Share Your Story
Hearing about others' experiences can be helpful when dealing with death and bereavement. Do you have a personal experience that you'd feel comfortable sharing with the campaign? If so, let us know...
I am presently living with a prognosis of terminal secondary breast cancer which has spread to my lungs. Whilst the care I have received from my GP and the Outreach service of the local hospice has been exemplary , I am increasingly upset by the manner in which cancer is referred to in our society.
I have had friends talk about "my fight" and "my struggle" and the TV is currently running a campaign in which an angry looking woman screams " Up yours cancer" at the camera.
I am not in a battle. Unfortunately, like many people, I have a disease which sadly is going to end in my death. Although I do not want to die, I resent the implication that I am in some way a 'loser' as the illness progresses. I also feel that in personifying cancer in this way as a society we are setting it apart from other life threatening illnesses. I do not hear anyone shouting "Up yours motor neurone disease!" People rarely talk about someone loosing their battle with stroke.
Cancer is an illness. The results for some people are sad and can be tragic. I am not wanting to underplay the effects cancer can have on people's lives, including my own, but let us get rid of the image of cancer as a big bad wolf to be afraid of and to do battle against. It is an illness, nothing more.
The Dying Matters Coalition is led by the National Council for Palliative Care,
the umbrella charity for end of life care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Freephone 08000 21 44 66