Sunday, November 06, 2016

Can't have it both ways

A campaign has been launched by the Lung Foundation to reduce the stigma of lung cancer.

The aim is to reduce stigma surrounding the disease and advocate for better treatments, government funding and symptom awareness.

While all the time other government-funded agencies are hell-bent on demonising smokers at least partially because of the burden they impose on the health system.

Yes, I am aware that tobacco tax already covers smoker's health costs (who apparently make up 80 percent of lung cancer patients) but you can't have it both ways.

An activity cannot be stigmatised and the outcome de-stigmatised.


Mark Wahlberg said...

Over a period of time I had gradually gone deaf and as a last resort, in an attempt to find the problem, I was given a scan. They discovered a well developed and inoperable tumour in my head.
The cancer had developed to the point where chances of a successful treatment were not positive. Within days of this discovery I was in the system and in two weeks my treatment had started. I received the maximum dosage of chemo allowed, followed by six weeks of radiation in my head. My negative reaction to the treatment meant I had to be hospitalised. The side effects have been horrendous, but I am still alive.

On the cancer ward, I got first hand experience of how the other half live.

I watched fellow patients die and be replace by new ones, it was a conveyor belt of misery for some and one of hope for others such as myself.

I shared a room with lung cancer patients who were there because of smoking. Between treatments, they would sneak out of the ward to have a smoke, such was their addiction. Doctors and nurses were aware of this, but the reality was, most would die, so what was the point?

What I couldn't figure, was, given a chance to save their life, they didn't have the will power to exorcise control for themselves.

On the other hand, all I and others could think about was surviving the experience and going home.

I didn't ever want to go back there, but life being what it is, last year I was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The journey continues.................. .

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Mark, That is so tough. I wish you all the best.

Don W said...

Mark, I also wish you well. I assume you have a smoking related illness.I gave up smoking 25 years back and it was the best thing I ever did.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Thankyou Lindsay, Its been a rough ride, but I've never given up on to hard yet.

I consider myself fortunate and am richer for having had this experience for many reasons, most of which centre around the love and support of family and friends.

This curse makes all manner of demands on peoples resources and I have observed many who have been left wanting by a system which doesn't have enough to go around for all those in need.

While I have no complaints about the treatment of my cancer, if I had not been able to fund my own long term rehabilitation, I might not have been as well placed in terms of my recovery as I am.

Many are not as fortunate and struggle financially, emotionally,physically to deal with something they have absolutely no control over.

But as for long term smokers who ignore warnings, get sick and then expect the system to heal them, I suggest they are another example of the expectation of welfarism.

JC said...

"An activity cannot be stigmatised and the outcome de-stigmatised"

The other irony is smoking hatred has carried over to E cigarettes.. one of the best chances for improving smoker health.

Apart from reacting slowly the govt seems more interested in how it can make money out of E cigs than in pushing health benefits and there's more than a hint of self preservation in the anti smoking groups opposition to the more healthy alternative.

For some time yet I think we'll see govt, anti groups and health troughers try to steer the conversation away from E cigs.. there's too much money and virtue signalling against tobacco and tobacco companies at risk from such alternatives.


Mark Wahlberg said...

Don W, thank you and no, my cancer was not smoking related. Like you, I gave up tobacco many years ago, though I did surrender my principles on smoking when I met a lady who stole my heart, mind and body and she re-introduced me to marijuana. But that is a story best left to my memoirs.

The doctors told me my cancer, which was located behind my nasal passages, was a common cancer applicable to old time woodworkers such as myself. Rimu dust in particular can be carcinogenic they said. As this was a timber I worked with a lot,they were confident that was the culprit.

Mark Hubbard said...

Yo, Mark. All the best with treatment, and with life.