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Keeping the faith...just


DRAD3
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Hi all

I had written to my MP to ask him to attend the APPG on pancreatic cancer on 19th November and received a one liner letter saying he would try to "pop along". Not satisfied with that, I popped along to his surgery on Saturday morning to ask him face-to-face. I could have cried with the disappointment at his total lack of interest! He did remember my letter but immediately said he could no longer go as the party leader had asked him to go to Rotherham to help in a local by-election. He did allow me to give him some information and to talk about some of the issues and how important raising awareness about PC was. I was dumbfounded when he said the problem lay with men not wanting to visit their GP. I corrected him by saying that women were equally disadvantaged by the problem of late diagnosis and the issue lay with the symptoms being mistaken for other health problems and GP's needing more information about the disease. He then talked about when his father died, having suffered with MS, his mother did a lot of charity work for MS charities and that it had helped her. I told him that me being there was not about me finding some comfort in my loss, but to help raise awareness about a cancer that was the fifth biggest killer, but that no-one would mention, if asked to name some cancers. He then began to look quite bored and I realised that I was wasting my (precious) time. He went to give me back the info I had given him, but I asked that he keep it and find the time to read it - he reluctantly put it in his pile. I politely asked that if there was anything he could think of that would help, I would be very grateful, told him it was nice to meet him, reached out my hand to shake and he glanced up and, if I could have read his mind, it would have said "are you still here?", he reluctantly shook my hand. I left.

I walked back to my car, feeling angry, helpless, hopeless, completely powerless and losing my faith in things ever changing.

I have since thought about his reaction, questioned my motivation - am I just a sad widow, desperately looking for something to fill the awful gap left by my husband's death? Would I care if I was in his shoes? I didn't know or care about PC before it ripped my life apart - who am I to start expecting everyone else to suddenly take an interest?

Then I thought, yes, I am a sad widow but the gap my husband's death left is in my heart, not in the hours that fill my day. I am a working mum, I really do have a very busy life - I would say I have "better" things to do but quite frankly this is IMPORTANT so I am happy to make the time. Yes, I may not have cared about this before it affected me personally, but I am great believer in fate and every hardship I have experienced in my life has lead me to learn lessons and to make changes in my life - I have learned from this experience that there is a need to make sure that PC is in the forefront of people's minds as breast, bowel, lung and prostate cancer currently is.

So, NO, I will not lose my faith that one day things will improve for every one of us effected by PC and I will NOT be put off by the attitude I experienced yesterday. I have lost my faith in that particular person (although he will not have heard the last of me!) but not in people in general.

Keep the faith with me everyone and, as always, I send you strength and love.

Deb

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Well done Deb,


I totally feel the same way as you do, none of us really knew about PC till it took over our lives and it should be more 'out there' as are the other types of the disease.


Unfortunately at the moment we are so busy with Bill, but I shall definately be campaigning when I can in the future.


Keep strong


J

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PCUK Nurse Jeni

Hi Deb,


Sorry to hear that you had such an ineffective meeting with your MP. This really does not help anyone. I do think that their job includes representing their constituents, so do not feel like you were doing anything wrong at all. You are right, a lot of folk will not be interested until they are personally affected, and what is lacking is some empathy - the ability to feel what a person is going through, even if you are not going through it yourself. This is not easy for some people.


However, what I do want to say to you is a HUGE thank you! You have done so much, and going to see the MP personally just shows your determination. People will listen eventually. It is said that people need to hear things at least 3 times before it sticks in their mind. We need everyone on board if we are going to change the landscape of this disease.


Keep going Deb! you are fantastic!


Jeni.

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Thanks Jeni and Jools

Feeling more positive again today - thinking it couldn't have been a total waste of time. He now has my face in his mind when (not if) I write again and you are right, Jeni, the next time I contact him, will build upon this time and on it goes until eventually the issue will be firmly in his mind even if it is at the very back (with all the cobwebs!) - one day hopefully, it will be at the front. We all know it is a long road, but hell, I love a long hike!

Love to everyone - keep the faith.

Deb

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