It’s difficult to believe that the leading UK cancer charities can be so thoughtless. Their advertising, bombarding sufferers frequently with reminders on both radio and television just is not helpful or supportive at all.

Start of Macmillan tv advertisement showing a dad reading a bedtime story to his small daughter

Lovely scene from the opening of a Macmillan advertisement

Of course it is probably more about money than anything. My reaction to charities spending vast amounts of money on advertising is just not to give them any. Similar considerations apply to those spending vast amounts of money on ‘rebranding’ or extraordinarily high executive salaries.

Leading cancer ‘support’ charities

Leading cancer charities? Cancer Research UK, Macmillan Nurses, Marie Curie. I’m sure they each do a good job, in fact I have reason to know this is the case with Marie Curie who supported my mother at the end of her life. But to bombard cancer sufferers daily with frequent reminders of their condition is anything but helpful.

Still from the advertisement above showing the dad being sick

Do cancer sufferers really need reminding how unpleasant chemotherapy can be

The worst I’ve seen is an advertisement with the tag line ‘A dad with cancer is still a dad‘. It is an ad by Macmillan. The clip begins with a dad telling his daughter a bedtime story; in my opinion that was all that was necessary. But then with a few flashes it shows him suffering as a result of chemotherapy, including a nurse telling him “it’s hard” and him vomiting in a wash basin.

What effect does the advertising team who came up with this, or the charity executives who approved it, think this has on someone facing chemotherapy?

I guess they don’t think as long as the money keeps rolling in.

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Less than a month ago, on a visit to Airedale hospital, I was given a relatively short time to get my affairs in order before departing from more than the hospital, on the basis of what scans had shown two years ago and the decreasing effectiveness of treatments. On Wednesday this week I was back at the hospital following several tests and scans since my previous visit.

rainbow over Airedale General Hospital

It seems I might have a bit longer; the recent scans showed problems in lungs and liver had regressed to the point where “they are almost indiscernible” and bones are still clear. So the threatened chemotherapy will not happen, for the time being. The penalty? Even stronger attempts to turn me into a female – it’s a hormone therapy called Xtandi (enzalutamide) in addition to being stabbed with Zoladex (goselerin) every 12 weeks.

I was not surprised to see this rainbow arching over the hospital as I left. Seemed a good motive to do a post.