I saw Love Is All You Need tonight at the Barbican cinema.
It was I think the first Danish film, I’ve ever seen and it was certainly one of the few films at which I cried at the end.
But then the two main characters were a widower and a woman going through breast cancer. I am of course the first and C suffered a bought of breast cancer, which she successfully overcame.
On the whole though it is an excellent film and quite uplifting.
They were just talking about drugs for cancer on BBC Breakfast.
They were interviewing a guy from Wolverhampton with stomach cancer, whose specialist at the local hospital said that he should get a second opinion. So his wife searched the Internet and found that his specialist, was one of the world’s leading experts in keeping people alive with stomach cancer. According to the interviewee, she then said “What’s he doing in Wolverhampton?”
There was a lot more in a similar vein.
It was a classic interview about a serious subject, conducted with a real Midlands sense of humour.
As I fly into a snow-bound Britain, I realise that you might be asking where global warming has gone as you shiver in the coldest March for 50 years and wonder what you will do if gas has to be rationed. I have been involved in the climate debate for more than a decade, but I am still amazed at how wrong we get it. Let us try to restart our thinking on global warming.
Yes, global warming is real and mostly man-made, but our policies have failed predictably and spectacularly.
He then goes on to say that Kyoto has failed.
But he does produce a solution that could be a win-win situation for everyone.
He says that we should spend money on research!
He is right!
Just look what has happened to products like computers because money has been spent on research!
I have heard some wacky ideas to generate energy and cut carbon dioxide emissions over the last few years. Some of them might just be the things we do to save the planet.
But then engineers and scientists have a track record in digging us out of the holes that politicians and others have got us into.
Where for instance would Britain be today without the genius of Henry Royce, Lord Hives, RJ Mitchell, Alan Blumlein, Alan Turing and Sydney Camm. Under a Nazi jackboot perhaps?
But they and others answered Churchill’s plea and gave the country the tools to finish the job.
A similar massive effort today on a world-wide basis would I believe solve the problems of global warming and create a world fit for our descendents.
The same approach could be used on all of the major problems of the world like cancer, providing clean water, housing and food production.
A good friend of my late wife’s has recently died of cancer. He had been suffering for some time and having gone through two cancer-related family deaths in recent years, I can understand in some ways, how his wife felt.
Some doctors were worried I might be suicidal, but I wasn’t, partly because, my wife had prepared me for the future and also because I had strong support from my son and of course, lots of others.
Sadly though, in my late wife’s friend’s case, his wife thought the best thing to do was commit suicide. I don’t think she had any idea of the number of devastated people she would leave behind her. I wish that someone had told me of the cancer, as I might have been able to say something of value. On the other hand, I probably couldn’t have done! But I have been rather down for the last few days!
Life may be very bad at times, but there is no excuse for suicide, unless possibly it is totally in agreement with all those around you.
Perhaps because yesterday was St. Valentine’s Day and it was my sixth without her, I think I should say more about the cancer that killed C.
Not to elicit sympathy for myself, as I’ve had enough of that in the past few years, but to put the true record on the Internet, so that it can be found.
It’s not pleasant reading, and there may be a cure by now, but typing “squamous cell carcinoma of the heart” into Google, just gives a couple of references other than the few in this blog or where I have posted in other forums.
C started to become short of breath in about July and in September, she went into Papworth Hospital to find out the cause, as it looked like it was something wrong with her heart.
In late October, they found the problem which was a squamous cell carcinoma actually growing inside the heart. So it was actually behaving like a valve shutting off the blood flow around the rest of her body.
They did try an experimental chemotherapy using a drug called Tarceva, but all this did was destroy her gut and make her mouth incredibly sore. It had no effect on the cancer.
The pain was so bad, she refused to see any of her friends and effectively withdrew into herself, just seeing her carers, and the immediate family. The pain was so bad at one point, that she asked me to take her to Switzerland, but by then, she would probably have found it impossible to travel. When I said no, she realised she hadn’t got long to live.
She died on December 11th, 2007, just a couple of months after the terrible diagnosis.
I said earlier, that I hope treatment is not possible. However do bear in mind, that C’s cancer was the only one of its type in 2011 in the UK and she was a very fit, non-smoker and light drinker, who’d hardly been ill in her near sixty years. She had had breast cancer, which was unrelated to the one that killed her, and had made a complete recovery.
A squamous cell carcinoma of the heart, must be one of the worst cancers you can get.
It was too wet to get my camera out, with it raining terribly badly an hour or so ago.
However, two women, were huddling under an umbrella outside the pub on the corner, trying to have a fag.
If the fags don’t give them cancer, the weather will give them pneumonia!
You can only die one way, but these two stupid women will certainly manage to do it before their time.
The Reverend John Graham is one of Britain’s leading crossword puzzle setters. As reported on the BBC web site, he used one of his own puzzles to announce that he is dying of cancer.
What a dignified and stylish way to break bad news!
The Standard today has yet another article, about the mother who doesn’t want her son to have radiotherapy.
I’m getting rather fed up with this woman.
it’s not news, but a personal tragedy for everyone involved.
The Sunday Times has a big attack on clinics that offer this treatment for cancer.
I always have one question for remedies like this. Can I see the results of proper published and correctly reviewed research? In most cases it doesn’t exist. And if it doesn’t, then I wouldn’t go near it.
All clinics who offer these cures are doing is praying on the sick and the dying. They should be charged with fraud?
I like this report on the BBC web site. In brief the new therapy can be described like this.
The team hid cancer killing viruses inside the immune system in order to sneak them into a tumour.
Once inside, tens of thousands of viruses were released to kill the cancerous cells.
It certainly gives hope to cancer sufferers. Obviously, it has to be proven in humans, although as the study showed, it worked well in mice with prostate cancer.
I do think though, that we underestimate the value of the immune system in fighting cancer. Research has shown for instance, that those who eat their five portions of fruit and veg each day, have a better record against cancer, as do coeliacs, who stick to the gluten-free diet.
I also know of two people, one of whom was my son, who perhaps were not too sensible with their habits, who were thought by their respective families to be coeliacs. Both died of aggressive cancers.
I know two cases doesn’t prove a theory, but I do feel that as we learn more about the immune system and treatments such as this Trojan horse method, we will start to win the fight against cancer.
On the other hand, I totally despair as I pass the pub next door and see the smokers up to six deep on the pavement.