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.
Cancer patients and their families are 20 times more likely to ask for help about financial issues than death and dying, figures suggest. Four out ...