The Assisted Dying Bill is a significant step backwards. When we strip away its euphemisms it is a law to help people who are frightened of pain or disability to achieve a quicker end to their life, with the support of a doctor. It undermines our respect for human life, encourages a disrespectful attitude to people with disabilities and fundamentally changes the role of the doctor.
I will never regret that our law protected her; preventing her from ending her life when she was vulnerable to despair. Those four years we shared were the most precious gift. Without them, Mum would have missed what she described as some of the richest times in her life and we would have missed understanding just what an amazing person she was.
Cancer will never take all the things she taught me (not to mention other people), the impact she's leaving in the medical world, or the impression she's made on everyone she's ever met. Cancer can't take her love for me and my brothers, her pride in what we achieve, or her hopes and dreams for our futures.
Ever since Mum's diagnosis, we have tried to keep life as normal as possible and on the whole, I think we're doing a pretty good job. One thing that we constantly struggle with though, is planning. Despite what books and movies say, cancer is not linear or predictable, and Mum's has often proven even less predictable than most.
As a young person living with a parent who has a terminal diagnosis, I've discovered a fairly considerable hole in the people-dying-support-system stuff. There is a lot of support out there for children with a close family member who is dying; there is a fair amount of support for spouses and for parents of people who are dying.
Like no doubt others before and after her will make very personal and difficult choices, I get the impression Lynda Bellingham managed to make peace with cancer and herself. Perhaps we need peace to make truly positive life changing and life enhancing choices, especially when they are about our death.
On Friday the Lords will debate the 'Assisted dying bill' and I am one if many disabled people that has been vocal in their opposition to this dangerous legislation, that is likely to be the starting point to the normalisation of 'mercy killings' and a societal pressure upon sick and disabled people to 'do the right' thing.
How do we deal with terminal or life-shortening illness? What do we do, if it is us, a loved one or someone we know? There is no off-the-shelf answer; there is no simple solution. It is a journey we may find ourselves on unexpectedly and unprepared, or we may already be on the way, knowingly or unknowingly.
If you are anything like me you would have grown up idolising your footballing hero's, my first was Kerry Dixon, then Glenn Hoddle, Paul Gascoigne and Gary Lineker. To have met any of those at a young age would have felt no less like meeting a God... The simple pleasure received from meeting someone you really look up to is something you don't actually ever forget.The Sports Connection Foundation asked me if I would accompany a young lad, Tomas Mayer, who has (DMD) Duchene Muscular Dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his short life. Having DMD means all his body and organs are basically shutting down.
Assisted dying was an idea I was aware of as I was growing up and one which seemed to make logical sense - if you are dying you should have control over the suffering that sometimes comes with that process. Then, at university, I worked as a healthcare assistant, mainly in palliative care. It was then I was forced to face the reality of our current cruel laws.
Everyone deserves care that works for them and their families at the end of their lives. However, we know that end of life care is not meeting the needs of people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, and we are in danger of failing to reach increasing numbers unless urgent steps are taken.