It is vital that UK students are aware that there is a new freely available Meningitis C booster, which they need before they head off to university... New students are at increased risk of encountering the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease because they are often living in busy halls of residence and in close contact with other new students during fresher's week.
I look healthy. Healthy enough, anyway. And that's just great, but here's the thing. For the better part, my outward appearance comes with a sense of 'got away with it', and how very empowering that can feel. But the physical disabilities lurking beneath the scars and lumps are never far from the surface...
We're talking about actual human beings existing in the twilight of grief and primal fear that comes with cancer. And if a lung, bowel, or pancreatic cancer patient feels, in that horrific state of mind, that it'd be easier to have a more socially acceptable cancer like breast cancer... We can't judge that. What are we doing, policing the private fears of terminally ill people now?
One Sunday one of our merry band was having his regular bedside Mass with his priest and his Mum, when the priest asked us all to join with them. When we all refused the way the priest replied to us has stuck with me throughout my life. "Well if you don't believe then you deserve to be sick. God is punishing you all for your lack of faith".
I have always been lucky when I needed help though. When I was a child my Mother was always there for me, and when I was very ill as a teenager she got me through a period that was one of the darkest imaginable. That is lucky enough, but to then find a partner who equally cares for me is like winning the lottery every weekend.