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James Raftery: End of life drugs—what premium? Pt 1

20 Feb, 09 | by BMJ

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), the UK drugs watchdog, is currently appraising the use of four drugs—bevacizumab, sorafenib, sunitinib, and temsirolimus—for the treatment of advanced or metastatic renal cell cancer. NICE has decided to split this appraisal in two, in order to get guidance out to the NHS as quickly as possible. more…

Anna Donald

2 Feb, 09 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald Anna died on the morning of 1 February, Sydney time. She was surrounded by her family and by the prayers and thoughts of her friends around the world. Anna took great comfort and encouragement from the comments made on this site, and her blog was one of her great delights over the last few months. Thank you to everyone who has taken part. Michael

Anna Donald on the joy of carers and nasogastric tubes

22 Dec, 08 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald I’m lying in bed at 4 in the afternoon drinking Yakult. The little pot of yoghurty bacteria, recommended by a friend. I have no idea if it will help my grumbly tummy/abdomen, so, like so many things, I’ll give it a go and see. I still have mucositis from my mouth right through my gut, making eating hazardous and throwing up an embarrassingly common and unpredictable event (for example, in my carer’s car). I’ve started to carry little plastic bags in my handbag, just in case. more…

Anna Donald blogging again

12 Dec, 08 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald It’s been a bit of a rough five weeks, as readers might have guessed from the protracted absence of blogs. Apparently I was “overdosed” on chemotherapy and ended up in hospital for 4.2 weeks. Which is four weeks too long. Though to be honest, I was so out of it during the first two I could have been anywhere. I just remember a blur of nurses, nappies (!), being bundled into an airbed (which makes little scuffling noises as different air pockets are inflated beneath you), and constant visits from my devoted family and friends  who loomed over the bed, some with horrified looks. more…

Richard Smith on why diabetes envies cancer

11 Dec, 08 | by BMJ Group

Richard Smith Those who campaign on diabetes envy those who campaign on cancer because cancer gets so much more attention than diabetes. Indeed, the diabetes campaigners are very frustrated that diabetes is so consistently neglected. Around 250 million people globally have diabetes, and because of the pandemic sweeping the world that number will increase to 380 million by 2025. Then at least half of the people who have diabetes are undiagnosed, and in countries like Nigeria and India around 90% are undiagnosed. How is that governments can be so lackadaisical? more…

Ice cold in Alice with Anna Donald

3 Nov, 08 | by BMJ Group

Anna Donald I have just returned from a 40-year “anniversary” with my father, who adopted me, sort of, at two. A long time ago. When Morris Minors still bootled about with wooden interiors; Chuppa Chups had not yet been invented; and the moon was still unmarked by human boots. Martin Luther King, however, was dead. more…

Anna Donald: When I wish I didn’t have cancer

18 Sep, 08 | by BMJ

Anna Donald I am lying in bed, propped up with a silly number of pillows. I’ve stolen my husband’s, who is spending the night in Taree, a small country town about four hours away, where he is arguing a case about termite control. I’ve always wondered how he knows so much about such an esoteric range of subjects. Now I’ve figured it out.

more…

Tessa Richards: Postoperative posting

15 Sep, 08 | by BMJ

Tessa RichardsSarah Palin may have raised the profile of female politicians, but I’m lifting my glass to the girls who saw me through surgery last week. I did spot the odd male among the panoply of health professionals who looked after me, but they were thin on the ground. From the consultant surgeon and anaesthetist to the kindly soul who sang as she emptied rubbish sacks, mine was a female dominated “hospital episode” and none the worse for it. more…

Anna Donald: What makes me feel good?

10 Sep, 08 | by Anna Donald

Anna Donald This blog is in response to a fourth question from Richard Smith: “What makes you feel good?” The question stymied me a bit. Not because there aren’t oodles of things that make me feel good. But because I don’t have a coherent way of laying them all out. A list? In the end I’ve resorted to those that felt most important. Forgive me for a long and rather shambly blog.

more…

Anna Donald: What’s maddening about living with advanced cancer

20 Aug, 08 | by BMJ

Anna Donald It’s time to tackle Richard Smith’s third request for information about living with advanced cancer: what’s maddening about it?

Hmmm … where to start? There are so many maddening things about cancer.

Some are obvious: not being able to control your destiny in the illusory way you are used to. Not being able to work. Being too tired to see friends. Not having children. Not being able to adopt children because they’ve been through enough trauma, usually, without you dying on them. more…

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