Friday, 29 August 2014

Something Medical

Well I posted this on fb but a couple of friends though I aught to make it public. This is my public area so here it is.  Yes I will get back to writing posts.

The post was inspired by this BBC article

I am here today because of a very expensive drug. When it first came out the NHS would not provide it because of the expense. There was a long campaign and, a couple of years before I was diagnosed, they relented.

This drug, Herceptin, is vital for the 1 in 5 of of breast and stomach cancer sufferers who are HER2+. This is an extremely aggressive form of cancer.

When my Mum got breast cancer 27yrs ago the drug did not exist. She didn't make it. She had the same form and presentation of the Cancer as me.

Thanks to the drug I am still here.

I understand that the NHS has a limited budget and is further hampered by the Government's insistence it acts like a business rather than a service.

I also understand that drug companies need to recover the cost of years of research and only have the time until the patent expires to do this.

However they all need to think more about people and less about profit. Let the share holders and Government go hang. We are talking about people, not numbers.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Something Different 2

Did you enjoy my last post?  Well here is one on the joy of trusting Satnav in a county full of lanes. 
The advantage of teenage kids is you can sometimes escape and do things on your own. There is a huge independent bookshop here so I had to investigate. Once we had emptied the place of books we got in the car and turned on the Satnav.
Only 15mins to home. Goody. It was telling us to drive away from where we'd come from but why should that worry us? Satnav knows best. We drove on.
And on and on and on down a lane that got narrow and steeper.
Then the Satnav screeched. We had missed a turning. Well I say a turning but it was more a slight dent in the grass heading across a field.
The Satnav then gleefully pointed out we had no way to turn back and it would now be 30mins to get home. What could we do? We drove on.
Driving over Glutton Bridge (yes really) was the nicest part of what happened next. I swear I heard banjos at one point. We went down and down then, goody, up and up.
"Welcome to Staffordshire" said the sign. But we didn't want to leave bleeding "Derbyshire" we wailed. Still no turning points.
We imagined our poor bairns starving, alone, while we went from county to county looking for a turning point.
I know. Starving? Them? Fat chance. They would be raiding my chocolate!
Now we were driving along a single track with traffic lights to stop two cars trying to get cosy and inch past. Just as well because there was a flimsy fence then a sheer drop. Aaaaaaalllll the way down to the valley bottom.
I told Hubby not to look to his left and keep his eyes on the road. "What do you think I was bloody doing?" He retorted. I think we were both a bit stressed by then. Well my fingertips were buried in the dashboard.
At last we reached the top.
"Well done" said the satnav. Now you have to take that teeny, weeny branch off the road and back down the cliff face (well it looked it to me) to get home.
This time we did not argue and bit our lips as we inched down in what was now monsoon weather.
At last. We made it home. Shaken, tired and hungry. 

Did we get met with loving embraces? Kids wiping a tear in relief? Did we sod. We got "When's tea?"

Moral of that story? Remember the bleedin' map!

Monday, 11 August 2014

Something Different 1

I have been a bit quiet again, haven't I?  Well for a good reason. I have been busy writing.

But I'm not going to tell you about that.  Here is something I put on fb which caused amusement so I thought you might like to share in my suffering too. Holidays can be hard work. Especially if you are still recovering from an 18month illness.

Went to the Heights of Abraham. You get there using a car on a wire thingy. Sorry, brain not cooperating. You can see my picrture of it on the right.
The bloody things don't stop for you to get on and off. Just slow down. I kind of toppled forward onto it.
We then decided to go into one of the two mines on a tour. When I say we... well they weren't deciding so I did.
"Right," said the guide in her broad Peak District accent. "It's a 15 minute walk and there are 178 steps. The good news is some are down. The bad news is only three of them. Anyone want to back out."
The family look at me. I stand firm. Done the Whitby Steps. I can do this.
"And the roof goes as low as 5ft in places. Anyone backing out?"
They give me another worried look. "I'm 5ft 5. I can do this."
"And it is as cold as a fridge."
"Oh goody. That will make it easier. And look at all those little kids going in."
"There is a video of the tour instead or 5 minute cave walk in another part of the park?"
Family shake their heads in exasperation. I ignore them and enter the tunnel.
So the steep, wet slope down wasn't too bad. I had the freezing handles on each side to hold onto. Good.
And the long, low tunnel wasn't too bad. Belly made breathing harder when I was bent over but I got there. Still good. Still good.
Lovely first cave. No problems.
Then the first set of steps. Varying heights and a low roof.
"Is she counting? Stop counting." from one of the family.
"Shut up". I mutter. 10...11...12...
The group ahead disappear from sight. Don't panic. It is a straight tunnel. You can't get lost. ...28...29..30...
At 41 the steps stop and so do I. Doubled over trying not to be sick. The family behind us ask if I am OK. "Yep." I gasp. They hurry on.
We slowly go up the slope to be met by the guide. She tells me not to worry because lots of others struggled too. I look around at the wall of sympathetic looks. Not a single wheeze amongst them.
Dave props me against the wall while the guide does her stuff. By now I am trying to imagine how they will get a stretcher down to me, let alone get me out. I also remember I did Whitby steps BEFORE I fell ill.
I realised how much I had slowed them when the next group, supposed to be 15minutes behind us, entered the cave as we headed up the next set of steps.
Thankfully these steps were all the same height, 30 odd and a high roof. The others in the tour group raced ahead but the guide was waiting for me at the top to encourage me.
Another nice cave that they all admired while I tried to pretend the flashing lights were crystals.
Then the final long, winding steps to the top. Well I did it with lots of stops. Over the moon when I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. All the others were out by then except the family.
I staggered out the top and got a well done from the guide and a few of the group who had waited to see if I made it. They had saved a place on a bench for me to recover.
After a few hours I suggested the easy mine tour. Easy? It was at the bottom of the hill! The steep hill! The near vertical hill!!! 

We started down. A third of the way I saw super fit walking types practically crawling to get up the hill. If it was going to do that to them, what would it do to me?
Common sense finally hit and I chickened out. Just as well because family had to practically pull me up the hill again. Chocolate Fudge Cake helped me recover.

There. Did you enjoy that?  Got another one for tomorrow if I remember.