Yes, All this media stuff about bravery, battling etc. does make me feel some what inadequate. I am sh**t scared like loads of you on here with bc.Even when my partner mentioned that 'we would fight this together' felt not right to me. I
Meant to say that I feel just as sorry for the celebrities .. I wouldn't wish this awful disease on anyone but its the way it is reported that I am getting at.
Got to add my twopenn'orth! especially after Liz mentioned Lisa and her brave fight .. yes she is fighting, she uses the word herself and says she will keep on fighting .. she means mentally. But she does get cross when famous people are reported with really no information about the type of cancer they had etc That can make such a difference as we all know and whether you have secondary cancer and where that secondary cancer is etc etc. At one point a while back Lisa said to me, " If one more person mentions Kylie I swear I will scream" !! They have consultants that sort everything out for them. Otherwise they too would be this site asking questions. I said only a little while back that one day I will write a book called something like " Breast cancer and an ordinary girl" .
Hi Liz - I have read with great admiration and interest all your postings (since I joined up anyway!). I do know quite a bit about the difficulties of IBD as my step mother suffered for years with faecal incontinence etc before finally having a colostomy - and of course that brings it's own problems. And I know something more of breast cancer now I'm going through it myself. As you say, when we think of you, and others like you (but perhaps they have not found this site) who are every day dealing with the challenges of BOTH breast cancer and a chronic disease, well we can only be full of admiration for your fortitude. And as you so rightly say, you must find that you do need to be the real expert, and be the "go between" between the specialists. So Liz, please, not only get back on you soap box right here, but PLEASE, if and when you feel up to it, do speak to the media and we will all applaud you for it. I think the shame and ignorance surrounding cancer is fast disappearing, and hopefully the same can be said for faecal incontinence. Although having said that, I have a friend suffering at the moment and needing an anal repair from a childbirth injury, and it is pitiful to see the shame she is suffering, and the misery that it is making her life. People shouldn't have to suffer in silence, and we need to gradually make people more aware with honest stories telling it like it is. So you go girl - and shout your messages as loud as you like! Great news that you are happy now with your medication combination, and that you got that nice acknowledgement from your doctor. Good luck. Love Sarah
I too am rather irritated by the media reports of "celebriies" being brave, battling etc.Okay, it does help raise the profile of breast cancer...but where are the real stories, like Zomat's young daughter with brain mets? This a real story, about wonderfully caring parents, and far more real to me than any celebrity stories of early bc.
On a related health subject I had the most wonderful copy of a letter from a Professor of Endocrinology I saw in late February, to my bc surgeon, who had referred me to him for bone density problems. What a wonderful boost to my psyche..,He said " Mrs. C has weathered a lifetime of Crohn's disease and more recently breast cancer, remarkably. She looks fit and healthy for a 63 yr old and is justifiably well educated on health matters."
He has pointed out my not inconsiderable risk factors (30 yrs of steroids, mother with dowager's hump, and now Arimidex) with current osteo arthritis and whether I should continue with Arimidex - which is why my bc surgeon referred me to him. I am thrilled with his conclusion that I am on the best combination of antiresorptive treatment for my bones and he sees no benefit from changing the Arimidex and bisphosphonates. I feel so relieved tonight.
There are a few of us on this site with multi-factorial health problems other than having breast cancer, that are rarely, if ever, acknowledged by the media. We not only have to deal with a possibly terminal disease, but also a very debilitating chronic problem, that is often more difficult to deal with on a day to day basis. I have been asked by the National Association of Colitis and Crohn's if I would be willing to talk to the media about my problems, but I do so hesitate. Who wants to hear of faecal incontinence? I feel it is like cancer was some 20-30 yrs, when it was whispered and people thought it was contagious. When my father was dx with colon cancer 30 yrs ago, my mother said to me: "Liz, please don't tell anyone your father has cancer." I was incandescent with my lovely, caring Mum...told her it was not the bubonic plague and we had no reason to hide his diagnosis. Can you believe this, but when my father was allowed to go home for one weekend before his surgery, my mother later said to me: "Liz, can I get cancer from having sex with your Dad!" I am still appalled at the ignorance of the older generation as to what cancer really is.
I am not sure of the precise numbers of IBD in the UK, think it is about 30,000, but think I should step up to the plate and let people know that ordinary people get breast cancer, and have other insidious chronic diseases too.
Okay, off my soap box, for tonight, but may get back on it.
Love to all,
When I re - read my post it was abrupt and curt. I wrote it the night before I went for my first chemo and it would have been more honest of me to have written that I was actually terrified and when I hear tabloid news saying so-and-so is fighting the battle bravely I feel even more inadequate.
So, my post was not a personal reflection on your post, it was more to do with my own garbage. Apologies if I offended you.
If I'm honest can I say that I have fought BC? No. I've submitted to the treatment, with little alternative and often ungraciously but occasionally - in my better moments - with a spark of humour.
Please don't think my post is a criticism of Maggie Smith...it is a criticism of tabloid (and other) journalistic and popular cliches about cancer. Some celebrities have indeed written movingly and well about their expereinces of cancer (yes Sheila Hancock, yes Kylie Minogue, yes John Diamond) but there are still far too many accounts which simply trot out the old metaphors.
On another thread Mole has plugged Susan Sontag's book: Illness as Metaphor...can I echo that plug.
I must say I was very irritated when I read about Honor Blackman and her battle with breast cancer. I haven't battled against it, I had the medical treatment available and that was that. Mind you, I did buy the newspaper so it's drama that sells.
Wonder why it took her four years to come out? She did appear in those BCC ads - 80% are over 50 so I did wonder why.
Also if HB's breast cancer was so aggressive why didn't they give her chemo? Or was it because she was considered too old. Maybe despite aggression it hadn't spread to her lymph nodes and was caught when it was relatively small. In the Express they said she didn't ask about her prognosis. Blimey I don't know why I am so interested. I once saw her in Boots in Kensington High Street and stalked her down the street. She had a trench coat on and a very strange pair of trainers presumably to make a quick getaway from people like me
Hi Cherub, please don't interpret my post as critical, I'm glad you shared the news and anyone who remembers Maggie Smith as Miss Jean Brodie will have a very soft spot for her, a hugely talented actress. I certainly haven't seen any in-depth interviews with her and meant only that the media seems to come out with these clichÃ©s that seem to be printed out of polite sympathy. To be honest, Kylie is the only celebrity whose account of her reaction to her diagnosis I have read recently, and I admit that is only because my daughter went to see her in concert last year and has a few magazines in her room with Kylie articles, not through any specific effort on my part to hunt them out.
I admire anyone with the guts to come out and say they have BC - nobody in my village knows, only my family, my employers and a very few friends... not including my friends in Scotland, incidentally... will write to them when I have the words... Love, Lyn x
O Cherub I am so glad you posted this as it lets us know its not just us who suffer its also celebrities as well.Its great because when we look at them now it gives up hope as they all do look good after BC I hope in another years time I look as good as Elaine Paige and also that lady from Casualty when I see her it gives me a lot of hope. Anyway a lot of people dont tell anyone they have BC I stated a new job in November here in Scotland and no one knows I have got BC not even my employers.I also never told anyone here in my village I had BC as I didnt want to stand out with everone knowing so dont you go feeling guilty about this posting. I have read all your posts and they are excellent From one Scot to another Love Linda xxx
I kind of wish I hadn't posted this now.
BTW, if you want to hear any famous person talking about how difficult cancer and the treatments are, try going to a talk with Sheila Hancock; I went to one of her book talks after John Thaw died. She had BC long before he developed throat cancer and she lost her first husband to cancer too, it must have been like a triple whammy. I also seem to remember Wendy Richards being on breakfast TV years ago talking about how scared she was when she found out she had BC. Diana Moran was another who spoke about how awful it was to have to lose both of her breasts. I could go on, the actress Liz Fraser is another along with Elaine Paige who chose to deal with it very quietly 10 years ago.
And so the list grows... I don't know why it's significant to be able to put (famous) faces to (equally famous) names but there are plenty of resources listing celebrities who have, or had BC. I agree it would seem more real if they were reported to be feeling what we assume the 'ordinary' woman feels - whatever 'ordinary' means. Unknown, I suppose. Some of Kylie's interviews were touchingly frank, but then we only read what the writer wants us to see, and who really knows what was meant? My heart goes out to anyone scared by the possibility of BC, the confirmation, the treatment and the knife-edge of living with it.
I am a nonentity. I have absolutetly no intention of fighting anything. In fact I hate the the whole notion of warfare. I have absolutely no intention of being brave or putting on the stiff British upper lip. I hate this disease, it stinks and so do the treatments.
Sorry ladies, just how I feel at the moment (although to be honest can't see me feeling any different in weeks to come)
And I think Maggie Smith is a very fine actress too.Sorry to hear of anyone having this disease but life sucks for all of us irrespective of talent
And just like every other time we hear of a famous (or not so famous) person with breast cancer the media repots that she is FIGHTING her BATTLE BRAVELY.
I'm waiting for the famous person who insists on reports that she's bloody scared and hates the treatments.
(I am of course very sorry to hear this news...Maggie Smith is a fine actor.)
I have just read in the news today that Dame Maggie Smith is being treated for BC. There was also an interview with Honor Blackman who said she had radiotherapy for an early stage aggressive BC 3 years ago and is now on Arimidex. I saw Ms Blackman in her 1 woman show about famous women in history about 2 years ago and she was wonderful - gorgeous looking as well. Love Maggie Smith for her acting talent too, esp. as Mis Jean Brodie with me being from near Edinburgh.