Cancer is the best way to die


and we should stop trying to cure it.

That was a story that screamed at me in The Telegraph yesterday and I really couldn’t believe what I was reading, here’s a little excerpt

“Dr Richard Smith claimed that any pain of dying could be made bearable by love, morphine and whisky. Writing in a blog for the BMJ, Dr Smith admitted that his view was ‘romantic’, but said charities should stop spending billions trying to find a cure for the disease because it was clearly the best option for an ageing population.”

And that’s a point I take issue with. Ageing population? My father died aged 41. Forty one. One year past forty. That is not ageing. That’s classed as middle aged, but his middle age was only 20 and a half. My sister in law was 30. Charch was 45. DD was 16. What part of ageing is any of that? Countless others have died before reaching their teens let alone middle aged or ageing.

I can sort of loosely (very loosely) understand what he’s saying but I can’t agree with him and I feel it’s insensitive to shrug off years of research. I can’t agree with anyone who suggests that there’s a best way to die, like there’s a life ending script and you get to choose your ending. It doesn’t happen that way.

As for the “It’s the best way to die because it gives you time to say goodbye” line. Well I didn’t say a final goodbye so that’s no comfort to me and I’m still here. The last time I saw my father I probably said “I’ll see you when I’m back”, thinking I was going to stay with my grandparents for half term. I never imagined that the next time I would be in the same room as him would be following the coffin carrying my 41 year old father into church. Aged 9.

“I wasn’t there that morning that my father passed away, I never got to tell him all the things I had up say” (The Living Years by Mike & The Mechanics)

I’m angry that 36 years after my father died there is still no cure and this article worries me that maybe somewhere there’s a big conflab about putting cancer research on the “too difficult so let’s forget about it pile” because there’s not ever going to be a cure.

Well please find a cure.

Because when you find a cure lives won’t be lost, childhoods won’t be crushed, families won’t be devastated and cancer will just become a word we speak of. Not a disease we fear.


3 responses »

  1. I read the same article and could not believe what I was reading. If I could have stopped ranting long enough to write I would have done.

    My daughter was cured of leukaemia after being diagnosed at 4 years old. If there was no cure I would have had to watch her die. That is not right. I have seen so many young lives lost fighting this horrid disease and for him to say that we should allow that is horrendous.

    He is a complete idiot who should not have been published.

  2. Damn right. Mothers dying in their thirties, girls dying from cervical cancer before they have their first smear. Babies dying from leukemia. I am sure all of their loved ones are not agreeing it’s the best way to die and means you chance to say good bye. Laura above sums it up perfectly.

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