Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Robin Williams

At the age of 63, actor and comedian Robin Williams has died. The verdict was suicide.  In the press it was first speculated that is due to money problems, and then depression (which seems to state the obvious) it was then reported he was diagnosed with early stages of Parkinson's disease, this was not publicly known.

This made me think not so much about the physical aspects to a disease, but the mental view point. For me, this blog help me translate my feelings and emotions and once written down I can then categorise and put in some form of order.

When I left hospital after the operation, I was advised to have counseling to deal with the situation that I had a 80% chance that the cancer may come back, and if it did they would not be able to do anything about it. The nurse explained, when in hospital and getting told about having a disease, it is easier to cope with in the hospital environment due to the many distractions happening around the patient. It is not until vacating and the patient become the person again that they have time to think about things and then they have to deal with the changes within there life.

In the first counseling session I had to sign a contract to say if I talked about suicide with the councilor, they would  have to report this to the doctors.  I do understand why this is the case, this is not only for the care of the patient but also to protect the councilor too.

I think most people that have to face a disease that may limit your life or a disease that may dramatically change your lifestyle, myself included, may pull the suicide card out of the pack that represents the freedom of choice.

Don't get me wrong, for me and for most that card went into the, not an option pile, but still, the card was there.

Only Robin Williams knows what was going through his mind at the last moments of his life, it was obviously such a dark place, he, at that moment in time, just could not see anyway out. I know Parkinson's disease and Pancreatic cancer are very different beasts but I study that keeping a positive and optimistic mind on any disease is the answer? This is not an easy concept, and as I am writing this, there is a tug of war between my own thoughts.  How do you keep optimistic about facing a life limiting disease or a disease that makes you excessively disabled? You know, for me, some days, I simply feel rubbish, and by visualising a clown like face forcing "a positive and optimistic mind' onto myself would just want me to punch the clown!  But, on-balance, by admitting and allowing that some days you won't be optimistic or feel optimistic, allows and frees the days that you do.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Response from Mr Nick Clegg

Last month i wrote a public letter to my MP, Mr Hillary Benn regarding attending a debate at parliament on pancreatic cancer. I have not got a response from Mr Benn, but a friend (Lisa) also sent a email to Mr Nick Clegg and had a response, thank you very much for spending time and sending this Lisa, and for Mr Lord Clifton been involved in the APPG group, and for Mr Clegg's response.

This was Mr Clegg's response:

Thank you for your letter regarding pancreatic cancer, and I am sorry to hear about how it has affected people that you know. 

Unfortunately I will be unable to attend the debate on the 8th September due to other commitments, but I support the work that Pancreatic Cancer UK, as well as other charities, does to raise awareness about this type of cancer. 

Additionally, my Liberal Democrat colleague Lord Clifton is a member of the APPG group, and he will be working within Parliament to make sure this serious issue gets the attention it deserves. Thank you again for your letter, and I wish Carl Denning the best of luck in his fight against pancreatic cancer.

If you wish to discuss this issue in person please contact my office on 0114 2309002 to set up a meeting.

Yours sincerely,
Nick Clegg MP

I am still in hope that Mr Benn will be involved on the 8th September, and if I do get a reply will be puting the response on this blog.