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Deeply upsetting remarks on cancer care

I AM appalled that you published Terry Prone’s callous, uninformed and deeply upsetting column headlined ‘When it comes to the task of dying, ordinary people get the better deal’ (June 29).

I AM appalled that you published Terry Prone’s callous, uninformed and deeply upsetting column headlined ‘When it comes to the task of dying, ordinary people get the better deal’ (June 29).

If I remember correctly the nation was treated to tales a few years ago of Ms Prone’s ventures into cosmetic surgery.

We cancer patients undergo surgery and treatment not for vanity reasons but to add extra years to our lives and improve the quality of our health.

There are many chronic diseases beside cancer which claim lives everyday and all are treated right to the end, so why should cancer be any different?

Can you imagine lying on a hospital bed having just been diagnosed with cancer and then read Ms Prone’s reference to it being 100% lethal?

I feel so frustrated by her total ignorance of the subject she is writing so glibly about.

It is more than 12 months since I was diagnosed with cancer.

I have had all the treatments, the clear tests, the return of the disease, further treatment – the whole nine yards – so I am well qualified to speak on the subject.

Ms Prone, it will come as a great surprise to you when I tell you sincerely that the past 12 months have been the happiest of my life.

I am sure that other cancer patients who have lost their hair to chemotherapy treatment will join with me in expressing total disgust at Ms Prone’s reference to our “bright-eyed faces under the scarf concealing our baldness”. If Ms Prone and the Irish Examiner have any shred of decency, both will apologise to us. In fact I am demanding a full apology from you and your newspaper to the people in this predicament or who have been in this predicament.

Cancer treatment has become very refined and while it is not a walk in the park, it is completely bearable. I am on continuous chemotherapy and enjoy a healthy lifestyle with very little inconvenience or pain, thank God. How qualified is Ms Prone even to suggest that oncologists speak nonsense? These specialists are working endlessly and tirelessly to develop new drugs. Your columnist should also apologise to them because it is she who is writing nonsense.

Ms Prone also speaks smugly of the cancer patients’ shortening life. Well, she should realise that everyone’s life is shortening every day.

Margaret Browne

Ballymakeigh House

Killeagh

Co Cork



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