying: “No, I trust my consultant. He’s the only one I’ll listen to.”  I smiled and retreated.

So – as I understand it – since her consultant had told her there was nothing else she could do she wasn’t prepared to do anything else. Hmm!

I’m hoping anyone out there who reads this will see that this reaction  is not smart – but I fear it is very common. But the way I see it is this: This lady is responsible for herself. If that’s the way she wishes to play the game, she is entirely right to do so.

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