So much awareness of Cancer is being raised today on World Cancer Day 2017.
It took a long time for me to acknowledge that I had Cancer. I wouldn’t talk about Cancer but just Mesothelioma as all my life I dreaded the words The Big C.
I feared Cancer so much every lump and bump might be a Cancer and I would die.
I had my smear tests and my breasts squashed between to plates regular and always so pleased at the clear results.I had stopped smoking when I went into renal failure at 45 and discovered I only had 1 kidney.
So the day I couldn’t breathe and had a Lung drain I was told I had a diagnosis of Mesothelioma I wouldn’t say I had Cancer.
I do now and I fight me Cancer every day and help others through it. I have become a patient rep and attend meetings in East Kent as I did yesterday. It was our meeting at Kent and Canterbury hospital of the East Kent Cancer Action Group.
We had a Pre Meet to go to as I had raised the problem of the shortage of CNS Nurses. I had sent a letter and action is being taken
We have 1.6 CNS’s covering 3 hospitals with 456 patients newly diagnosed in 2013-2014 current national guidelines advise 100 new patients per CNS.
I know how important these CNS’s are to us patients when told such devastating news.
The first time it was just me and the Oncologist in the ward when the results of growing the fluid that was drained from my lungs gave me such a devastating news.
I have also written about when in the clinic there were no rooms available so I sat in a cupboard with Ray and the locum sat outside and asked me if I knew how long I had and she told me 3 months. A CNS would have had a better bedside manner.
We need a clinic for new diagnosed mesothelioma/lung cancer patients to make sure they have been given all the right information etc as Drs don’t always give advice and answer questions we don’t know how to ask at that point.
We thrashed out all the points and I hope things will move forward now as funding is there from Mesothelioma UK fo a Mesothelioma Nurse they could tap into this resource.
We Carried on with a cancer Group Meet and I meet The Harmony Therapy Trust http://theharmonytherapytrust.org.uk/
Those living with cancer or other serious chronic life altering illnesses need extra support to address and overcome the broader consequences of their illnesses.
Then we heard from a lady who told us all about the difficulties of Lymphoedema and the support group. Gosh! I was shocked at the support stockings and body support she has to wear. I relly didn’t know how hard it was to live with this disease.
Lymphoedema Support Network on 020 7351 4480. http://www.lymphoedema.org/index.php/information-and-support/what-is-lymphoedema
Lymphoedema is a swelling that develops as a result of an impaired lymphatic system. This may be as a result of the lymphatic system not developing properly or through damage or trauma (see section on types of lymphoedema). It can affect any part of the body but is most commonly seen in an arm or a leg. Although thought to be relatively uncommon, a recent study has estimated that at least 240,000 people in the UK may be affected by this condition. In order to understand how lymphoedema occurs, it is important to have an understanding of the lymphatic system in general – what it is and how it works.If for whatever reason, the lymphatic system is not working correctly, or the vessels are not draining adequately, the fluid in the tissues builds up (as when a river is dammed and flooding occurs). Swelling occurs when the amount of fluid in an area is greater than the capacity of the lymphatic system to transport it away. Lymphoedema can, therefore, be defined as ‘an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich fluid in the tissues’.
I realised that my Lymphoma was very similar so I have some understanding of what she is going through.
We gradually worked our way through the items on the agenda and the meeting came to an end.
My Nurse that had seen me through my first 4 years of Mesothelioma was there and we hugged. She said “Mavis you make it worth while my coming to work every day when you have such wonderful results.” I sad that we never realised that almost 8 years ago I would be in remission like this and there are now so many drugs coming through.
Everyone in Cancer Treatment is getting excited by the wonderful drugs that are unfolding.
Our vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
In the 1970s, less than a quarter of people with cancer survived. But over the last 40 years, survival has doubled – today half will survive.
Our ambition is to accelerate progress and see three-quarters of people surviving the disease within the next 20 years.
Our new strategy will give us the foundations we need to tackle the challenges ahead.
Tackling all cancers
We want survival in the UK to be among the best in the world. We’re focusing our efforts in four key areas – working to help prevent cancer, diagnose it earlier, develop new treatments and optimise current treatments by personalising them and making them even more effective.
We’ll continue to support research into all types of cancer and across all age groups. And we’re keeping our focus on understanding the biology of cancer so we can use this vital knowledge to save more lives.
We’re increasing our research in key areas such as early diagnosis, and hard-to-treat cancers including lung, pancreatic, oesophageal cancers and brain tumours.
We’re developing new tests, surgery and radiotherapy techniques, and cancer drugs. We want to personalise prevention, screening and treatment and bring benefits to patients sooner.
To help accelerate progress, we’ll be investing an additional £50 million a year into new funding schemes for our researchers. These will encourage collaboration and innovation, and support research tackling some of the biggest scientific challenges in cancer research.
Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of cancer and we’ll work towards the day when no one in the UK smokes – in particular by protecting children and helping people to quit.
We’ll campaign for the best cancer services in all parts of the UK, and give more people the chance to join the fight against cancer.
But we can’t achieve our mission alone. We rely on our dedicated scientists, doctors and nurses, and the generosity of our supporters across the UK. With your help, we can beat cancer sooner.
I’m so proud to be playing a small part in a huge production and I’m so proud of our NHS a huge thank you for all you do for me to live with Mesothelioma my Cancer.