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Cancer ‘the best way to die’? You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried

by Larry | Analysis

19 January 2015

324 comments 324 comments

Larry is 59 and has advanced pancreatic cancer. Here, he responds to a recent article claiming that cancer is ‘the best way to die’.

Larry

Larry has terminal cancer

As an oesophageal cancer survivor of 9 years – and now a terminal pancreatic cancer patient – I was deeply offended by Dr Richard Smith’s recent article in the BMJ in which he stated that “cancer is the best way to die” and concluding with “let’s stop wasting billions trying to cure cancer”.

My first reaction was to pen a scathing attack on the author and publisher who, in my humble opinion, acted irresponsibly, resulting in a global media frenzy that focused on those shocking sound bites.

However, another recent in-depth media debate – this time around the barbaric massacre at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris – reminded me that the right to offend is a fundamental principle of freedom of speech!

That stimulated a rethink, and I concluded that I should not focus on the offence, but engage in the debate and test the hypotheses that Dr. Richard Smith’s article put forward.

So, is cancer the best way to die? Let’s look a little deeper into this.

Richard suggests two reasons for this hypothesis.

  • A slower death gives you time to put your affairs in order and resolve your goodbyes.
  • A cancer death is only unpleasant for a few weeks at the end.

Well, I’m now in my fourth month of my death sentence, and I will share with you my direct experience on these two points.

To be fair to Richard, I do believe that a slower death has the benefits that he suggests in his first point. BUT – and it’s a big ‘but’ – this would apply to many other terminal diagnoses as well, and is more an argument for delayed versus sudden death, NOT an argument that actually supports his hypothesis.

Additionally, I would point out that it really doesn’t take very long to put your affairs in order. In my particular case I would say that I had mostly completed this part of the process in around 2 weeks, which included legal, financial and communications with family and friends. I had certainly fully completed it within 4 weeks.

So let’s move on to the second point: a terminal cancer death is ‘only unpleasant in the last few weeks’.

Sorry Richard, you couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.

I will walk you through three aspects that you need to study much more closely before you make these types of blanket assertions.

Psychological aspects

While I was on post-operative chemotherapy, when I was faced with the reality that my cancer had spread I went into denial, and thought that my medical team must be wrong.

I inundated them with questions, and suggestions of how my previous history of liver aberrations could be responsible for a misdiagnosis.

Of course I realise now how futile that was. But I needed counselling to help me to that realisation.

However, what this highlights is that I was immediately suffering from the news. That meant not being able to sleep, not being able to get it out of my mind. Being scared, bewildered, confused and angry.

Now as I highlighted earlier, those feelings would probably be appended to any terminal diagnosis. But I had already undergone a Whipple operation with extreme difficulties because of my previous oesophagectomy, and had spent 24 weeks in post-operative chemotherapy.

On top of this, I was convinced that I had yet again miraculously beaten ‘the big C’. I felt strong, (well strong-ish) and was holding my weight. I was planning to return to my high powered job.

But the moment those liver lesions came up on the CT scan, it all got dashed on the rocks.

So, sorry Richard, but the psychological impact is way bigger, and occurs earlier, than you seem to realise. I could probably write a whole book on the psychological aspects, but I’ll leave you with a few clues:

  • I have no idea if I’ll live two months or two years. HUGE problem. How on earth am I to plan what I do, or how I fund it? That drives me mad, and is a constant inner battle. Remember how actress Linda Bellingham wanted one more Christmas? She took the conscious decision to halt her chemo last November, so that she could enjoy it and then die shortly after. Great plan! However a month after she made that plan, in September, she died anyway.
  • The progress of my chemotherapy – which is my only weapon for ’buying time‘ – is a constant worry. How am I doing? Why do the markers shoot up so fast and come down so slowly?
  • How soon will the cancer get round the chemo, which it certainly will?
  • What will it be like when my liver starts shutting down?
  • How much pain will I be in?
  • How will my dignity be maintained? I had my first bowel accident on Saturday night.
  • At times I can actually find myself feeling guilt! If I manage to survive a number of years, how much pain and stress will that cause those around me? Crazy but true.

Physical aspects

When you are a terminal cancer patient, about the only thing that can be done for you is to place you on palliative chemotherapy – in my particular case a very nasty regime called FOLFIRINOX.

I go into the chemo centre every 14 days. The in-patient part takes seven hours, from start to finish. I then return home connected to a chemotherapy pump, which runs for another 42 hours. A nurse comes to my home on day 3 to disconnect the pump.

Of each 14 day cycle, I lose at least 8 days to nausea, clinical fatigue, chemo brain, neuropathy in my hands and feet, sores in my mouth etc.

With the remaining 6 days, I have some time to work through my bucket list.

These physical aspects are cumulative. I built myself a ‘quality-of–life’ spreadsheet that allows me to score simple everyday physical and emotional goals – like if I’m up to having a shower or having visitors. Or how positively I’m thinking. There are over 40 indicators that I score every day. For most of the first week my quality of life score is below 25%.

As time moves on, I notice that I am slower, the number of symptoms is increasing, and the rate of recovery is diminishing. So I don’t buy the ‘fall off the edge’ scenario that you suggest.

In fact this raises an important question. At what point is a terminal cancer patient ‘dying’?

My view is that it really starts the moment the doctors tell you that you are terminal. Sure you have good and bad days, weeks or months – but in my experience, and talking to others in a similar position, it really is an extended period of dying. Not a set of phases of which the last is dying.

I fight hard every day for some more quality time to do the things that are important to me. I go to the gym 3 times a week. I manage my diet. I’m sensible about how I use my energy reserves. I try and keep my mind active. In short, I’m doing everything I can to enhance the time I have left.

BUT there is never a single day when I don’t reflect on the fact that I’m dying.

Emotional aspects

Yes, it is great that I’ve had time to communicate with all my family, friends, acquaintances and work colleagues.

At the same time, this process comes with a curse. It probably took me eight weeks to ‘be at peace’ with my situation. I am now pretty calm and serene about it. I simply want to navigate through with the minimum of stress.

Yet those same groups of people put a huge strain on me daily. They don’t want to accept that I’m going to die. They want me to be the miracle that somehow gets round it. They want to use Google to find alternative treatments that will ’cure‘ me. So I spend a HUGE amount of my limited time left dealing with THEIR baggage.

Now, you would have thought that, as the central character in this tragedy, they would grant me some preferential status rather than expecting me to counsel them. But you know what – they don’t.

And I have discussed this problem with many other cancer patients and they find themselves in the same position – especially with their families.

I have been with my wife for 31 years. I’m 59 and she is 52. We are lucky that we are as in love as we’ve ever been. Unless you were present in our home 24/7 you could have no possible idea what the emotional stress is like for us. She has to tend me daily even though, to all intents and purposes, I’m not dying from cancer at the moment.

But I am dying. And the chemotherapy is a big contributory factor at this stage. We can never get the subject out of our lives; there is always some physical or psychological factor that aggravates our emotional state. We laugh, we cry, we despair.

She tries to keep the constant barrage of well-wishers “in their box”.

But when it comes to the family, that is a tough call. I have an 85 year old mother who doesn’t know how to come to terms with the fact that she’ll have to bury her son. At the same time she sees herself as the victim in this tragedy not me.

So, hopefully when you’ve reviewed some of the evidence I’ve put forward, and investigated its validity across a wider sample of terminal cancer patients, you’ll realise that cancer isn’t actually ‘the best way to die’.

And in taking these thoughts on board I’d like you to also know that I’m by no means at the worst end of the spectrum. I’m still doing relatively well compared to many cancer patients whose ordeals greatly outweigh my current problems.

More research is needed

Now, to conclude this response I will briefly touch on the outrageous idea that we should ‘stop wasting billions trying to cure cancer’.

I noted in your follow up article that you tried to “reframe” that. But since I have not seen one national media pick up on this, I must respond directly to the words you first wrote.

I’m privileged to have many friends in the medical world who specialise in cancer. I have also had a very long and productive association with Cancer Research UK across a range of varied – and in my view significant – activities.

Let me tell you what I’ve learnt:

  • Their research activities have completely changed the survivorship of some of the most common cancers. It wasn’t long ago that most breast cancer patients died within 10 years. Now more than three quarters survive 10 years. Those women used to suffer a long traumatic futile death. Now they can have hope that they’ll survive it and return to lead full and active lives. Try telling their families that we should stop doing the research. We must not stop till we can save them all!
  • In contrast just 1 in every hundred pancreatic cancer patients survive 10 years. And sadly little has changed that over the recent decades. Sure, it’s too late for me, but you know what Richard? It gladdens my heart to know that Cancer Research is looking deeply and holistically into how they can change that for the future. Without their unstinting dedication and ingenuity, supported by the generous pockets of the UK public, we’d have no hope. Until my health completely fails me I will continue to work and support research into lifestyle, prevention, early diagnosis and cure. And so must you.
  • People die of cancer because it gets spotted too late. In my own experience I was locally advanced stage 3 for both my cancers. Like so many cancers, there are no symptoms until it too late!
  • Those involved in spending the money know that they must achieve early diagnosis and also look to lifestyle changes where appropriate. I would commend you to read Cancer Research UK’s Research Strategy.
  • I have seen many wonderful initiatives in these efforts that will save millions of people in time because they are so diligent at figuring out ways to cost effectively identify those at risk.
  • You’ll know – as I do – that routine mass screening is simply not viable commercially nor clinically, no matter how big the pot. But ingenious tests that can identify those who should be sent for investigation are coming thick and fast.
  • I run a patient support group for gastro-oesophageal cancers at Charing Cross Hospital in association with Maggie’s Centres. So I’ve had hundreds of patients through my hands over the last 7 years. Despite what the statistics might suggest, a significant proportion of those patients, probably 25-30 per cent, are young. By that I mean under-40. It breaks my heart every time I meet a 20 or 30 year old with cancer. I felt cheated at 50 and, to a certain extent, feel cheated at 59. But that pales into insignificance compared to watching a 32-year-old single mother die of oesophageal cancer, when the system tells you that we should focus on men over 50 with alarm symptoms.

Richard, you really can’t believe in those words you wrote. According to the latest figures, 2.5 million people in the UK are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis. It is absolutely vital that we continue to research the prevention and treatment of the disease.

In conclusion, the one thing we would probably agree on, if you were brave enough to meet me, is that as a society we should get our s**t together on assisted dying.

I still don’t get why we are able to do it for animals, but refuse it for humans.

But as I face the inevitable outcome of my terminal diagnosis, the one thing I REALLY want, above all else, is the opportunity to say “I’ve had enough, it’s time to put me to sleep”.

– Larry

  • Cancer Research UK’s Information Nurses are available 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, on Freephone 0808 800 4040. We also have a discussion forum – Cancer Chat – for people affected by cancer, and there’s a section on our website that discusses death and dying.


    Comments

  • Lav
    25 June 2015

    Cancer is the worst thing that can happen. Only those suffering or witnessing a loved one going through it would know that. Whatever you assume and imagine, it’s way harder and painful in real life. Really sorry for the ignorant people around here and hope they never get the big reality check.

  • johnsm56
    18 June 2015

    People die from cancer because the time has come for them to die. It’s not something bad or unfair. Why the hell do you think of cancer as some movie villain? It’s stupid

  • Amber
    28 May 2015

    Thank you Larry for your article. You’ve really helped me grasp what my father is going through and how I can better support him. I really appreciate this. Thank you.

  • alan
    10 May 2015

    To think that an alleged “medical professional ” came up with this abhorrent statement based on little or no evidence shows total and utter disdain for the sufferers of this horrific disease that apparently 1/3,of us will contract in our lifetime. I can only presume he did this to get more exposure for all the wrong reasons. For personal reasons I won’t discuss on the Internet, cancer has affected my family and I laud the efforts of Cancer Research and similar organisations who are striving to rid us of this evil and also salute organisations such as Marie Curie and MacMillan wgHo do sterling work in supporting patients and families through the rigours of this horrific illness. No one superlative can adequately illustrate how much misery this disease causes.

  • Helen Fenton
    13 April 2015

    Thank youn.larry for writing this true account of living with the time bomb..I too had
    Oesophageal Cancer diagnosed in 2005 and had post operative chemo followed by the np massive operation and practically sawn in half..apart from weird plumbing and general fatigue ?I slowly recovered only to find the cancer back about 4 years ago….outside the oesophagus squeezing my windpipe and therefore affecting the nerves serving my vocal chords …this Cancer is in operable and terminal I had months of chemo and radio therapy which did not shrink it but it has not grown or spread. Just sits there like a time bomb!
    If it grows..what can they do??
    Thank you for being frank, it is diffucult to speak about the bastard Cancer is because bods get embarrased..I like to speak about it as it is, and don’t get the opportunity too often
    Wishing you peace, and humour and more blogging

  • Jennifer
    4 April 2015

    Hello Larry, I am a 29yr old survivor, but unfortunately experienced witnessing both of my parents truly suffer through terminal cancer at a young age (a few years apart). I stumbled upon your article but I was incredibly moved by it, and found it to be very insightful. I am very fortunate to be here today, and I don’t take a single moment for granted. Thank you for composing this article. It was severely ignorant for someone to state that cancer was the best way to die. That is disgraceful! You have shed much light on what it is like from your point of view. In my experience I found that others sometimes thought of themselves as the victims. While I’m sure it is not intentional, it becomes more difficult to navigate an already challenging situation. Thank you again.

  • Maggy
    28 March 2015

    Larry, I found this a very useful article, thank you. Best of all wishes to you and your family. I’m supporting a friend who is dying, slowly, of maxillo-facial cancer and I haven’t the faintest clue on ‘what I should do / say’. Never read Richard Smith’s article but he sounds like a dick.

  • Jo
    2 March 2015

    Larry I totally agree with all you’ve written. My husband died at 59 from the same cancer after a hard battle. You know the hardest thing to do when you’ve been told your going to die, is live. You can’t plan anything however somehow you muddle through. The way we got through our year from hell was to try and make as many good memories as we could no matter how small we had to as we had a daughter of 2and a half I took lots of photos and videos and my wonderful husband lives on I wish you all the very best don’t listen to ignorant people who should know better surround yourself with your loved ones

  • sue nicholls
    24 February 2015

    Cancer is certainly not the best way to die,my beloved husband died in pain just 8monthsafter diagnosis I endorse all that you are saying and my thoughts and best wishes are with you I am astounded that a so called doctor could write such an unfeeling

  • Jillywhizz
    24 February 2015

    Can’t agree more! After 18 years I am one of those breast cancer survivors and I thank The Lord everyday for all those who went before me for their courage in trying new medicines and treatments and all those doctors, nurses and scientists who work tirelessly in this field. I was only 40 with a 3 cm grade 3 tumour. I had three teenage daughters, loving parents, family and friends and it was the worst thing to put them all through. By some miracle the technology had been discovered that saved my life. Please keep up the good work, keep researching, trialling, and discovering new ways to beat this dreadful disease. No-one is untouched by cancer, it haunts us all.

  • Lynda Wilson
    23 February 2015

    Can only endorse every single word of your article. Pray it will be published in one of the major dailies. Hope you find the strength to continue your fight, you certainly have very many well wishers thinking of you. You are a wonderful person.

  • ian edge
    23 February 2015

    Hi i am a cancer patient with advanced cancer of the prostate and a secondary cancer of the bones I have read your message with an open mind and all the points In your reply are incredibly accurate I have personally found that being diagnosed as terminal was very difficult to deal with my fears are not now but at the end and I should have the right to say enough is enough like your pet I just want to sleep.thank you for sharing this post

  • rosam
    22 February 2015

    Can’t think of anything to say because you have said it all ! You truly are saying what those with cancer would say themselves ! Thank you x just one thing though Dr Richard smith until you have walked a mile in someones shoes just don’t say anything !!!!!!

  • Paul Brooke
    22 February 2015

    It is a fantastic response to a crass statement from a Dr of all people. I would only add that there appears to be some Drs on the net who have ‘found’ natural products that help and yes seem to cure at least some cancers. So, why doesn’t Big Pharma stop being overly interested in making millions from the products they produce and carry out more emphasis on clinical trials using the aforementioned ‘ natural products’ or are they doing so without us knowing it?

  • Cathy Smith
    22 February 2015

    Very emotional article.

  • Amy Carter
    22 February 2015

    Fantastic article, so honest and brave- thank you. May you have comfort and peace

  • Angela Jones
    22 February 2015

    This honest insightful and moving account , has put into words what many of us affected by cancer would wish to be able to say, the reaction from family and friends too is the hardest of all, and yes well meaning and out of love true, still the fallout is draining and frustratingly time consuming. My heart and best wishes go out to dear Larry, I wish you peace and dignity. Xx

  • Mr Alexander Paterson
    22 February 2015

    I’ve just been diagnosed ( 4 weeks before Christmas ) with terminal cancer myself and agree with you “cancer a better way to die ” lololololol no way is frekin good !

  • Glenys Evans
    22 February 2015

    Thank you & love to you I learnt from reading your words .

  • claire
    22 February 2015

    Wow. That is powerful and honest.
    I wish this man a stress-free remainder of his days and thankmhim for taking the time to write it. I actually agreed with everything he said and always thought along those lines too.
    Much love to you my friend; and I hope you have lots more smiley days to come :-) xx

  • Ian Murray
    22 February 2015

    A fantastic article and response to a educated persons naivety and lack of consideration to suffers and their families . May God give you strength when your hour arrives and walk with your family in their hour .

  • Helen Muddyman
    22 February 2015

    An emotive and articulate response. This piece of writing has beautifully tackled the ignorant and hurtful comments made by Dr Richard Smith who has obviously never had experience first hand of the impact of cancer. Larry you are an inspiring and courageous man. I wish you peace and love as your journey approaches the end, and as someone who has watched her 30 year old husband survive cancer thank you for raising the point that cancer knows no age limit and research is very much needed.

  • rose galbraith
    22 February 2015

    How generous of you to give so much of your time and energy to write this amazing article. Of course we must keep fighting for treatments and ultimately a cure, or preventative measures, screenin etc. having lost a close friend at 51 to cancer I agree with all you have said so succinctly… Wishing you and your family the best, enjoy your life x

  • Jane Dixon
    22 February 2015

    What a courageous piece of writing. Both my parents died of cancer and I firmly believe we must keep on fighting!

  • jude broad
    22 February 2015

    I lost my Dad to oesophageal cancer when he was only 52 years old. Doctors asked him for permission to try some procedures regarding his condition. Thanks to his bravery his treatment and feedback has assisted in the process of advancing a cure so think on….

  • J guest
    22 February 2015

    Larry you are right in every word you say, and a truly brave inspiring person. My mum had an aggressive breast cancer eight years ago, had numerous treatments and is still here today. However my dad wasn’t so lucky, firstly got bowel cancer in 2012 had curative surgery and a colostomy bag fitted for life, this took some adjustment big time physically and mentally. Then early 2013 struggled to swallow at first food then fluids which later turned out to be osophageal cancer which was evil to say the least and also terminal. Me and my step mum dealt with the ever changing dad which was the worst thing ever to witness your own parent going down hill like this. So to agree with Larry again cancer is most definitely not the best way to die in lots of ways from my experience just witnessing it let alone the patient.

  • Gill
    22 February 2015

    Thank you so much for this impressive letter. I know what it is like to go through this as my husband passed away in 2013 aged just 53 from bowel cancer. I very much hope you can enjoy your time left with your family doing what you want to do.

  • Zarqaf Fatima
    22 February 2015

    Every word of this artical is true and basis on facts , which no one can denia , how ever Saying “cancer is best way to die ” but reality telling us other story , Larry I salute you for your courage and bravery and how well you wrote this artical for those who don’t know and understand the fact of cancer and it’s effect on the person and people around the patient,

  • DOREEN WILKES
    22 February 2015

    I totally agree we should continue research, I had Breast Cancer 11yrs ago and luckily still clear.

  • christine fraser
    21 February 2015

    What a stupid man that doctor is he has obviously not had a close relative or very good friend waiting to die in the most horrific way knowing the sentence that awaits. WE NEED MORE RESEARCH INTO CANCER TREATMENT AND CURE NOT LESS

  • Julie
    21 February 2015

    You are an absolutely amazing person with a valid and in my view correct opinion. I watched my mother fight her cancer tooth and nail. The shock when she could fight no more is still in my memory. The Doctor in my opinion has got this completely wrong. A sudden death is a shock for the family but if I had a choice I certainly would be happier going that way and certainly not from cancer. My affairs would be easy to sort and insurance covers everything anyway.

  • Michelle croft
    21 February 2015

    My mother passed away with pancreatic cancer she was 62 so so young, the consultant gave her 6 months to live, she lasted 18 months, and should of never been alive, she went through shear he’ll, at the end, she was in agony, and anybody who says cancer is the best way to die, should be ashamed of what they have said!!!!

  • Kerry Brown
    21 February 2015

    Larry you are a very brave courageous man, I lost my dad to bowl cancer 4 year’s in January. And had to watch has he suffered the pain and the anguise the family went through. We supported my dad the best way we could with the dignity he deserved, that this evil cancer was robbing from him. I wish you and your family well. And hope that you get to spend has much time as possible an do the things you want to do with your family an friends . God bless you.

  • tracy falconer
    21 February 2015

    I don’t think it’s the best way my mum was termanil cancer conditions were not good it all has 2 change I struggle now each day 2 live with what I had 2 deal with even tho she was my wonderful mum same with my dad a couple months apart in 2012 dad didn’t get his own room and wee had 2 fight 2 have mum in her own room both worked run there own business payed there tax it’s all wrong I believe it’s government is left me just 2 cope each day its very seen how we’re treated in hospitals and it’s not the staff they are just doing what they have been told two do

  • Phil G.
    21 February 2015

    Larry you are an amazing person.
    My thoughts go out to you, and your family. I, like you and so many others hope that some day this dreadful illness will be obliterated.
    Try to remain strong Larry.
    Take care, and good luck.

  • Maria Lyszyk
    21 February 2015

    So sorry my love. Lost my husband to cancer after a liver transplant for Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis. You are right, cancer is not an easy death as you have foreknowledge of your own demise which is so hard to deal with. Yes, you can put your affairs in order, but again that doesn’t take long. It did give us just enough time to say goodbye, but we still wanted more. The anger if a life stopped is what I will always remember. You are brave to share your real thoughts with the world, bravo! My thoughts and prayers to you x

  • kath
    21 February 2015

    I take my hat off to you sir.
    So well written
    Bless you
    Unbelievable for Richard Smith to be so insensitive and i humane to make such a statement.
    It’s Hell
    He clearly does not comprehend the impact of a terminal illness beyond the science-shockingly wrong
    Kind regards

  • Donald.C.Rogers,
    21 February 2015

    Larry , there is not a lot I can say except my thoughts are with you & with Gods help &science we will conquer it one day, I have dreaded being told I have cancer because my wife went though what your wife is going through over 30 Years ago with the same thing with her first husband. good luck old son ,

  • Kathy
    21 February 2015

    Very brave man Larry, my heart goes out to you and your family and everyone else who faces seeing a loved one go through the end of life trauma that cancer brings to those inflicted and their families! I myself can identify with all what you have said but my mum had mental problems brought on by her type of cancer, which meant she wouldn’t and couldn’t understand she was dying! Mostly all I could ever think was “quality of life? More like quantity”! People everywhere should help fund the vital work that cancer research carry out, as you never know the moment it will affect you. Very thought provoking article Larry, God Bless.

  • Jenny
    21 February 2015

    Well done to you Larry for taking the time to put into words the true pain and suffering of people with cancer. My Father and my husband both died of lung cancer an awful and up dignified death I wouldn’t wish on anyone, My Mother has had breast cancer twice and beat it with the aid on tamoxifen and radio therapy and is now 92. I am so glad they are looking into alternatives to chemotherapy it is an absolutely horrible thing to endure and does your body more harm than good, in my opinion. However if it’s all that’s out there of course people have to try it. I wish they would do more research into the effects of cannabis oil on cancer, it has been known to cure even advanced cancers in certain people, and when it might not work for everyone, it’s worth a try. Big hug to you Larry, you are a special person xxx

  • lin
    21 February 2015

    Thank you for putting this articulate article out there, most people find it hard to discuss dying and yet it is going to happen to all of us! We could all benefit from reading more on how to support people within our families and circle of friends so we are exactly that ‘support’ not a burden. Thanks again.

  • Pat Small
    21 February 2015

    Larry your a star, your letter puts things into perspective, you are going through it so you are talking from the heart not from some diagnosis someone has come to. God be with you & help you through this sad time, and may he give you inner peace. My 18 year old nephew has cancer behind his eye nose & lymph glands & the journey has been horrendous, his treatment has now been finished, but we wait with bated breath to hear the words in 3 months they have got it. As of this moment he has lost his eye sight in one eye but he is here. We feel for anyone who is going through what you have described God Bless Pat xxxxx

  • mich
    21 February 2015

    Cancer is the worst way, my dad suffered for years and my mum suffered too watching him suffer, and I know what it did to me and others close. To be told you have an incurable cancer is confusing because you don’t know if you’ve got weeks or years. Christmases should be more fpecial but instead they are tainted with sadness. I’d rather die quickly and suddenly. The treatments for cancer have horrible side effects and the quality of life is limited

  • Babs Morokutti
    21 February 2015

    This gentleman has put into words that I’m sure all patients feel the same. Well said Larry,

  • Sue
    21 February 2015

    Good article. I lived with someone dying from melanoma. It’s awful. Every little improvement has you believing that your loved one is going to bet it even though you know it’s not going to happen. Such an awful roller coaster. Sorry I wasn’t able to read your article before my husband died, I’m sure it would have helped me understand more of what he was going through.

  • Ashley Try
    20 February 2015

    My God…what a lovely human being xxxx <3

  • carol Iseton
    20 February 2015

    I admire you so much for putting forward such a true view of what is such a emotive issue , not just for the sufferer but the loved ones watching this horrible disease take there loved ones from them. Thank you .

  • evelyn barker
    20 February 2015

    Thank you for telling the truth. The constant worry and the well meaning friends and family really hit a chord here.

  • sarah
    20 February 2015

    So moving x

  • Sue
    20 February 2015

    I HATE Cancer! I watched my Dad and my Son in Law suffer long painful days before they past away. My Dad had a secondary cancer, a brain tumour which completely took him away from us. My Son in Law lived his last year bravely making the most of his last painful days hoping for a cure while he spent time with his family. He spent 3 moths in isolation waiting for a a bone marrow donor. It wasn’t to be. Cancer is the cruel disease.

  • Vivienne
    20 February 2015

    Well written Larry. I have MND and there is no diagnosis let alone cure. I am now unable to walk and my swallowing muscles are also effected. I have a RIG tube fitted. I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence as MND too is terminal.

  • Caroline Gordon
    20 February 2015

    It is a terrible disease!!! I have watched two of my closest family die from cancer. My mother and my sister. I sat with my sister for 9 days and nights. How can it be the best way to die. It eats into a body and is a slow awful death. Awful for the person and for the loved ones who are watching. I wish there was a cure and soon. I can say no more it brings back such sadness. I have known such wonderful people who have gone through such suffering.

  • Dave Mason
    20 February 2015

    Well done that man Larry& good luck with what lies ahead, Richard ! What a plonker you are for even thinking ( or not ) about what you wrote !
    I had a 3cm tumor on my pancreatic bile duct ! Eventually diagnosed in Feb 2006 ,it penetrated my bile duct, pancreas , bowel & stomach, 16th March 2006 i underwent 8 hours of surgery, loosing 50%of my pancreas ,50% of my stomach ,a chunk of large intestine and all my bile duct, the op was a whipple and that was followed by 6 months of chemo , I was 49 at the time and my 9 year remission is coming in March 2015.
    I do all the things normal peeps do the only thing I have diff is 40gms of omeprazole daily, I have a loving wife of 35 years who was my rock through my illness , I did get told no golf for 6 months , no scuba for 12 months and I wouldn’t work again . Well I went to golf 2 weeks after a 15 day stay in hospital and back to work 6 weeks after my op , the chemo was nusience factor but an insurance policy ! I scuba regularly and recently qualified as a master scuba diver !
    Lesson from this , some do survive if caught in time so keep up the good work cancer research , and Larry my thoughts are with you and your family !

  • Karen
    20 February 2015

    Well said and written , but on another subject my mom died of dementia , no one ever survives that illness and not so much money spent on research as on cancer.

  • Lesley Ratcliffe
    20 February 2015

    Well done Larry for writeing this and suffering how you are my best friend died of cancer in July she really suffered and she was so strong was amazing everythin you have wrote here is exactly how she and i felt about it you got keep fighting Larry but same as you say when you get worse and you know when its time and carnt cope no more life is just not fair taking the good ones n leaving bad ones may god bless you and your family n friends Larry thoughts are with you anyour family xx

  • Ann Carruthers
    20 February 2015

    I was horrified when I read what Dr Richard had said, yes everyone has the right to freedom of speech. But this is just not what you would expect to hear from a Dr. You would expect more empathy coming from a well educated Dr. I thank you for writing this. And all your points are well thought through. And researched. And I wish you, and your family together can make many more memories together. xx

  • Ginaw Watson
    20 February 2015

    Like Larry, my father died from pancreatic cancer in 1983. Unlike Larry, he only survived a month after diagnosis, so much has changed since then. Three years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and after one toxic round of chemotherapy, died within 3 weeks of diagnosis. So yes, some cancer patients die quickly, but I am aware that many linger for a long time following their terminal diagnosis. Now my sister-in-law has also been diagnosed with AML; she is receiving treatment and is on the donor list for a bone marrow transplant. We are just praying that a donor will be found in time to save her. So I have much regard for Larry’s blog, a wise and brave man. I wish him peace and joy in his life.

  • Carol Vaughan
    20 February 2015

    Having just lost my dear sister to lung cancer at the end of last year, I wish I had seen and read this article, so that I might have had a better understanding of everything she was going through! Thank you and good luck to you Larry.

  • Lyn Absolom
    20 February 2015

    Larry all your points are well thought out and correct, I have a friend with advanced colon cancer, we can’t see him during therapy because he is so ill and doesn’t want visitors so that leaves him one week for close friends and family. Very tiring for him. Then back for 2 weeks of chemotherapy.

  • jean
    20 February 2015

    What a brave & interesting article he has written I hope lots of people take heed of his comments if the have someone they love with cancer.

  • Sharon Thomas
    20 February 2015

    What a brave man. Thank you for writing this, I think most of us who have been told they have cancer, terminal or not would agree. A flippant (in my opinion) comment by someone who hasn’t been effected by this, needs to have a day in the life of someone going through chemo and everything else that goes with. i agree with everything Larry said.

  • Shirley Webb
    20 February 2015

    I totally agree with everything Larry has said. Please can everyone who reads this, share it. My thoughts are with you Larry, and your family xx

  • john ellis
    20 February 2015

    I find it hard to understand a doctor writing such nonsense, when he is not in the position of the many thousands of people who are suffering from cancer, it is not only the person who has cancer, it touches the family, and all associated with them.

  • Jo Munyard
    20 February 2015

    Totally agree with everything that has been put in print. assisted dying is the way forward and the people that prevent this from happening need to shut up and allow those that want it to have it. If they don’t want it then they don’t have to have it. It’s an option that should be available! I have had cancer, chemo and radiotherapy. Your life changes after a cancer diagnoses……that’s fact….. Well done Larry for all that you have written ….. So sorry for your situation but this life is just part of a longer journey and dying is just the next step. It’s strange how you say about you and your wife and your strong love……my husband and I are very much in love after 18 years together……going through the cancer experience was really hard but luckily he helped me stay strong …good luck and thank you for finding the time and strength to write so eloquently about this subject…….

  • jane harvey
    20 February 2015

    I fully agree with all your points it is not the best way to die my mother had breast cancer and had 5 years of hell she was accidently given an internal on her deaf bed and suffered the indignation of nurses being rude and obnoxious to her the treatment made her ill the whole time and her quality of life was not good so she couldn’t enjoy her last year’s so keep up this vital work

  • Suzanne
    20 February 2015

    Extremely well put. Having just lost my husband to prostate cancer I can relate to everything that Larry has said. And so would have my husband. All those dying from Cancer are extremely courageous people . Thank you. Larry

  • Alex King
    20 February 2015

    I volunteer for cruk out in the community talking about lifestyle, early diagnosis and spotting signs and symptoms. I’m proud to be part of this amazing charity, we need more people like Larry. Speak up, stand up, support. What an amazing , powerful blog. Peace and love to Larry and his family.

  • Anne Pentelow
    19 February 2015

    Brilliantly written.

  • Kirsteen McKellar
    19 February 2015

    Beautifully written words of wisdom.
    I would wish you the chance to go to bed and sleep away when you were ready Larry

  • Susan Wardlaw
    19 February 2015

    What a brave and well-written response. I have huge admiration for Larry.

  • HeatherAnne Reiling
    19 February 2015

    Thank you for writing this, it is very thought provoking and I think useful, I feel that unless someone is really experiencing it that they cannot really know, they may have an idea, but can’t know how something feels. No matter what their experience, I hope you are as comfortable as possible, and that you and your family suffer as little as possible. I feel whilst the doctor may believe what he said, in the position of this gentleman he may feel differently. Bless you and your family Larry, I am proud to have “met” you through this written piece.

  • stuart nutter
    19 February 2015

    Fanatstic moving and emotional and well written.Tommorow is promised to no one ,but good luck Larry and your family,only someone like yourself and your family that have and are suffering from this horrible cancer have the experience to comment.This Doctor obviously/thankfully has not.Good Luck,i am sure everyone who reads your story will think,there but for the grace of god go i.

  • Flora Christie
    19 February 2015

    I have had a lobotomy for lung cancer 2 years ago and I have lost three sisters to the disease the mental anguish of CANCER is unbelievable at times

  • Alice Palmerton
    19 February 2015

    The only thing that we all have in common is that we are ALL going to die.
    We are not told Where, When, How, or Why. There are so many killer diseases out there that we are not immune to, but I think that ‘the big C’ has to be at the top of the list.
    From young children, to the elderly, if that is your fate, that is how you will go. Cancer doesn’t care who it takes, and I get the impression that Dr Richard Smith doesn’t care very much either. What would HE like the billions that are spent on Cancer Research, to go to?
    Larry, I pray that you slip away in your sleep, quietly and peacefully, just as one of my aunts did.(Lung cancer).. Most of my moms siblings were taken by that dreaded disease, but strangely it was all the females, my mom included.
    You are an exceptional and brave man, and I promise you that you are now on my prayer list. I am telling you this because there is nothing else that I can do to help you.
    I can only hope that the rest of your life is peaceful, full of love, and that when your time comes, you have a safe trip to meet our Lord.
    God Bless you and keep you as free of pain as possible…………

  • Dorne
    19 February 2015

    Brilliant response Larry to a somewhat foolish statement from someone who appears to have little personal insight into the brutal world of a cancer diagnosis. My Husband, I and all immediate family and friends had the ground swept from under our feet in October 2013. Our beautiful only child, was diagnosed with hereditary breast cancer at 24 years old. Her paternal Grandmother died at 39 years in 1959, a year after my Hubby was born. He sadly carries the dreadful BRCA1 gene. A brave, brave girl underwent a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. Every day we live life to the full, grateful for the research that has given us hope. No longed for grandchildren for us but hey we just want our precious girl to Live, Love, Laugh and Grow old. Research has to be the only way forward for the future. Bless you Larry, may your journey be yours. As I said to my Daughter on that dreadful day. I so wish it was me and not you. This is your journey but we will be there to support you in any way we can.

  • Hannah
    19 February 2015

    I completely agree, my dad was poorly over Christmas with a chronic reaction to chemo. My dad has oesophageal cancer. Whilst on the ward (he was there two weeks) we saw three people pass away from cancer. I strongly believe that faced with this diagnosis people should be given back control over their own lives. Cancer takes so much away from a person, to be able to say I have had enough now should be possible. To choose when gives you back the power.

  • Carol hands
    19 February 2015

    Powerful piece intelligently reasoned and written from a real perspective. I have been through some but not all of this and I admire your spirit in taking the time to give a true view of how it feels to be terminally ill with all the ensuing uncertainty and fallout within your family and of course for you. I wish you peace dignity and sympathetic treatment and feel sure you make your family so proud. X

  • Patricia
    19 February 2015

    I agree with all you say Larry and especially the part about our right to choose when we end our lives. We believe it is humane to ‘put animals down’ so they do not suffer yet we insist humans go through the enormous pain and suffering before their lives end naturally. I plan to start saving the tablets for my ‘humane’ ending and hope I have the courage to take them at the optimum time.

  • Sadie Newman
    19 February 2015

    What an incredibley well written piece & couldn’t agree more with everything you have written! I wish you the very best for your how ever long future holds for you & as far as I’m concerned re that Doctor! He should be struck off as his attitude stinks! Doctors are to save lives & help with cures etc where ever possible! I wouldn’t want to meet him that’s for sure! Good luck with everything & I hope you are not & do not suffer too much pain.

  • Sue Sandham
    19 February 2015

    I lost both my parents to ‘C’ and many other relatives and close friends. Not that many years ago I worked in a Cancer hospital and met some lovely people. But when asked many of the staff declined to say whether they would undergo chemotherapy. Like me we had seen such distressing reactions to the drugs that, in my view, the treatment is worse than the disease. If I am unlucky and get cancer I will be reviewing my funeral plan, sorting out my papers and if this wimp of a government has not finally taken the wishes of the majority and sorted out euthanasia I will ensure that I have the wherewithall to do it myself!

  • Dave Mc
    19 February 2015

    Brought me to tears Larry and I feel guilty for crying, but what you have said I’m sure must echo as true with everyone who has ever known anyone who has lived with or died from this cruel disease. God bless you Larry for your strength and selflessness. I sincerely hope hope he grants you and your wife and family the courage that you will need, whoever he maybe to you.
    Dave Mc

  • Ali
    19 February 2015

    I am so with you on this. What a cruel way to have to spend whatever time left and you can almost see the people round you wishing you would just hurry up and be gone. Watching my husband since his diagnoses is like watching someone being pulled into quicksand albeit inch by inch. Each day a part of him dies and there is NOTHING good about that for him or his family. People who say stupid things like stay strong and stay with us are cruel as that places such a burden on the person who is dying.

  • David Ian Tullett
    19 February 2015

    well said Larry. How can it be the best way. No way. Wishing you all you wish for.x

  • Rosie Smith
    19 February 2015

    Our mum battled to stay with us and managed just under a year and it took nearly half a year to pin down that she had pancreatic cancer – through mis-diagnosis, broken scanners, chaperone availability -continued research needed.

  • Judy
    19 February 2015

    Well said and so true…..

  • Janet
    19 February 2015

    Bless you

  • Diane Hardy
    19 February 2015

    Well said Larry. My husband lasted 5 months with pancreatic cancer and it’s not a good way. My thoughts are with you xxx

  • Kelly
    19 February 2015

    Dr Richard smith.clearly doesn’t seem to have a clue.watching my mother die has been the hardest thing in the world. Mother had lung cancer. Which was stump.but got told she had a brain tumour only lived 2wks.she was robbed.

  • Alan
    19 February 2015

    Well said Larry. My mother took two years dying aged 57 after diagnosis for lung cancer, missing her grandchildren.

  • Tina Wootton
    19 February 2015

    This I am sharing as a committed volunteer assisting our local Marie Curie fundraising group in any way I and we can so may GOD BLESS YOU LARRY AND YOUR FAMILY X

  • Sue Leighton
    19 February 2015

    Well written and so very true.

  • Julie Butler
    19 February 2015

    Powerfully written, hope Richard Smith takes note. My son, aged 21, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and due to medical research into this rare bone cancer and the excellent care from his consultants he is almost two years post chemo and doing extremely well. Immense strain on all the family yes but my boy, who had such amazing strength, got himself through the horrendous treatment/surgery with such dignity – so proud of him. Larry, you are an inspiration…

  • Trevor Lawrence
    19 February 2015

    I have advanced prostate cancer and fully concur with this great blog ,hang on in there we are all so loved by our family and friends,God bless

  • JillJones
    19 February 2015

    Wow an amazing read and written with such courage and determination. I admire you greatly .

  • Nadeem Zafar
    19 February 2015

    What a wonderful article – heartwarming and truly inspiring.

  • Moya Morgan. Co Down. N.Ireland.
    19 February 2015

    Somehow words are not needed Larry! You said it all so eloquently.! I wish you peace.mo

  • john hazelden
    19 February 2015

    Hope I never have to see him I like your letter I hope he finds time to read it.

  • lynda young
    19 February 2015

    There is nothing worse waking up in the early hours if the morning in panic yes I agree more must be done to conquer all incurable illnesses

  • Helen Fenton
    19 February 2015

    Thank you for that…brilliant …..I too had oesophageal Cancer 2005 , it has now come back and is inoperable ..and I am “terminal” now too.I am 59 but determined to have a fantastic 60th year…
    Just to read your remarkable feat of bravery inspires me, and yes it’s crap!!
    However long you have, may you never lose your peace, sense of humour and most of all at the end ….your knowledge that research is the important thing you ..we can pass on
    Assured that sometime in the future the b****** Cancer will be no more

  • Hannah
    19 February 2015

    Larry, you have written such a wonderful and poignant response to such an ignorant man. It saddens and upsets me that people still think like this. I watched my own mother die of breast cancer when I was 12…I too can assure Dr Smith that cancer is not the best way to die. Love to you and your family you are a true inspiration x

  • fiona mcadam
    18 February 2015

    Im amazed that anyone can actually think.cancers the best way to go. From.a personal stand point ive watched 4 members of my family battle cancer and sadly lose that battle. It wasnt pleasant for anyone to watch. Larry your article puts exactly what its like for the patient and the family to deal with what is a death sentence. Obviously Dr Richard Smith doesnt deal with cancer patients on a daily basis.

  • Jane Gareze
    18 February 2015

    Larry, thank you for putting into words so beautifully what needed to be said. I was incensed when all these glorious sound bites hit the news and even more so when people “discussed” the issue in the media with clearly little empathy or experience. My thoughts to you and your family. (Please tell your needy pals to seek counselling elsewhere!)

  • Pat Charlton
    18 February 2015

    You are an amazing person. I was misdiagnosed with advanced breast cancer and can share the effects of chemotherapy with you. No it is not the best way to die all lives are precious and maybe in the future this man or a familvy member may be affected by cancer only then will he realise funding must go on. My best wishes to you and may you be given the strength to live on.

  • Tracey Pace
    18 February 2015

    I 100% agree with Larry whose blog is amazing and made me cry. I prey Dr Smith is not practising as I dread to think how his patients will cope with his lack of empathy believing they are facing “the best way to die” I was diagnosed with Brest cancer in 2010 thank god my doctors were amazing

  • Cousin Andrew
    18 February 2015

    Larry,
    You’re a star.

  • debra
    18 February 2015

    My father died of pancreatic cancer and what Larry said I agree. Since 2012 my mother together with friends and family have raised 4000 pounds. It is so important to not give up, and give the best gift we can to our loved ones. That gift is our believe and dedication to help others and stop this terrible deiease.

  • Celia
    18 February 2015

    I cannot begin to understand what you are going through but you are truly amazing. Whatever I say could not do justice to your bravery. I wish you the right to do what you want. X

  • Peter Harrison
    18 February 2015

    Having watched our son die with cancer of the bowel our thoughts are with you and your family

  • Janice Horner
    18 February 2015

    Larry, I’m so sorry to hear of your ordeal.

    Dr Richard Smith, may have a few points, but these are minor, and to be honest, insultingly ridiculous! Unless you are told (and I have not), that you have a terminal illness, how can anyone even begin to think how that person feels!

    I love your article Larry, it is written with passion! I sincerely hope this silly Dr Smith, reads it and regrets his arrogance and stupidity. Cancer is not a nice way to die Dr Smith … should I actually be calling you a doctor, because in this case it comes across as an insult to cancer patients, and you do not appear to have any compassion whatsoever! Perhaps you need to think about the future! Maybe, just maybe, you may get cancer and are told you are terminally ill, I hope your thoughts are the same, that cancer is a good way to die and for medical research to stop spending money for a cure … how does that crab you Dr… em Smith!

    Nice one Larry,

    Yours truly,
    Jan x

  • Frances Cooper
    18 February 2015

    My husband is 62 and has terminal cancer with only a few months to live. I fully empathise with you and your wife. I struggle on a daily basis and live the fear of losing my husband. My husband is exceptional in his outlook and has now accepted his fate. Unless you are going through this process I would recommend that people keep their ill informed opinions to themselves. Best wishes to you and your family

  • Tarnia Everett
    18 February 2015

    Larry, a wonderful piece of writing which I am ashamed to say made me tearful. My thoughts are with you and I send some love and hugs. Sorry I’ve not put a deep and meaningful comment, you’ve said it as it is and I accept it as you are living it. Lots of love XXX

  • Tony Lunney
    18 February 2015

    Larry.l am 66 in july have stage 4 colon cancer which as been operated on and l am currently undergoing chemotherapy for 12 cycles. I am curious how long.you were you angry that life can deliver.such a cruel blow.

  • Sylvia Haynes
    18 February 2015

    A very moving speech well done having stage 4 breast cancer I too was very offended and upset by this ignorant man I’m pretty sure if it was him he’d change his mind I wish you all the best with your treatment

  • Eric Jackson
    18 February 2015

    This article is the most useful one I have read in al my searches. My mother died of pancreatic cancer when she was 47. Towards the end, when she was effectively no longer with us, the doctor gave us a strong morphine tablet to stop pain, but also to stop breathing. This was a humane and sensible act as all the family were with her at the end. I have lived with prostrate cancer for 12 years, and the chemo is controlling the cancer growth at the moment. It is inevitable that I will die from this cancer, but am fortunate in having skilled consultants on the NHS who monitor my situation very well. I also think about when I will die, and concur with your wise description of the emotional and familial trauma. Thank you.

  • Fran Parker
    18 February 2015

    Larry ,no one knows what we go through,mine is cnacer. My children (2 out of five) are mad because I use humor to ge through. I had one year of chemo,one year of treatments,blood transfusions and the ever painful blood platelet shots. No one else knows but instead of falling apart I became a comedian. It has worked so far. You are a brave man and I wish your family strength. By the way my favorite saying through all this has been ,” Dream a dream,Create a reality”. I am writing a book on “parenting without Prozac. Best to you my friend.
    Fran Parker.2,20,2014

  • Josephine Ocallaghan
    18 February 2015

    A very moving piece if writing from Larry. I think he is extremely courageous and to my mind cancer is a terrible illness to live with and my thoughts are with him. He is a very brave man.

  • Marjorie Dean
    18 February 2015

    Thank you for such a fantastic blog article . I so agree with you on all accounts . With my thoughts and prayers for you and yours .

  • Nicola smith (no relation)
    18 February 2015

    Dear Larry, you share the views of millions! What an honest & powerful message challenging the flippant & idiotic opinion of a minority. I too, as were many, appaled by Dr Richard Smiths thoughtless & heartless statement. One that only a cold, medical, mechanical doctor could say. Gladly, I haven’t come across too many of his sort. I was moved by your honesty. How it might feel for the person who is suffering both physically & emotionally on so many levels. I had no idea how the cancer patient might feel, having to cope with the suffering of their loved ones on top of their own suffering. It is a tough journey, coming to terms with losing someone nearest & dearest to you. Of course we only want the best for our loved ones, it is part of our nature & nurture make up. It is selfish but love & grief often is. It takes more effort & redeems one usless, to except the enivitable without hope of a mirical. The argument that Richard puts across. ‘ cancer is the best way to die because you have time to put your affairs in order & say goodbye to loved ones’ Again, he couldn’t be more wrong.
    My Mum died very suddenly & unexpectedly after beating this torturous & suffocating desaese twice. It is believed it had returned for a third time. Mum was taken from us too soon, with no chance to say our goodbyes, no meaningful words shared, no wrongs righted or to say one more time how much we loved each other. Neither had Mum had chance to put her affairs in order. Close accounts, stop subscription mail etc. She hadnt written down or told anyone her wishes. This tormented my Dad no end. It only added to the suffering, that it was all down to us. We had no idea where to start, from song choices to a final resting place. We searched & searched for a scrap of paper, that Mum might have written something, after being nagged by my Dad to do so, but all we found were receipes! Mum wasnt interested on focusing on death, not for a moment. I firmly believe Mum wasnt ready to leave us, she wasn’t ready to meet cancer again, while she was well, she was having too much fun! And as a mother myself with two small children who adored her, i was enjoying the most precious & loving chapter in our sometimes terbulent relationship. Even after we cremated Mum, Dad was convinced he had got it wrong. Our only peace we can take from this most unbearable loss, is that this time it would have most likely been terminal & Mum had already said she couldn’t go through chemo again. We only found this significant details months later when the medical team was ready to discuss Mums condition with us, this only added to the torment. You mentioned Linda Bellingham, who was a truly inspirational woman. She faced cancer head on & took it by the balls but really, what choice did she have? Stephen Sutton Was a brave, brave young man. He hadn’t even started his life. He decided to do it his way & in doing so, raised thousands of pounds, inspired thousands & left a legacy. I wonder how his family feel about Dr Richard Smiths views? We need to put an end to Cancer. It doesnt care who it takes. My best friend little boy was diagnosed at One. He suvived & is now a healthy ten year old. Without the selfless acts of others & continued financial support from strangers, his outcome might have been very different.
    I wish you all the best Larry. I hope that thousands will continue to be inspired by your story & thousands more will be raised to help fight this vicious & unforgiving desaese.

    Lots of love,

    Nicola

  • Roma Gray
    18 February 2015

    Cancer in my family too please continue research for all

  • PAM ATKINSON
    18 February 2015

    The only thing i can say in response to this man Richards coments on wasting money on treating and curing cancer is” only when you have walked in the shoes of a cancer sufferer for even a day would you or any one els fully appreciate the devastation it brings on both the loved ones and the suferer of the evi ilness. I have been on both sides of the diagnosis and although both sides are different in the affects it brings to each one, It also brings devastation and a minefield of issues. It realy messes you up.there is no going back.

    once you hear those words. So anyone living with this diagnosis deserves respect and support from everyone because one day

  • mary Gorman
    18 February 2015

    There is NO easy way to die, no competition for suffering.
    All Dr Smith probably meant was that it had a few small, and possibly not always available, advantages over other forms of death. https://www.facebook.com/cat.turkington/posts/10152873222178493

  • Gaye Kasperuk, very grateful cancer survivor
    18 February 2015

    This man is amazing, articulate and a gentleman. As a cancer survivor I couldn’t agree more with the article. No-one, however much of a specialist you are, can understand what a very dark place just knowing you have cancer takes you to. At 4am in the morning it can be a very lonely place. I found the ‘cancer experts’ comments ignorant and offensive. I hope he gives up some of his valuable spare time to help the experts at CRUK, specialists that care and drive the treatments that cure and save peoples lives, thankfully like me. As we can tell from this gentlemans article, there is still a long way to go.

  • Sarah Cloke
    18 February 2015

    Wow! Well responded! I am the wife of a cancer sufferer, I can empathise with everything you say from your feelings to those around you, it is just like that. One extra thought for Richard. When we first had the diagnosis my niece asked me to walk the Shine Cancer London Marathon with. Some thing like 17,000 Cancer friends and relations were walking that night raising £3.5m for Cancer Research UK. Isn’t it fantastic that those suffering are the ones raising money to fund the next phase of research. I have 5 close friends who have been given that 10 years plus because their cancer was the more common kind and research has given quality of life.
    Larry you are amazing, thank you for being the voice for so many.

  • Gill
    18 February 2015

    Thank you for your totally honest insight into living life with terminal cancer. Though provoking and brilliantly written. This will be so helpful to so many people. Suffers, carers and loved ones alike. I wish you a peaceful pain free ending to your own life which we will all have to face eventually. Thank you again – Terry & Gill

  • Gill
    18 February 2015

    Thank you for your totally honest insight into living life with terminal cancer. Though provoking and brilliantly written. This will be so helpful to so many people. Suffers, carers and loved ones alike. I wish you a peaceful pain free ending to your own life which we will all have to face eventually. Thank you again Terry

  • Alison
    18 February 2015

    Thank you. You are truly inspirational. From a bowel cancer survivor.

  • jules
    18 February 2015

    I agree with Larry how does a consultant know how some one with cancer actually feels my brother was misdiagnosed with prostrate cancer was told that it was a water infection and not to worry he asked for a second opinion which confirmed that he had cancer but by that time it had spread he had chemotherapy but was so I’ll he stopped it by then it had reached his spine and he was bed bound very quickly I nursed him and I could see a business man that had his own company a strong man that enjoyed life turned into a frightened man that was slowly dieing without dignity as all his body organs were shutting down being unable to control his bowels or water works it is devastating for the family to see this my mother and father were so devastated having to bury there son before them my brother died 6 long months. Then my dear father was told he had bowel cancer in December 2013 by a consultant that said because of his age there wasn’t anything they could do my father was a alert quick thinking and had a good strong mind and brain 84 years young. His exact words were go home and enjoy Christmas! How could we knowing that my father was dying My father like myself had every fe years investigation of the bowels and blood test because of bleeding and problems with the bowels how was there never anything shown up in all those years my father died on February 20th 2014 at home with me as his career such a undignified death and in so much discomfort he was a pound and strong man within weeks became a person half the man he was he was I’m sure still in shock and couldn’t believe his life was over so quickly it broke the family’s heart and 5months later my mother passed with heart failure yet again getting the all clear the pervious week that her heart was fine……..
    I would like this consultant to go through what hundreds of family’s go through caring and living with cancer and maybe if he had a cancer scare his attuide would drastically change….my heart goes out to Larry and his family for writing this much respect and love

  • Pam
    18 February 2015

    You are a very brave and courageous man. My heart goes out to you and your family. We lost my brother to pancreatic cancer, aged 46. Thank you for writing this.

  • Maureen Glendenning
    18 February 2015

    Thank you for sharing this very moving account with us. My husband has had prostate for the last 3 years. He now has cancer in his bones, but no other treatment other than steroids, codeine and paracetamol. We are thankful for each day – we’ve been married 46 years and hope to reach the half-century – he is not in pain at the moment because of his meds. When the time comes, I want him to die with dignity. I also beleive very strongly in euthanasia, after all, we don’t allow animals to suffer, so why on earth do we humans have to?
    Well done Larry for such a well written article, and may the Lord have mercy on you.
    God Bless you and your family

  • sarah
    18 February 2015

    thank you for writing this. thank you.

  • Mr J Smith
    18 February 2015

    Dr Richard Smith wants horse whipping or worse he has not got a clue about the suffering cancer causes it’s victims.
    My father in law died at the age of 55 32yrs ago because for 18months he was diagnosed as diabetic I fact it was a tumour on his kidney that caused it to seep sugar into his blood stream by the time they diagnosed him correctly it was too late. He then spent 6months of pain, vommitting daily, deprivation of sleep and with apathy towards life. This caused unsurmountable stress and very little sleep for his wife and close family members including my wife and myself. My son lost his wife in 2006 to skin cancer at the age of 27 she left behind a 15 month old daughter. She visited her GP several times with a mole on her arm she had to insist he refer her to a specialist and he insanely referred her to a plastic surgeon because he said she was only concerned for cosmetic reasons, the diagnosis by the plastic surgeon was grade 2 melanoma. Three years later she had secondary’s in her lyhmpnodes it spread to her brain,bones and eventually her vital organs. She suffered vommitting upto 15/16 times a day till she died 10months later. The pain in her bones was awful she couldn’t walk within a couple of months of her terminal diagnosis,she had to suffer a broken femar for 4months before she died as well as a broken shoulder for 6 weeks. Furthermore I lost my 57 year old sister last March (2014) she was the baby of the family. She presented herself to her local hospital numerous amount of times with severe pain in her stomach so severe she would often pass-out this went on for several months sometimes she was admitted to the hospital on other occasions sent home with strong painkillers, their diagnosis at the time was pancreatitis, eventually in February she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer she died 5 short weeks later but for those 5weeks she was on the highest dose of morphine she could have and although it took the edge off the pain she still suffered considerable amount of pain.
    I hope DR Smith reads this because it would be interesting to know if he would be so arrogant to stick with his claim that cancer is the best way to die. I also resent his statement that the billions poured into cancer research is wasted, they have come a long long way to finding cure and prevention of some cancers and I’m sure eventually they will do so. I think this shows this man is an arrogant moron and he should be sacked for is insensitivity to cancer sufferers and their families.

  • Terry Edmonds
    17 February 2015

    I have just read this story for the second time and think it is a marvellous response to someone who is obviously very clever but does not understand how a person diagnosed with cancer really feels. I was diagnosed with bladder cancer last May and can only describe the last eight months as well. I had to have my bladder removed in September which means I have to live with a bag hanging from my belly for the rest of my life and at 60 years old I am struggling with that as it is a constant reminder. At the moment I am told that the operation was successfull in that the C has been removed but I have and will have for I hope a long time the fear of when and where will it come back. I have the most amazing family who are supporting me 110per cent but unfortunately do not always understand what I am going through. Just like that so called professional doctor who unfortunately does not know what it’s like to have this horrible disease. Good luck to you larry

  • Christine Hadfield
    17 February 2015

    I can totally relate to this as my dad died of cancer ,his cancer should have been totally curable but was misdiagnosed it and it spread from his thyroid to his throat then to his bones and lastly to his lungs where he had a truly awful time and thankful not long to live as this stage, but it was truly hard for him and for us who loved him to see his suffering. NO cancer is not a good way to die and i know how much he struggled, his battle lasted 7 years. its enough to make me want to see euthanasia in our country and i know if i had the same fate i would want to go. i saw my dads struggle . my mom also had misdiagnosed bowel cancer she suffered for months, ended up with complications from her operation which meant she lost her leg and then had MRSA!! had a truly awful death its so easy for those that have not suffered or been round those that have to suffer to make these stupid statements. I hope that you you can find peace from your suffering like my dad you have had a long and hard battle. I am totally for Euthanasia,the present system of denying food and drink to people to let them go is the most cruel disgusting practice we dont treat our pets that are dying of cancer that that way , if we did we would go to prison so why can they allow this and not help those that want to leave to go with dignity and in peace.

  • Val Mack
    17 February 2015

    What a heartfelt response , and agree with every thing you have said . My husband is in remission from bowel cancer , they caught it early thank the Lord. It was a roller coaster of emotions, fear being the main one for him myself and all our family, and he is constantly fearing its return and still lives in fear . Dr Richard Smith obviously has not had a loved one with cancer . I have just lost my father , he was in renal failure and had Prostrate cancer , and was in constant fear of a prolonged death in a hospital bed or hospice , he went quickly with a cardiac arrest , not very nice for me but so much kinder to him . Larry God bless you

  • Gill Hilton
    17 February 2015

    Dear Larry
    Amazingly honest statement of “as it is”. Having watched both my mother and father die of cancer I also wish that the statement “I’ve had enough” could be taken seriously by those, who seem to see it as there self imposed duty to protect us from ourselves. I can’t even bring myself to speak of politicians, who know that even if they have sincere feelings in favour of this, their message will be so twisted by the press, to make them unelectable. What can we do? Is some sort of poll of the entire population possible. Sorry to go on so

  • Chris Parker.
    17 February 2015

    A very moving and truthful article, well done!, agree totally with you.

  • Lorraine Davidson
    17 February 2015

    Well said Larry we just lost our Beloved Mother in November last year to Pancreatic Cancer we endured 25 months of a complete roller coaster of emotions Disbelief, anger,think they may have diagnosed wrongly, then reality God it was so hard miss her every day, I so hope as difficult as it is for you to keep strong and keep fighting May God Bless You x

  • Wendy
    17 February 2015

    Larry my heart goes out to you and yours I have been their one of the most traumatic times of my life, as for the doctors I am losing all faith take care and good luck with your recovery.

  • Chris Highton
    17 February 2015

    Very brave guy. My wife had Inflammatory Breast cancer 2006-7 and since then the amount of treatment and medication afforded her has been second to not. I admire Larry for his stance and his reply, the Doctor gives the impression that he doesn’t believe that we should all have a fighting chance. Larry is right also when he says the impact on the people around, me and my daughter, in my wife’s case is very profound and devastating. I shed more than a tear in the time leading up to us being told she had responded. I salute you Larry.

  • Trish
    17 February 2015

    Larry I so agree with what you say. I lost my husband to Esophageal cancer ( sorry for the spelling) he was 53 years old. Everything you say I can relate to. Oh I always thought he was the one you read about miracle man who’s cancer vanished. I always had hope he must have wanted to scream at me. No I don’t think cancer is the best way to die. Take care xxx

  • Jane Atack
    17 February 2015

    Articulate and well reasoned. I wonder if the ‘good Doctor’ will have the courtesy to respond.
    I pray the Angels take you the moment you decide it’s time to go.

  • Jacquie
    17 February 2015

    Larry, what a marvellous response. Richard has it totally wrong. My husband has cancer too. His has a rare desmo plastic melanoma which occurred on his nose. After 7 operations we are told no more can be done having gone back as far as his brain and having extensive reconstruction. Chemo and radiotherapy were not an option due to the nature of the cancer. He now suffers constant nerve pain and we have no idea how things will progress. We live life as normally as possible but every little thing that crops up stirs up our anxiety. My father died of a heart attack. Sudden and shocking to our family, but I know which I would prefer if I had the choice. I wish you as much long and pain free life as possible. Very best wishes.

  • Jacqui crewe
    17 February 2015

    Very well said. Thank you for putting my very same points in writing. Whisking the best for you – Jacqui xx

  • Felicity
    17 February 2015

    Thank you for putting forward your view on living and dying with cancer. As someone who has had several close family members die of cancer, two in the last two years I agree with you on every point and am very glad that you wrote about them, in answer to the comment that was made about dying from cancer. Thinking of you with love and sympathy as you deal with your disease.

  • Jacqueline
    17 February 2015

    words fail me, with that comment, they obviously not cared for someone with cancer, or know nothing about this awful disease. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us , I am with you on assisted dying. Big hugs and love to you and family xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Janice
    17 February 2015

    Larry my heart goes out to you I lost my beloved Mum to pancreatic cancer 20 years ago she was 53 she had her stomach removed in a 9hour operation she couldn’t eat only small portions of mashed food like a baby then she would be sick she suffered for 11 months after her operation and the cancer spread to her bones to watch her suffer and try to carry on with her life was heartbreaking at one stage she was crawling on the floor on her hands and kness I miss her everyday and if I came face to face with Dr Smith I would like to punch him in the face, sorry but makes my blood boil there is no research into pancreatic cancer that seems to have any positive results as yet and most People diagnosed suffer terribly. I wish you all the best you are so brave for speaking out when faced with such a heartbreaking day to day treatment love to you and your Family x

  • Anna
    17 February 2015

    God I feel for you Larry…my husband is just the other side of treatment for throat cancer and is on the snail trail of recovery…we have to wait for a scan of his throat to know if they’ve got it all and he gets the all clear…we believe he’s been fortunate they didn’t have to operate. Everything you stated is so spot on when you first hear the word “Cancer” as your life as you know it is gone, on hold and unlikely to be the same again even as a saviour. I have the greatest admiration for you and the strenght of your convictions. I don’t know what I’d do in your situation concerning “assisted dying” but surely choice is the ultimate aim of democracy. If we have a register for organ donation and none resuscitation why not on for assissted dying in the event of terminal disease.

  • Christina Mitchell
    17 February 2015

    You are a brave man Larry. I am so sorry you are going through this. I can sympathise with you as my mother died of throat cancer in 2013. I strongly believe in assisted dying, to watch someone you love go through what she did is heart breaking. My heart goes out to you.

  • Cameron Blair
    17 February 2015

    Thank you Larry for taking the time to write down your thoughts. I am recently diagnosed and although I expect to survive for up to four years the sentence was handed down with the diagnosis and all the psycological “stuff” that comes along with it. My wife of 30 years and I carry this baggage constantly and although I dread the “end game” it has essentially been there every waking moment. I think the guy just does’nt get it but will stop short of suggesting that he try cancer before spouting his unwanted opinions. I could not agree more with your comments on assisted dying and once again would thank you for your excellent blog.

  • Pauline Murphy
    17 February 2015

    So very very sad and so true I have watched 4 people die from cancer Mum Dad and two brothers and I wouldn’t have wished My MUms or my borthers death on anyone very very bad. Reading this sounds so very very sad but true.

  • Tina McLeod
    17 February 2015

    On behalf of everyone who has suffered and is suffering Cancer I would like to thank you for your eloquent and heartfelt rejection of Dr Smiths assertions. Having lost my mum and dad to pancreatic and oesophageal cancer respectively I would have to agree with every point you made. I wish you all the very best.

  • Peace
    17 February 2015

    Understandably, cancer is very horrible to have as many have lost their fight against cancer and I have many friends survive cancer and it is a blessing. However, I feel the funding for other diseases out there that are worse than cancer and take the lives of more people is not there. For example, cancer may get 6 million while other more critical diseases may get 6k or 60k. I feel it is important to advocate for all who suffer and are fighting a battle as such.

  • Diane
    17 February 2015

    Larry thank you for using your valuable time in write this, my thoughts are with you. I agree fully with you, as to assisted dying, we all should have the choice.

  • Diana
    17 February 2015

    Larry, thank you so much for being so BRAVE and open about this. I couldn’t agree more with you. You have all my respect and I wish you and your loved ones may you be able to go down this path in peace.

  • Angela Beggs
    17 February 2015

    Larry you are an amazing Gentleman, Every thing you said I completely True, my Dear Daddy God rest him died with Pancreatic cancer, as did my dear friend , the pain they suffered was unbearable, I will never forget my dads pain till the day I die, he was a good man and helped everyone as was my friend , more Research is needed in this field. When my Dad was told what he had from their on in which was 12 weeks he never smiled ever again, could not make decisions, sleep left him as did his appetite, . I have worked for Research for 25 years in raising much needed funds , and believe me they have come a very long way in Research . Time is the essence, and research with all their new Drugs can give people many extra years to enjoy Life, pain free. Without Research a lot of people would have died.

  • Sandra Colquhoun
    17 February 2015

    I presume Richard has never had first hand experience of someone with terminal Cancer or he wouldn’t have said they only have pain nearer the end. My husband died from Pancreatic Cancer in 2005 and I can assure you the pain I watched him suffer for 11 months was heartbreaking. I only wish he had been diagnosed sooner. He had been attending his G.P. For 5 months before diagnosis, and it was only diagnosed at that time because we went private for a C.T scan. I dread to think how long it would have taken for his diagnosis if we hadn’t taken action ourselves to find out what was causing the terrible pain, sickness and weight loss (he had lost 3 stone in 2 weeks) no one should have to suffer like that or be watching someone they love suffering so much. No death is easy to handle but to me Cancer can never be called the best death. I myself am a 12 year survivor of Breast Cancer, for which I’m grateful, we really need to find a cure as soon as possible for ALL CANCERS

  • KAREN LUDFORD
    17 February 2015

    I am a BC sufferer and have lost my mother to pancreatic cancer and have 2 friends terminally Ill with this terrible illness. No cancer is good – and certainly not good to die from. We need to do more research for pancreatic cancer as it is the worst!

  • Julia
    17 February 2015

    I lost my son suddenly 18 months ago from a brain cyst and not even a year later my husband was diagnosed with bowel cancer and after a bowel op he is now back on chemo as one of his lymph nodes was affected.Friends and family say how amazing we all are dealing with it all but what else are we supposed to do life has dealt us and Larry and 100’s of others bad cards but we just have to get on and deal with it.Thank you for baring your heart Larry I totally agree with every word you said.

  • Karrie
    17 February 2015

    I can honestly say I agree with every point Larry makes so eloquently in this response. My mother has just been diagnosed with non operable cancer of the oesophagus and liver. She is about to start palliative chemotherapy. We are a strong and supportive family, but this is hard on everyone. Any research that can lead to earlier detection or better health advice has got to be a positive step forward.

  • Kate Parkes
    17 February 2015

    God bless you Larry, I agree and support all that you have written. I lost my dad to Bone Cancer, he was not able to have chemo. I watched him from one month to the next slowly getting worse and worse, his last few months bed bound, he was in terrible pain some of the time, he definitely did’nt think it was a good way to die? But not once in all his suffering did he ever complain, he was a brave man. I worked at a veterinary centre for many years so I saw a lot of animals in pain, with diseases, or just had enough from old age and I always used to say humans should have the choice to be out of their pain and suffering if they chose , why not it’s their life….. My 14year old dog has been living with Pancreatitus for a while, when the bad days get more frequent and his quality of life is no more. I will do the right thing and kiss him goodbye, I will not let him suffer.

  • Chris French
    17 February 2015

    What a fantastically thoughtful and well reasoned reply to Dr Smiths point of view. It stirred lots of buried emotions for me having lost my wonderful Father to pancreatic cancer in 1977 at the age of 49. I was angry then that so little was known and so little could be done. It is a tragic waste that survival rates for this type of cancer remain so pitifully low. I wish Larry and his family all the strength and courage they need, and thank him for sharing his experience with us so that we might better understand.

  • Susan Kennedy
    17 February 2015

    What an amazing man you are, I am so sorry for your suffering xxx

  • Janet R.
    17 February 2015

    I’ve just been given a terminal prognosis for secondary breast cancer, I’m 50 years old but was first diagnosed at 47, many of the things that have been written I can totally empathise with, I wouldn’t choose to die with cancer neither would my 21 year old twins, husband, brothers, parents, close family members, girl friends, work colleagues and neighbours, the list goes on. It’s true what Larry says about coping with everyone else’s emotions, it’s a huge burden but what do you do? You can’t turn people away when all they want is to show how much they love you, it’s probably the hardest thing for me, I need lots of rest whilst enduring the chemo but I also need the love of people around me, it’s a double edge sword. The article written says it all and I admire Larry for being able to find the words that reflect probably what most terminal cancer patients think and are going through. I wish Larry and everyone else in our unfortunate position well and hope that one day in the not so distant future Cancer Research uk will find a cure through their research which will put an end to this unforgiving disease.

  • Jessica Beeby
    17 February 2015

    God bless you Larry and thank you for writing such a powerful, emotional, informative and supportive article. I wish you all the strength it takes to find your peace x

  • Patricia Hay
    17 February 2015

    I identified with every word of Larry’s article having lost my husband from cancer when he was 56. His initial kidney cancer, first diagnosed when he was 49, spread to his bladder, then to his brain. Those seven years of struggling through surgery and various treatments gave him plenty of time to put his affairs in order and say his goodbyes. But his quality of life, the mental anguish and emotional effect on himself, his young son and myself were not worth it. I’d have given everything to have ended his struggle sooner. Our son has since suffered a mental breakdown due to the emotional effect of watching his dad suffer so. How can we not carry on searching for a cure for cancer?

  • sally
    17 February 2015

    Such true and raw emotions, a very brave man! I was with my sister in law who had bowel cancer every step of the way. And how in gods name can that man believe it’s the best. Larry we hear you and all I can wish and hope for, in kindness for you is speed.
    I cannot understand fully how you feel and being honest I am the thankful for that.
    Very honest and emotional, God bless xx

  • linda brown
    17 February 2015

    Luvvie you are so right, I had bowel cancer, but have now to take chemo 6 months, I don’t know if it will be gone, buts here’s hoping. My family are fab, but I note what you said about them feeling the “victim”. It’s their way of coping, Larry we are the strong ones, I wish you well luvvie. xx

  • jan
    17 February 2015

    OMG Larry you are so so right. How dare this ‘man’ say what he did? My son has terminal osteosarcoma! He has suffered for the last seven years culminating in an above knee amputation, three thoracotamies where he lost nearly half of his total lung capacity, he’s had two ops on his spinal column to ‘scrape’ the tumour from around his spinal cord. It has now come back on his lung at a point that is inoperable, chemo is not working, so he’s just got to ‘wait’. My hero was 16 when this started and has been told he has approx 8 months. I never knew that there were so many teenagers that had cancer until Ed was taken up to UCH London. Research needs to carry on, there has been so many changes since Ed started chemo 7 years ago – ones that have given him extra time. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy so all I can say is that I hope and pray that Richard Smith and his family never ever get cancer and have to live and die through what we are going through!!!

  • Margo
    17 February 2015

    Wonderful article. Made me realise exactly what we need to do to be more there for my mum. God bless.

  • Jean Bates
    17 February 2015

    God bless you Larry my comment should say – so sorry!

  • Jean Bates
    17 February 2015

    My husband had oesophageal cancer which was removed and he went on to live a near normal life – although he still struggled with eating for the next four years, then developed pain in his back in April 2009. He was convinced that cancer had returned and after many weeks of tests at doctors and then further scans etc at the hospital it was confirmed in June 2009, he had cancer in the spine which was invading his liver and other organs. We the family were told by the oncologist that his prognosis was not good. Months maybe. By the time the diagnosis was made my husband had changed immensely. He had been bedridden for two months on morphine, could not or would not talk about his health, had stopped eating so had lost nearly all his body weight, he lost in total about five stone, maybe more, We, the family did everything we could to keep him happy and comfortable. He passed away the day before his 59th birthday on 11/07/09. f this is the way to die god help us all, it has scarred all of us in different ways, try living with someone with terminal cancer and then still say that cancer is the best way to die!! God bless you Richard with your fight, I for one will go,on supporting cancer research until every cancer patient survives.

  • Chris Heale
    16 February 2015

    My brother died of pancreatic cancer in March last year, having been diagnosed eleven months earlier. He was 41.
    There were some great times in the last year of his life and memories that I’ll cherish forever, but nothing will convince me that his was the best way to die.
    Given the choice between cancer and old age I think I know which he would have chosen.

  • Nicki Ferguson
    16 February 2015

    I have just read this wonderful article by Larry and I just want to congratulate you Larry on your honesty and the way you have articulTed living with a cancer diagnosis. Everything you have said so reflects what all of us are going thru and certainly echos my journey…..god bless you and thank you

  • Annette Rooney
    16 February 2015

    Larry you are inspiration to us all . I my self am bowl cancer surviver and skin cancer I feel greatfull to be here . Not one day goes past that I dont think and worry about my children as I was under 50 when got bowel cancer . God bless u larry you will always be in my prayers .

  • sharon jackson
    16 February 2015

    You are a very brave man Larry. I feel for you and your family at this really difficult time. I lost my husband to cancer and it affects the whole family and we all deal with it in different ways. May you continue to deal with it as courageously as you obviously are. Thank you for sharing.

  • janet cordwell
    16 February 2015

    I have breast cancer and have just ended my chemo and radiotherapy treatments, I have lost many friends and workmates due to various cancers, I also feel the same about assisted dying. If it’s considered “humane” to put to sleep animals that are suffering pain from a fatal and incurable illness, then what would we call the act of making someone suffer pain and loss of dignity and refusal of your final wishes ? Maybe we would call it ‘barbaric ” I wish you good luck in your fight for the right to assisted dying .

  • fleming
    16 February 2015

    try being told you have MND!….death sentence….NO medication of any kind!….NO HOPE! NO CURE!….nothing 75% of patients are dead within 14 months!

  • Yvonne Weekes
    16 February 2015

    I admire Larry for spending time writing this. I feel for him. As I cared for my Mam and later was with my brother while he reached the end of his journey. It was incredibly hard, and broke my heart. But that was.nothing to what it did to my brother. You have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes to understand. God Bless.you Larry

  • Sharon Briggs
    16 February 2015

    I lost my mum a year ago to lung cancer , that spread to her brain . I think research is the only way to go . How can anyone say that no more money should be spent on cancer research ! This man obviously hasn’t been affected by anyone in his family having cancer . It is an evil disease & has no boundaries . He needs to hang
    his head in shame !! You are an inspiration Larry . Take care xx

  • Anita
    16 February 2015

    Well done Larry!!!

  • maureen mcphee
    16 February 2015

    This story is inspirational too all cancer sufferers and there carers my husband was diagnosed with Nasal Phangeal cancer on July 20012 miraculously it disappeared with intense chemo and radiation treatment he now has secondary cancer nodules in lungs and one in liver but remains positive and still having treatment to control it ,thank you Larry for sharing your story God bless you for giving us all the courage to carry on God willing we will have a cure one day soon x

  • chrisie godden
    16 February 2015

    That was very moving and so true I think that you are a very brave man Larry, I have lost two sisters to terminal cancer so I know what its like, I will definitely keep you and your family in my thoughts.

  • Nana Speakman
    16 February 2015

    Anyone who has had a family member diagnosed with the disease would not hesitate to agree. I watched my brother die of bowel cancer, and have watched my 3 year old grandson fight neuroblastoma. No child should suffer this way. Dr Smith is talking utter rot.

  • Susan Doan
    16 February 2015

    Bravo Larry for writing this response to this clueless person. I’m a stage 4 PC fighter in my 50s and although I’m trying to make the best of a horrible situation this is an aweful way to leave this world. It’s painful and the toll it’s taken on my family is so hard to watch. I wouldn’t wish the diagnosis of terminal cancer on my worst ememy. Let’s find a cure or at least work on an early detection method for PC and some other silent killers!

  • Mrs JENNIE Joyce
    16 February 2015

    What an articulate and lovely argument Larry has written . I was diagnose with breast cancer many years ago so know exactly what he is saying . The only difference is I survived Larry is only looking death in the face , God knows when . Assisted dying for all should be our option . Of course without a shadow of doubt research must continue for all cancers .

  • florence garton
    16 February 2015

    my husband as just died of lung cancer and to me he really died inside when they told him it was terminal it is not the best way to die to my mind it is stupid to say that every thing larry as said is just how we were my husband only lived just over a year he never wanted to talk about dieing and he did not wont to know how long he had left more money is needed to find a cure my heart goes out to you larry for having the courage to do this xx

  • katchars
    16 February 2015

    Your response is an inspiration to all cancer sufferers. You have to rise above the ‘idiots’ who have no idea. Thank you for sharing, God Bless you.

  • dorothy McKeown
    16 February 2015

    You are an amazing person Larry. The truth is not easy but it’s better than being fed a load of rubbish We need more and more Research, these guys are doing a magnificent job and must be assisted in every way to keep going. Take care of yourself.i wish you well

  • renee Reid
    16 February 2015

    Points very well made.

  • Beverly bondon
    16 February 2015

    Larry what a brilliant response to a complete a…hole! Love and peace to you.x

  • Marie
    16 February 2015

    I am so sorry that anyone has to deal with this terrible disease. My husband died of pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in January or February after being in pain since the October before then (if not before that time). A few years earlier he told me that he felt really tired and I said he should see his doctor. I believe that must have been when his cancer began to affect him, He had various tests including a blood test, but nothing was found. He did not want to have chemo or radio therapy, as he believed that (with a terminal diagnosis) his quality of life would not be improved. He died in May, aged 57, and would have welcomed the chance to legally end his life before then. Although as survivor of our marriage, I felt a mixture of relief and guilt when he died, I would have supported his wish to die. I felt guilty because I wanted him to die so that his pain was ended, and also relieved that he had finally escaped it. But, I also felt guilty because I wanted him to live. Again, I believe that if he had been diagnosed earlier, I think his cancer was Stage 4 when he was diagnosed, he might have stood some chance. Pancreatic cancer is one of those cancers that are generally found too late.

  • Fiona
    16 February 2015

    Thank you Larry…love & best wises to you, your family & friends

  • louuse
    16 February 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on your life, my own darling sister is in secondary cancer with it now in her bones but the team at the bacalaste hospital in Caen, France have worked very hard to contain it and at this moment she is doing well but we never forget that this time it has not been removed. I send you love and my best wishes to you and your family and pray you have quality time left to enjoy with your people xxx

  • Patricia Hutchison
    16 February 2015

    Thank-you for taking the time to write this page. I’m terminal Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer). I was diagnosed aged 45yrs now 55yrs & still fighting. Take chemo tablets at home everyday. They say you just live in hope but that’s far from the truth. I would like not to wake up & struggle through yet another day. So thank-you

  • sue
    16 February 2015

    well writen goodfor you to speak out,i lost my dad to lung cancer my brother in law to lukemia,and now my sister is terminal with bowel cancer and non hogkins lymphoma.wishing you and your wife all the very best defo no what yous are going through godbless

  • Gina Armstrong
    16 February 2015

    Larry, thank you for helping me understand. Your response to shockingly insensitive comments from someone who should have known better is incredible.

  • Sharron
    16 February 2015

    You are a true Legend.. So perfectly put. God bless you.

  • Anthony Johnson
    16 February 2015

    bless you and a massive huge thanks for sharing you’re life with everyone
    I wish hire situation had a better outcome
    if u had a wand I’d wave it in a flash
    love

  • Anne
    16 February 2015

    My husband had been I’ll for 2-3 year going to see his GP often they didn’t listen told him he was depressed and gave him antidepressants but of course they never helped, by the time he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic Cancer he was too I’ll to have chemotherapy, and apart from pain relieving surgery there was nothing that could be done.For the next seven life was a living nightmare.You ask if is better to die suddenly or slowly there really isn’t an answer to this because everyone has different view s and everyone is right. My beloved husband of 38years died on the 11.11. 11 seven months after diagnosis aged 61.My grief will always be with me the memories of those hidious months etched on my mind.So how can anyone think cancer is good way to die.And without research how can anything change.There I so much more to this story as there is for family who has to face such devesting news. Doctors please listen to your patients.

  • isla mcallister
    16 February 2015

    Wonderfully true. Exactly how my mum explained it! Especially others feeling like the victims! ‘ how will i manage without you’ my mum like you fought cancer twice but it beat her in the end in may 2013. Stomach cancer. Horrid physically and emotionally too! She wanted it all over in the march enoughs enough she would say!! But cancer dragged her alonf another8/9 weeks!!! my kids & i have raised over £800 to help cancer research since . X

  • Anne Tindall
    16 February 2015

    Thank you Harry for sharing with us. I feel so humbled by it.

  • Pat
    16 February 2015

    My husband died from a rare cancer – a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme – brain cancer. His death was very sudden just 36 hours after diagnosis. I have since found out that this type of cancer is at the bottom of funding for research projects. ALL cancers should have adequate funding for research to find a cure. Death by cancer is definitely not the best. I just hope Dr Richard Smith does not get cancer and have to eat his words.

  • Ann Tidey
    16 February 2015

    Thank you Larry, for this. My parents both died after long, painful, debilitating cancer battles (one, a brain tumour; the other, breast cancer). In both cases it was distressing for all and undignified for them. Some of the medical staff dealing with my mother were not among the most sensitive, and I ended up battling with them, when all I wanted was relief from pain and distress for my mother. It is a HORRIBLE disease. You spoke about your experience in such a powerful, but rational way; I can only applaud your words. I shall save what you have written so that I can at least have some sensitivity when others are in this situation. Alternatively, I will use them if it comes my way. Wishing you love, peace and joy.

  • Judith Buckley
    16 February 2015

    I am so sorry you are having to walk this path once again. I thank you for your sensitive and succinct response to a shocking and insensitive article and for an insight into what it is like from your point of view. I hope it will help me and others to be of more help to our suffering loved ones.

  • Carol Selemba
    16 February 2015

    Larry I think you are amazing, it makes me so angry to see these comments by IDIOT RICHARD SMITH. I actually emailed the CEO of the BMJ and told her exactly what I thought! I lost my dear husband to Melanoma (skin cancer) and he knew he was terminally ill. It broke my heart but I cannot begin to imagine how my man felt. Put me infront of the IDIOT and lets talk!!! Larry I finish by saying what an amazing gentleman you are, my thoughts are with you and your family

  • Evelyn
    16 February 2015

    I’d like to thank Larry for writing this blog. I lost my sister last October to another ‘rare’ cancer which seems to belong to the same family of cancers as Larry’s. As those cancers are not so well known they tend not to be considered as possibilities when the patient describes their symptoms to their doctor. My sister was given the impression that the doctors thought she was making things up with the result that she obtained nothing to help her with her appalling symptoms. By the time her condition was identified it was too late and she died a few weeks after receiving a diagnosis.

  • Tricia Collins
    16 February 2015

    I watched my mother die from this particular cancer and agree that nothing must stop the doctors and scientists in this field from hopefully finding a cure one day. I find it hard to believe that a doctor would suggest otherwise. I hope he reads your response and feels ashamed.

  • Maureen donlan
    16 February 2015

    Cancer is the best way to die I don’t think so I watched my beloved son die in front of me absolutely harrowing.

  • Mary price
    16 February 2015

    Yes. Why is it that if we had 4 legs and a tail, our suffering would be at an end. If an animal were subjected to the pain & suffering that Humans do, they would be prosecuted and end up in Jail. Takes thinking about !!

  • Colin McMeckan
    16 February 2015

    A very well written and interesting article. I can relate to a lot of what has been said , after losing a family member to this vile disease a couple of years ago.

  • Jane Vigon
    16 February 2015

    This is a very sincere, interesting and informative response. Thank you.
    2 comments: I do recommend the book “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande who gave the recent Reith Lectures.
    Also, this quote from Hamlet:
    “If it be not now, yet it is to come. The readiness is all. ”
    Ecclesiastes is also very calming for me.

  • gail davies
    16 February 2015

    I. personally think what the cancer does your your mind is worse .How do you come to terms with the thoughts of sleeping forever .My dad couldnt accept leaving us .A horrible way to die .

  • Krystyna Rabin
    16 February 2015

    So very well written. I wish you and yours all the best. The issue of dignity in dying must also be addressed and sorted very soon. Xx

  • Jim ross
    16 February 2015

    What about children who have cancer. If a cure was found it would give them the life they deserve

  • Joy Fisher
    16 February 2015

    My partner has pancreatic cancer & your words describe our situation to a t. I totally agree with all you have written & wish both you & your wife lots of sunny days ️xxx

  • Zoe
    16 February 2015

    Strong words and no one knows how they’d feel till they were in the situation themselves. Research is vital

  • Janice Brooks
    16 February 2015

    Hear, hear
    Breast cancer, stage 2
    ‘Successfully treated’ but find it hard to buy into that idea. The phsycological effects ARE extremely far-reaching

  • ann corbally
    16 February 2015

    A balanced realistic article.my 94 year old father had 2 years of pain and treatment before the cancer won and he talked often about how animals did not have to go through the pain and indignity .

  • Amy Horridge
    16 February 2015

    What a well written article. I’m currently 1/3 through my chemo for Hodgkins Lymphoma (I’m 29) and so many points of the article hit home.
    Thank you for putting into words so eloquently what is sometimes difficult to verbalise.

  • Linda
    16 February 2015

    A very well thought out response. I totally agree with everything you have said. I would be interested to hear the good Dr’s response .

  • Lorraine Gagin
    16 February 2015

    So well written without rancour,but deeply moving,,lost many friends and family members to cancer,,it’s 11 years since I went thro chemo and an op for lung cancer,lucky to have survived,up to now,,it’s so ignorant and insulting to all cancer sufferers to dismiss cancer research ,not only those with cancer but also those close to them,, to experience it is to understand,,lot of respect to you Larry .xx

  • fiona perry
    16 February 2015

    I lost my beloved partner to advanced prostate cancer six months ago. It was a vile way to die, to see my man deteriorate over the sixteen months he survived after diagnosis, plus the impact on our relationship and life together. Not everyone wants to spend their time contemplating life, the universe and everything following diagnosis ! For us, it was just a struggle to get through the days and our lives went under what with the constant appointments, treatments and finally the rotten end of life ‘care’ he had in our local hospital. He always felt that life without any quality to it was no life at all. Thanks for the honesty and fortrightness of your article.

  • June Taylor
    16 February 2015

    I could not agree more with this article, it was so well written and eloquently puts across so well how hard it is to live with this dreadful disease. And after being with and watching my beloved Brother Eddie die of cancer at 56 I can tell you first hand, it is NO way to die. Bless his heart, panic attacks in the middle of the night when he awoke to find himself in a Hospice and unable to breathe due to the insidious spread of this awful disease were the most terrible sounds I’ve ever heard. Believe me there is no worse way to die. Mercifully, he did in the end, just go to sleep while we who loved him, held his hand and told him how much we loved him. But not before he had gone through hell and wasted away before our eyes. I am still in awe of the care and devotion shown to him by The Severn Hospice in Shrewsbury and could never thank them enough. And now my poor cousin is in Hospital being cared for due to the side effects of chemo and radiography that she has had to endure, bless her she has lost 11lbs so far but we are hopeful the cancer is localised and hopefully she will return home to resume her life. Anyone who says that cancer is the way to go has either been living under a rock or deserves to.

  • helen Riley
    16 February 2015

    My mum recently lost her short but very painful battle with pancreatic cancer. I personally don’t think it’s the best way to die! Your article is very honest and true, thank you for sharing.

  • Amanda Rowberrry
    16 February 2015

    Yes I totally agree with all that you say Larry. This doctor was speaking in ignorance. I too was stage 3 advanced bowel cancer, now 3 years since chemo. Couldn’t tolerate 8 cycles. Only managed 4. Yes I feel the pressure innocently placed by friends and family to stay alive and beat cancer. I swing from living healthy lifestyle to the “what the hell, I’m probably going to die anyway”. Turning 60 on Friday in the knowledge that my odds of surviving cancer to 5 years are 47%. I try to live for each day mindfully. I do my best but truthfully I’m very tired. And yes I cannot understand why animals can be despatched when things become too much and yet we cannot have this option. I am hoping that when the time comes that you can slip peacefully away into a long and pleasant sleep. X

  • Marie
    16 February 2015

    Well written. Everything you said is like looking at my husband. Also suffering with pancreatic cancer. Between family members coming with the latest cure, giving their tuppence worth, knowing they mean well but wishing they’ed leave us alone. So far he has no pain but knowing it will happen is heartbreaking. My husband is only 55. The best way to die, I think not.

  • Paula Morgan
    16 February 2015

    I heard Dr Smith on radio 2’s interview with Jeremy Vine. I was totally shocked by his opinion. How can anyone make such assumptions, when they are fortunate enough (like me ) to not be in such a dreadful position. I am not terminally ill, but the thought of ever having to receive such devastating news truly terrifies me! One day and please God it will be soon, there will be a cure for cancer. In the meantime my heart goes out to all who endure days, months and years of suffering – patients and their loved ones alike. Arrogance and ignorance musr be infuriating to people who are actually experiencing the subject in question – I can only imagine. Brilliantly written Larry – needed to be said!

  • Lynda
    16 February 2015

    What a fantastic piece of writing. Thankyou. I am a cancer sufferer. I shouldn’t be here really after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2013. It had spread to the surface of my bowel, liver, my heart muscle and an area behind my tummy button. I had chemo, surgery, more chemo and making what I thought was a good recovery got diagnosed with breast cancer last December. I’ve had the lumpectomy and been assured it hasn’t “spread” but who really knows. My next lot of treatment will be decided when I see my oncologist this week. I “fight” every day, I enjoy the time I have left and that gets me through this. No one really knows how I feel. The people around me make the right noises I guess. I wish every single fellow cancer sufferer the very best. Keep fighting!!!!

  • Mark Richardson
    16 February 2015

    I could not agree more with every word, Larry very well written, thank you……

  • Jo atkins
    16 February 2015

    I’m in the same sort of position as you and agree with all you have said I’m not sure that I want to carry on with palliative chemo

  • leanne
    16 February 2015

    I have a dad that has copd and some other cancers and had them for many years and when he was first diagnosed he wouldn’t stop doing his gardening and everything else he could do it has only been the last year that he hasn’t been able to do anything as he can’t get out of bed and it has not been easy seeing someone die but I know that at 82 my dad has had a good life so I agree with Larry that cancer is not the best way to die for anyone

  • colin double
    16 February 2015

    What a fantastic response and such detailed points. Bless this guy for making people understand the pain that cancer patients have to endure outside of this daily struggle. Colin

  • Jenny Humphries
    16 February 2015

    I’ve lost several family members to cancer, there is nothing ‘good’ about watching helplessly as they fight and suffer. We mourned and grieved for my sister for 6 months after her terminal diagnosis until she finally succumbed to inoperable stomach cancer, discovered too late. Larry is right, the focus needs to be on early diagnosis and that will only happen through continued research.

  • Mary readings
    16 February 2015

    My sister died two weeks ago having being diagnosed with lung/brain cancer the week before! We are all devastated. We thought she had a few months and had plans…. Im not in this position myself which means that maybe I haven’t got a valid opinion. I have an opinion anyway – I think we all know we are going to die so we are all living with a death sentence. However, none of us really believes we are going to die and that’s how we get our head around living. Any of us could go at any moment, we just don’t believe we will. Of course we have to find a cure.

  • Amanda Scriven-Purcell
    16 February 2015

    Dr Richard Smith, I wonder what your doctorate was awarded in. Clearly not in the real effects of cancer. I have lost 3 people to pancreatic cancer, ranging from 52 to 82! All had very little time to adjust and arrange things. All were ill for MANY more months before the doctors we’re able to identify the real cause and by the time they did, it was too late. An awful way to die, both for the individual and the family.

  • lesleyvGilzean Smith
    5 February 2015

    I can only think that this Dr Richard Smith has not watched a member of his family die of cancer I’d say it’s anything but an easy way to die, and they should continue trying to find a cure but I also feel there are a lot of other terminal illnesses that don’t seem to get any money to send out nursing staff ( Orr someone who knows about other illnesses ) that you can talk to but cancer is a hard disease and knocks people trying to get treatment so sick and I’ll

  • Roy Bowdery
    30 January 2015

    A balanced and well thought response. Larry is obviously an intelligent and brave man. I cannot begin to imagine what he is feeling and going through for him and his family.
    He gives a great insight into a terminal diagnosis and I am not sure whether I would have his strength to cope and to attempt to write such a reply. Well done Larry. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • neil
    29 January 2015

    hi Larry ,your article has made me understand what I AM FEELING, and people should not be allowed to voice there opinion not understanding what they are talking about.
    I myself have suffered with PANCREATITIS ( chronic and acute) for 12 years with my pancreas slowly die in, the pain still after all this time still comes as a shock, I was 4 years ago offered full pancreatic removal with islet transplant into my liver which I jumped at the chance of, by then I was hospitalized 1week in 4. After many tests and meetings and only given 50/50 chance of making it a date was arranged.
    Two weeks before they told me I had emphysema with only 40% of my lungs working, i was put on oxygen 18 hours a day with my operation cancelled, all hope gone!
    so now I have lungs which are useless, pancreas dying, two drains in for the cyst s,
    And take 65 tablets, 3 inhalers, 5ltrs of oxygen per minute, BUT…… at 47 a wife, two daughters, three grandchildren who are my world and give me so much love I would not change this for the world. So for some d…head to tell me the best way to die is cancer I think on………………….. in discuss NEIL

  • Michelle
    27 January 2015

    Thank you so much for writing this. My mum was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and on October 14 she said she had enough and put me to sleep. In the Netherlands you can get euthanasia and on October 17 she went with a smile on her face. The same day my dad passed 13 years ago. Every human should have the freedom to choose for euthanasia.

  • Vivienne Shea
    26 January 2015

    Having lost my wonderful son Tony Danks to Pancreatic Cancer at just 39 I am in awe of this article written by an extremely articulate and brave man. That he even took the time to write this so elequently whilst suffering from this cruel disease is incredible. I thank you Larry for writing this. It actually help me to understand more about how my darling son was feeling and thinking. It’s made things a little easier in coming to terms with his death. I wish you Larry the best of everything in life and the peaceful close u wish for. Bless u XXX

  • suzy glaysher
    26 January 2015

    Hi larry to hear you talk breaks my heart as I’ve watched so many people die from one thing and another and seen so much suffering when there is no chance of surviving should be your choice god bless Xxx

  • Stuart Reece
    26 January 2015

    Wishing you all the best. I lost my father to Pancreatic cancer late in 2013. From diagnosis to death was 10 weeks. I hope the future for you is as pain free as can be possible and hope you enjoy every moment with friends and family as you can. God bless

  • Julie Frusher
    26 January 2015

    Thankyou for this well thought out piece. My father died painfully and slowly of oesophageal cancer and Dr Richard Smith’s article both upset and outraged me. I left comments on his blog and also complained to the editor of the BMJ. While free speech indeed gives the freedom to offend, with freedom also comes responsibility. I don’t think he considered at all the feelings of those who have suffered from cancer, either as patients or family. You are amazing to have already overcome oesophageal cancer and your honesty and bravery here are inspiring. I wish you and your family peace, strength and love in the days to come.

  • Alison Matthews
    26 January 2015

    Why, why, why is suffering put second place to the law and the fear of misuse of this legislation. I’ve don’t understand the heartlessness of bureacracy. I thought “humanity evolved from the higher apes”! We’ve got a long way to go as homo sapiens – our arrogance as a species is astounding!

  • Jeannette Williams
    25 January 2015

    Larry, you are an amazing man and so very brave for speaking out. What a disgusting article. I lost my father to prostate cancer in 2007 and boy oh boy did he suffer. It was awful. I then lost my brother to bowel cancer, that upon detection had already spread to his liver and before the end of his life, on Christmas Day 2010, it had spread to his lungs. He had always been a non smoker. To watch him suffer too, the way he did was dreadful. They were both fearful of the terminal nature of their illnesses. Living with a death sentence is no ‘picnic’. My mother suffered a trauma breakdown after her son died, which was so awful to watch and deal with. She now has skin cancer. How can a person be so thoughtless to fellow human beings by making such comments? We need as much research as possible in order to reduce the number of people who truly do suffer from this dreaded diagnosis. When one sees the effects this disease has on the patient, family and friends, no human would ever agree that too much money is being spent on research. Larry, I so greatly admire your honesty. I cannot begin to imagine what every day is like for you and your lovely wife and family but one thing’s for sure, you will all be in my prayers. Thank you for your honesty and bravery.

  • Tash
    25 January 2015

    Really good article. I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer nearly three years ago at 18 years old and I will never forget watching him cry/sob about it and attempting to comfort him when my heart was breaking too. For Richard to imply that its pleasant until the very end is ignorant. Not only was my dad scared he was also in so much pain that morphine wouldn’t touch it. The doctors even tried a nerve severing type op in his back but it had no effect. My one wish was that he wasn’t in pain as its a horrible way to end your life with no respite. I wish you all the best and your family in what will be a difficult time to come x

  • Marie Kindlon
    25 January 2015

    Well put Larry.You wrote what we all felt.Im in remission with Multiple Myeloma and was very annoyed at what this guy had to say.

  • John Whistlecraft
    25 January 2015

    Wow that’s how to tell it how it is I think when your in that situation then it should be allowed for someone to end their life on their terms for them to keep their dignity as we do this for animals and nobody says anything and we call it being humane so what’s the difference?

  • Amanda Coleman
    25 January 2015

    Larry you are wonderful for saying what you do. I am a breast cancer survivor so can only imagine what you and your family are feeling. Cancer Research needs all of us who have who have experienced cancer and its legacy to speak out, to encourage future research and hopefully a cure. I wish you and your family love and peace xx

  • Ali Gordon
    25 January 2015

    Thanks for sharing Larry. My 3 children lost their grandad to pancreatic cancer on Christmas Eve 2 years ago. In a few weeks my 8 year old daughter has written in her diary to him many times since promising she is going to help find a cure. She is launching a viral Facebook campaign to raise money for cancer research in a couple of weeks. Would love to connect with you and your story to help raise awareness of this disease.

  • Carol Selemba
    25 January 2015

    So proud of you Larry. I actually emailed the editor of the BMJ as I was so disgusted at Richard Smiths comments.I lost my dear husband at 55 to Melanoma and watched him suffer it breaks your heart. To know you are terminally ill is heartbreaking. I actually wanted to sit opposite Richard and ask him so many questions. Hi comments were shameful. My heart goes out to you and your family what an amazing man.

  • Nicola Key
    25 January 2015

    Thank you Larry for telling it how it is, I was devastated to hear those statements made by Dr Smith, it made me cry with frustration. Like many others having lost members of their family, cancer is a like a weed that keeps it’s roots embedded and whatever chemicals you throw at it may stay at bay or slowly creep back stronger than ever. Without Cancer research we would loose hope all together to finding a means of delaying and deminishing some cancers. It’s a miserable journey for all concerned. I wish you peace of body and mind.

  • Lucy
    25 January 2015

    A well written article putting my fears of dying into words. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2014 in July it had spread to my bones and liver and was put into palliative care. I’m still having my Herceptin and Zometa infusions as my October CT scan shows the tumours have all shrunk. I get the latest CT results on Thursday and all I can think about is ‘what if it’s returned?’ I’ve only had 4 of the 17 Herceptin as my heart function deteriorated but drugs have meant I can re-start. Cancer lives with us all the time. I’m thankful I’m returning on a phased pattern to working and can forget for a few hours. I’m able to talk to a councellor each week to help me come to terms with my illness. I’m hope that Dr Richard Smith doesn’t need treatment for a terminal illness in the future, if he does maybe he will come to appreciate the research that has gone into the disease and benefit from it.

  • j
    25 January 2015

    Thank you for putting into words an accurate
    account I salute you for speaking out eloquently & from knowledge. Research is the
    stepping stones for answers… may your time
    be spent as you would wish.
    having lost a few close people to various
    forms quality is the word that comes to mind
    Reading other responses I join my voice in support of your statement bless you & your family x

  • j
    25 January 2015

    Thank you for putting into words an accurate
    account I salute you for speaking out eloquently from knowledge. Research is the
    stepping stones for answers… my only
    objection A Strong One …thoes made useing
    animals in all conscience I cannot condone.

  • Janeyb
    25 January 2015

    I applaud you for your eloquent and very accurate response. I lost my husband to this dreadful disease. I was only a bystander, but I have seen and heard things I would not wish on anyone. I watched and listened to those horrors; my husband lived those horrors.

    I wish you courage and love. I’m sure you have an abundance of both. xx

  • sandra neuenschwander
    25 January 2015

    Thank you for your post. I lost my son 2014 to mesothelioma cancer and he was only 29 years young . The
    pain he suffered no human should ever suffer that way.

  • Fiona Roberts
    25 January 2015

    I think that what this “learned doc” was trying to do here was a very genealised and surface comparison of ways to die. Overall, from a cold clinical point of view, it is predictable and “manageable”. I too have had cancer, it probably will get me in the end, and Larry, I agree with everything you have written. Unless a person is in the position of having an expiry date, they have no idea!.

  • Jill
    25 January 2015

    I agree with everything Larry has wrote here – we should never give up looking for a cure for cancer and those people who think ( dr richard smith ) we should need to have a very deep think about what they have said – how would you feel if it was your loved one who had cancer ? Let’s hope one day soon we find a cure for all cancers.

  • Kellyy Chapman
    25 January 2015

    I work as a nurse in a medical admissions unit, I see various cancer patients on every shift. Thank you your articulate and well written article. As a nurse I will take into more consideration the journery that all cancer patients take, and try my best to give above and beyond support the best to my ability.

  • Lisa Scott
    25 January 2015

    Thank you for your articulate, well thought out response to the original article. My Dad died 2 weeks ago from lung cancer which he was diagnosed with 5 months ago. I watched cancer eat away at him. From the inside out. Hard to watch but it must’ve been so much harder for him. Then to top it off, the end was difficult, prolonged and upsetting for him. I’m not sure what the best way to die is but it is not via cancer.

    Larry, I hope that what ever time you have left is spent surrounded by those who mean most to you.

    Lisa xx

  • sue clark
    25 January 2015

    I have just read your article and it truly moved me. I have been fortunate so far to have never lost anyone to cancer but if I ever do I will remember your words and not put my feelings above the person who is dying. Everyone should read your words to gain better understanding how the “patient” feels. God bless you

  • Vanessa reeves
    25 January 2015

    What an amazing article , I completely agree with all the points raised in this article , I lost my mum at 69 to pancreatic cancer , we had 10 months with her and we were one of the lucky ones. An awful way to die with no HOPE!!!!!

  • Debbie Harris
    25 January 2015

    So we’ll put Larry. I have watched both my dad and brother die from brain tumours and I agree with everything you have said. The “end” for them both was distressing and humiliating. They both (and the whole family) would have supported assisted death. I hope that you and your family continue to support each other at this extremely stressful time. Thinking of you all.x

  • Joanne
    25 January 2015

    Larry your a legend and I couldn’t have put that better myself, as for dr Richard smith I hope he never meets the family of or a cancer patient and he should be struck off for his words. We should never give up researching any aspect of healthcare cures especially cancer! Sadly we lost my dad to a brain tumour last year and it was the worst death I’d ever witnessed and I’m a nurse so have seen a few, assisted suicide defiantly as he so desperately wanted to live but not like that he would cry and apologise daily for his failing body he felt shame as he lost his dignity and his daughter had to nurse him and slowly it took his mind and speech and he would scream In pain when you moved him, no human should have to endure this, so cancers the best way to die well maybe he should work with terminally I’ll cancer patients see the suffering and maybe then he will be able to evidence his claim but I’d put money on his response being different… Ignorant man!
    P.s god bless you Larry

  • Amelia Bailey - The Cancer Fighters
    25 January 2015

    Well challenged Larry. xxx

  • Gill
    25 January 2015

    Dr Richard Smith needs to face up to reality, cancer is certainly not the best way to die. My daughter’s dad had cancer for a few years and suffered greatly. He was determined to be here for the day she was accepted for the uni of her choice. Charlotte had to study for her Gcse’s, As and A levels while watching her dear dad suffer. He pa
    ssed away not many weeks before she got a place at the uni of her choice and got amazing results for her exams also.We struggled with his illness and his death but we know that he would be so proud of her.Dr Smith obviously has no idea of how much the patient and their family and friends suffer with this awful disease and needs to have more involvement with cancer patients who’s cancer is terminal to be able to gain sympathy for the ones who are and have suffered.

  • lindy
    25 January 2015

    I have incurable breast cancer. It’s in my spine, ribs and pelvis. It’s not in my liver, lungs or brain…..yet.
    Chemo has made the tumour markers undetectable for well over a year. But the chemo, which I finished over a year ago gas left me lacking energy, in constant pain and unable to live as I did. So tell me again that cancer is an easy death….and inky the last few weeks are bad..???? Until you walk in my shoes….keep your uneducated opinions to yourself!

  • Linda Abela
    25 January 2015

    Everything Larry has said is most possibly what everyone who has this cruel disease feels like, and their family’s and friends must also feel the same.Thank god for people who give support to cancer research ,and hopefully one day there will be a cure..I can only praise Larry for giving up his precious time to give an answer to this ignorant and pathetic man .

  • Adrian Weeks
    24 January 2015

    Thank you Larry for giving me an insight in to what someone with terminal cancer is going through. I survived testicular cancer 33 years ago and was fortunate enough to be given a 90% chance of living if I followed the advice of the doctors at Charing Cross hospital which obviously I did. Unfortunately I have lost a brother and sister to cancer over the last 20 years. I am going to a dinner party next Saturday with some of my closest friends where 1 is waiting to have a mastectomy and the other is in remission. And to cap it all the day afterwards I am visiting my last surviving brother who has also being diagnosed with terminal cancer. So by reading your story has given me a good insight of what must be going through his mind and will help me understand how to cope around him. I emailed professor Richard Beagent 6 months ago to thank him for saving my life. I hope you manage to complete your bucket list and God bless you.

  • Sue
    24 January 2015

    A very interesting read Larry.
    My mum died early this morning from pancreatic cancer which had spread to her liver and lungs. Initial diagnosis was November 2013. A Whipple’s procedure was performed successfully on Christmas Eve that year, followed by a course of Folfurinox when a CT scan showed liver metastases. This did not work, so the chemotherapy regime was changed to Gemcitabine. She began to experience some abdominal pain over Christmas 2014 and was admitted to hospital between Christmas and New Year. Her CT scan showed significant enlargement of the liver tumours and spread to the lungs. Her pain was increasing day by day, the morphine pain relief was not keeping up with the increasing pain and she was moved to a local hospice for pain control 9 days ago. The pain continued to increase, she developed renal failure and medication was adjusted to suit her condition and symptoms. She was treated with utmost respect and dignity and the staff were very caring and sympathetic.
    During the last 4-5 days, her condition deteriorated rapidly. She became confused, vacant, stopped eating and only taking sips of water. At 3am today, she lost the ability to cough and thus clear secretions. This was extremely distressing for her and for us, her family. We would not let animals suffer in this way, so why do we allow patients with end stage terminal cancer to? I was praying for her to let go and stop struggling to breathe. This went on for 2 hours, when finally the medication kicked in and her state became relaxed. During the final 15 minutes of her life, she appeared more settled and her secretions were not causing her distress.
    I wish Mum could have been allowed the opportunity to choose to die when she had just had enough and lost all her fight to live. The last 3 days of her life were heartbreakingly distressing for her and the family, despite being relatively pain free.

  • rita Bevan
    24 January 2015

    Thank u Larry 4 putting in 2 words what I’m am thinking and feeling but couldn’t put 2 paper Iv got terminal ovaerian cancer and have the support of loving family and friends doctors hospice care but find I have 2 b strong enough 2 help them get though it and I don’t always feel up 2 it so I thank u again 4 such a heartfelt piece of writing God bless

  • sarah Swindells
    24 January 2015

    I too am fighting.. I’m 43 years old & can relate to everything you have said and felt .. I’m scared but trying to stay positve whilst holding everyone else up with hope … I live one day at a time but it’s hard not to think ahead .. I’m scared .. I cry (a lot) . And I feel lonely .. I don’t want to leave on my own when the time comes .. I hate I have no say no choice and determined by scan results .. And despite everything I always always think “there’s someone worse off than
    Me” because it’s true there is .. Thank you thank for writing this so wonderfully .. You put it so well .. I don’t feel so alone .. X

  • mick
    24 January 2015

    As a prostrate cancer survivor I hope that research finds a way to detect the causes rather than simple offer the cure. I am sure this doctor was well intentioned but emotionally it’s not a quick death it’s a slow one.

  • sharon hossack
    24 January 2015

    Xxxxxxxxxx

  • Colleen Rattigan
    24 January 2015

    I LOVE this. So well written and I can relate so much. Both my parents had cancer in 2010, my mum died of lung cancer, an aggressive form which only gave her 3 months from prognosis to live. My dad on the other hand is a prostate cancer survivor of 6 years and then went on to have secondary cancer in his neck, throat and tongue. After 4 and a half years he has finally been given the all clear. He has survived two brothers who also were taken very quickly with cancer years apart. I was so offended by Richard Smith’s opinion and like Larry my dad is a living breathing example of why we should always strive to find a cure or at least prolong the lives of those who can spend a bit more time with us.

  • david russell
    24 January 2015

    Hi.first of all .your story hit me hard as I have bowel cancer which is advanced to my liver .the chemo I have is the same as yours .taking the pump home at.first.was hard but I am on my 8th lot.of.chemo now so easy .I have been warned about the damaged to my liver will not repair and in march I could be looking at around 2years left.when I was firsttold I was scared and when my wife was told the pain in her face was to much.i got diagnosis in august last year but since feb I had been gp four times and hospital twice before they found it .we take each day as it comes now we got married three weeks ago and do loads together .one of the hardest things was arranging my funeral with my wife and going to the funeral director and sorting it out.for a doctor to say dieing from cancer is the easiest way .I wish he could feel how us cancer victims feel each day and the pain it causes our families. I would not wish it on anyone .I wish u well and the time u have enjoy life to the full.theirs days I dont want to get out bed but I know that I must enjoy wots left …be strong and hope your pain is soon a thing of the past ….dave r

  • Sue
    24 January 2015

    Excellent article. Here here Larry

  • Caroline Collins
    24 January 2015

    Thank you for writing this so eloquently. I too read Dr Richard Smith’s blog and, as a Hospice Nurse, I was also shocked that he could think there was any kind of competition in which death was easier than another.
    In my experience, professionally and personally, I don’t think the disease has anything to do with the ease of a death. There can be no generalisation – each person’s experience, whilst have certain commonalities, is essentially unique. Our personal circumstances, previous experiences, pre-conceptions and education make our understanding of, and ability to cope with what is happening to us,very individual.
    The other point I wish to comment on is how those around you deal with YOUR disease. I often witness family members apparently believing their suffering is possibly worse than that of the person who is dying. I have also witnessed this in my personal life. I can only say that whilst you are losing your life, they are losing a part of theirs too. Bereavement starts well before actual death…and it continues long, long after.
    I love that you wrote this reply – it has helped me and I hope it will help others in my profession to understand a little bit more when we try our best to care for those like yourself…and their families.
    My respect and my heart goes out to you…not in pity but in admiration.

  • Thomas Morgan cancer patient
    24 January 2015

    I rhink this doctor needs a complete reality check. And is practice needs a review.

  • Caroline Lane
    24 January 2015

    This touched a nerve… I am a survivor and I fund raise constantly. Cancer is a cruel disease that HAS to be beaten. My mother (who was also horrified at the thought of burying her daughter) died suddenly due to advanced undiagnosed cancer ironically a week after I completed a Race for Life to celebrate 10 years as a survivor. The research must continue and we need more Larrys to be brave enough to tell it like it is. Cancer can affect anybody… old, young, healthy or unhealthy. I hope my cancer experience is over, but I’m smart enough to appreciate the scientists who might help me stay a survivor if it’s not. Well said Larry, and thank you.

  • Susan Reynolds
    24 January 2015

    How I admire this charming. Articulate man who has made me feel so humbled by his courage and tenacity!I wish him joy and love on his journey xx

  • Caroline greaves
    24 January 2015

    I can only say I hope he never gets cancer as I’m sure he’d have to eat his words, and if he had my cancer that wouldn’t be a possibility. I am or was a young 44 year old mum to a now 9 year old boy, and husband. I was diagnosed in April 2013 with stage 4 head and neck cancer and had a harrowing 8 week intensive course of daily radiation and weekly 10 hrs of chemo. I thank my oncologists and the team for saving my life, I know I am lucky, for how long, who knows. But it doesn’t leave me without complications. I’m now an old 46 and incapable of doing things I once could. I find it hard to walk anywhere, I get too tired and weak. I struggle to eat as my throat completely closed and I have just undergone my second throat dilation which isn’t pleasant. I haven’t been able to enjoy food or drink in 2 years, and worst of all my taste buds are difunct so nothing tastes right. I have completely lost my sweet taste buds, that means I haven’t even had the pleasure of a bar of chocolate in all that time. I can’t go out and when I get hungry just grab a sandwich cos 1 I can’t eat it but 2 even if I could I can’t open my jaw wide enough to fit it in my mouth. I have had to accept I’m no longer capable to work, so gave up my carrier as a manager and closed my own business down. The constant fear is with me that it will return, I battle it in silence on a daily basis so as not to upset my family. I pretend I’m strong and they believe I am !!!! I’m still struggling with chemo brain which can be quite embarrassing at times mid flow sentence. So I may not be terminal but I suspect it will come back for me. Cancer is evil even if you manage to survive it and any research is gladly welcomed by many. This man has clearly misspent his education in the wrong fields. I would suggest spending a day in the waiting room of radiotherapy and talk to people who have lost parts of their face, or sit in chemo for a day and see how ill it makes you. But thanks for your input :-)

  • Karen Redhead
    24 January 2015

    What an absolutely amazing response and I agree completely. I had to watch my father die of mesothelioma 18 months ago. He lasted 10 weeks and he was very brave but was ready to die and wanted to die way before he actually did. It is terrible that terminally ill people have no choice but to endure emotional and physical suffering until their bodies can endure no more. My dad tried to retain a sense of humour to the end and I remember him laughing and crying in the same sentence as he was showing me the pile of disposable nappies he was going to have to use. Well done for this response and I hope everyone will realise the importance of ongoing cancer research.

  • kirsty
    24 January 2015

    I was very moved by your article Larry. My mother was misdiagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer two years ago and we went through months of hell and highs and lows and biopsy after biopsy before finding out she had a rare disease that mimicked cancer. I read a lot about people coping with the illness during that time and clinical trials searching for rays of hope and agree with you that money should be put towards helping research into this illness.

  • Jackie
    24 January 2015

    I watched my mom die in June 2013 with osphagus cancer . Memories and images for us was her vomiting up blood , right up till her last breath . We have to live with this thinking was there more we could of done .. She suffered from diagnosed till death , and if anyone told me cancer is the best why to die then I’m afraid I would not be responsible for my actions .. My mom is no longer suffering but we are .. Of those constant images . People say it gets easier , maybe it does , but every now and then images/ flashbacks come back ..

  • Ellen Bricklebank
    24 January 2015

    Amazing article. Thank you Larry for using your valuable time to write this.

  • Carol Highton
    24 January 2015

    Larry I applaud you, what a response to a clueless baffoons opinion. I too am suffering from pancreatic cancer and can confirm that it is horrendous, suffering many ups and downs and setbacks over the last 18 months. How anyone professional can say that cancer is the best way to die is just beyond belief and contempt, they obviously haven’t got a clue.
    Like I said Larry I truely applaud you for speaking out and standing up for all cancer suffers who feel exactly the same as you do because it isn’t easy living with a time bomb, you truly are inspirational. God bless you and thank you xxx

  • Carly Read
    24 January 2015

    So much love for you Larry. Your strength, courage, realism and honesty is awe inspiring. I lost my darling mum at 57 in Oct. I hope for you and your family that life can be as peaceful, fulfilled and pain free as possible xxxx

  • adrian
    24 January 2015

    I think the doctor who said cancer is best way to die needs struck off immediately please

  • Margaret Sharrock
    24 January 2015

    Cancer is a horrible thing to die from and I’ve seen 4 people with differant cancers die the worse is pancreatic cancer. I hope never to see anyone else with cancer

  • Linda Brooks
    24 January 2015

    Larry I totally agree with everything you’ve said except the reference to your mother. You don’t seem to have grasped that your pain is you mum’s pain. She is you, she has cancer with you and she is dying with you. You will never be a mum so you can’t feel her pain over what is happening to you. She wants to protect you, make you better, make it all go away. They are her natural instincts but she can’t. It’s out of her hands so she feels helpless and hopeless and when you die so will her heart. Yes it is the worse thing that can happen to you, but it’s also the worse thing that can happen to her. She’s with you in this 100%, more than anyone else in the entire world and that’s why it appears that it’s her pain and not yours. To her it’s both of yours together, united as one person. I know because I lost my beautiful 32 year old loving son to stomach cancer last Christmas 2013 and that’s how I felt. I feel for you and your mum and any siblings who love you too xx

  • Sybil Fowler
    24 January 2015

    Excellent response Richard. I lost my husband to pancreatic cancer last year. He was 62. We all feel robbed……….. And also to see a fit and healthy man waste away in front of you is heart breaking. I am a breast cancer survivor and now I feel guilty that i am still here and my husband isn`t. We are now thrown back in to getting to grips with my brother in law having lung, liver and brain cancer. We must never give up trying to find a cure for the devastation cancer brings. I have a child who has lost her father, a grandadughter who will never know what an amazing grandfather she should have had.

  • Carole collins
    24 January 2015

    Thank you for your words.i lost my husband aged 54 with pancreatic cancer,he died within 6 months of diagnosis.now my 34 year old single mother of 3 daughter has just been diagnosed with stage 4a cervical cancer.research has to continue. Even if the drugs are expensive,they must be used.cancer is a devastating disease which we need to do as much as possible to eradicate it.

  • Karen
    24 January 2015

    Reduced me to tears. My husband died of pancreatic cancer on February 22nd 2014. He was 50!!! Misdiagnosed a few times by our GP. Irritable bowel syndrome, gallstones. Eventually a CT scan showed a shadow on the pancreas and spots on his liver. My darling brave husband survived for 14 months. Chemotherapy seemed to help at first but at Christmas he started to deteriorate. It was not the easiest way for him to die. I hope that through the hard work of cancer research families in the future will not have to go through this. I miss him every minute, hour, day and month.

  • Vivienne B
    24 January 2015

    Thank you Larry for using your time and energy to calmly put into words what many of us living with and dying of Cancer were thinking. It may be too late for you and even for me but while i am well i will continue to raise money for Cancer Research by taking part in Relay for life because only with research can we hope to improve the lives of those who follow us. Thank you and God bless you and your family.

  • Lorraine Dupres
    24 January 2015

    Thank you Larry for your very thought-provoking article. You echo most of my beliefs with what you say here. I too, believe in “Dying With Dignity” when we, those of us with cancer, or another terminal illness, feel we have had enough. Here in Canada, we have a group called “Dying With Dignity” that has been lobbying the Federal Government for many years for assisted death when there is no chance of a cure, AND the person dying, wishes to end their life when they have no quality of life left. One Province (Quebec) has passed the law in that Province in favor of assisted death, but the Federal Government is sitting on the law, even though the vast majority of Canadians want it passed. Could it be the big drug companies holding it back because of all the money they would lose?

  • Elizabeth Fullerton
    24 January 2015

    I have lost 2 members of my family, everyone is effected in the family, it’s like a time bomb. Will never forget my parents anguish watching their much loved son at 36 dying of this disease. God blees you and your family. You are in my prayers.

  • Laura
    24 January 2015

    Fabulous article and a real eye opener for those who do not agree with assisted dying. I lost my dad last year to o.c. And it’s a cruel death that was long and painful, if dad had a choice I know what it would have been. Love to all facing the big c xxx

  • Maureen Stocken
    24 January 2015

    Beautifully put what a brave man you are bless you for writing this its a great help xx

  • clare
    24 January 2015

    Thank you Larry for your heartfelt and well penned response. I lost my father to terminal oesophageal cancer last year – and because he was non symptomatic for so long by the time we knew something was seriously wrong it was far to late to do anything (including palative chemo) – he died 10 days after he had been diagnosed with symptoms only starting a month before.
    My knee jerk reaction to the statement was anger, I was angry that someone could think that cancer wasn’t that bad, that millions of pounds shouldn’t be spent trying to get better early detection, better treatments and a lower fatality rate.
    So thank you for putting it back into perspective – I hope that the time you have left with your friends and family is plentiful and that when the time does come that it’s painless x

  • Lyn Brown
    24 January 2015

    What an amazing, heartfelt, eloquent article written by a man who could teach this so-called doctor a thing or two about dignity and compassion. Larry’s courage makes me feel humble. I had breast cancer in 2007, but thank God I am still OK, and my son, now 22, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 21. He is in remission, but still undergoing treatment until 2016. I have had to watch him undergo painful, but essential procedures, endure the side effects of chemo, with very little complaint. His courage makes me feel humble. Dr Smith’s words hurt more than I can say, but, like Larry, I will not respond with name calling and insults as I feel this achieves very little. My thoughts are with Larry and his family, and I hope to God I never have to go through what they are going through now.

  • David Bolton
    24 January 2015

    Such a well written article. I watched my daughter fight this terrible disease for 5 years only to die aged 36. Apart from the endless visits to hospitals for chemo & operations during the last months she suffered from unbearable pain which couldn’t be controlled.

  • Trish Edwards
    24 January 2015

    An absolutely amazingly true article. Well said. My husband died of bowel cancer in 2006 and left me and our lovely son who was 6 years old at the time. Having walked this road with him and i must say never having got over it surely there must be an easier way. It should be up to the cancer sufferer to say when enough is enough. You wouldn’t let an animal suffer so why watch someone you love go through this.

  • Christine Fisher
    24 January 2015

    As a Breast Cancer Survivor, I would not be here today if it wasn’t for reseach. I fundraise by doing a cycle ride each year to raise much needed funds for my local Cancer Unit which is involver with research. I also went on a clinical trial. I hope this gives the measage. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  • Hilary
    24 January 2015

    I think this is an amazing article, it eloquently states what all of us feel, and even some things I didn’t realise I was feeling, and I’m not terminal…yet.
    Thank you Larry for responding on behalf of all of us cancer sufferers and survivors…What’s that saying..walk a mile in my shoes…

  • garrett
    23 January 2015

    Nothing but admiration for you sir. Your grace and honesty should be a shining example for all, no matter their health. Good luck to you and God bless

  • adam kwoka
    22 January 2015

    Amazing article Larry. You are an inspiration to us all. Thank you.

  • Jan
    21 January 2015

    No words! Just admiration x

  • Paula
    21 January 2015

    Fantastic article – my 43 year old friend has just been given a terminal diagnosis and no doubt shares many of your thoughts and observations

  • J
    21 January 2015

    Larry, you are truly a hero and your bravery and selflessness is a lesson for us all. Thank you

  • Angie
    21 January 2015

    All I can say is ‘Thank You’ Larry for taking up some of your precious time to write this much needed response to Dr Smith’s tactless, hurtful article. You echo mine, and thousands of other cancer patient’s feelings.

  • Didee
    21 January 2015

    Brilliant, Larry.

  • Jules
    20 January 2015

    Loved this article thanks so much to Larry for writing this and sharing with such emotion and honesty. I lost my mum to cancer when I was only 16 and have still not come to terms with it fully. As such, Richard’s comments nearly broke my heart. He clearly has not lost anyone or seen them suffer first hand. I wish Larry all the best and again thanks so much for writing this! X

  • Jane Stephen
    20 January 2015

    This is a fabulous article. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and wisdom. I am 56, dying of bile duct cancer, leaving two children and a beloved husband. I was appalled at Dr Smith’s cynical and flippant article and complained to the BMA but surprise surprise, no reply. Anyway I thank you so much for writing this.

  • Raluca Cecilia Mihalache
    20 January 2015

    Thank you for writing such a much-needed article.

  • Sue
    20 January 2015

    Our lovely son died aged just 16 from rhabdomyosarcoma having had the disease for nearly five years. He had every available treatment and amazing care. Knowing he was going to die was almost impossible for us as parents to cope with. So much in this article is so true of our experience too. Thank you for writing this article.

  • Gwen
    20 January 2015

    Admirably written. Thank you. Our son (23) had testicular cancer three years ago, with surgery and chemotherapy and is now the picture of health. I remain silently grateful to all doctors, (and patients who endured trials) to ultimately perfect the well established course of treatment he had to make him better. Everyday we have to strive for better.I find William Smiths article quite slanderous, if he had the disease I’m sure he would have a completely different opinion. All my best to you and your family

  • Joanne Simpson
    20 January 2015

    Wow. Lost for words. Thank you for replying to the media frenzy on behalf of myself and all others living with and through a cancer diagnosis. Thanks to researching cancer, my two young daughters can look forward to a future with their mum instead of helping me plan my funeral. I wish you all the best on your journey and thank you again.

  • Pat Stubbs
    20 January 2015

    Larry, thank you for speaking on our behalf. I cannot believe Richard Smith’s heartless opinion. My husband died of pancreatic and liver cancer. From diagnosis to death was only nine weeks. Believe me nine weeks of terror, physical agony, indignity and heartbreak was more than enough. If only we could have just said our goodbyes and watch him fall asleep peacefully and pain free, we would all now have happier memories than those we are left with. I suspect Richard Smith as a doctor may well have access to the means for a peaceful death when the rest of us don’t.

  • Alexandra Rose
    20 January 2015

    A wonderful article which is very much needed to counter the crassness of Richards Smiths recent opinion. And as a cancer patient myself I echo the last sentiment with all my heart. Please let us decide when we have had enough of life.

  • Olly
    20 January 2015

    Fantastic, compelling, and above all convincing article Larry. Thank you for writing it.

  • Kathy
    19 January 2015

    Agree wholeheartedly, thank you for this excellent and thought-provoking article.

  • Anthea Martin
    19 January 2015

    Thank you Larry for a thoughtful and eloquent response. Many people do not understand the wide range of issues that come along with a cancer diagnosis and treatment and you’ve been very honest in writing about these. Richard Smith is correct in his assertion that we need to think and talk more about how we die, but the manner in which he wrote about it was, at best, unhelpful. More research into cancer and all of the other terminal illnesses he ‘ranks’ in his blog post is desperately needed, not only to potentially save more lives, but to find ways to help people have the best possible quality of life, even with a terminal diagnosis. And some of the expensive cancer treatments he talks about as being a waste of time and money actually help do that. All my best wishes to you and your family.

    Comments

  • Lav
    25 June 2015

    Cancer is the worst thing that can happen. Only those suffering or witnessing a loved one going through it would know that. Whatever you assume and imagine, it’s way harder and painful in real life. Really sorry for the ignorant people around here and hope they never get the big reality check.

  • johnsm56
    18 June 2015

    People die from cancer because the time has come for them to die. It’s not something bad or unfair. Why the hell do you think of cancer as some movie villain? It’s stupid

  • Amber
    28 May 2015

    Thank you Larry for your article. You’ve really helped me grasp what my father is going through and how I can better support him. I really appreciate this. Thank you.

  • alan
    10 May 2015

    To think that an alleged “medical professional ” came up with this abhorrent statement based on little or no evidence shows total and utter disdain for the sufferers of this horrific disease that apparently 1/3,of us will contract in our lifetime. I can only presume he did this to get more exposure for all the wrong reasons. For personal reasons I won’t discuss on the Internet, cancer has affected my family and I laud the efforts of Cancer Research and similar organisations who are striving to rid us of this evil and also salute organisations such as Marie Curie and MacMillan wgHo do sterling work in supporting patients and families through the rigours of this horrific illness. No one superlative can adequately illustrate how much misery this disease causes.

  • Helen Fenton
    13 April 2015

    Thank youn.larry for writing this true account of living with the time bomb..I too had
    Oesophageal Cancer diagnosed in 2005 and had post operative chemo followed by the np massive operation and practically sawn in half..apart from weird plumbing and general fatigue ?I slowly recovered only to find the cancer back about 4 years ago….outside the oesophagus squeezing my windpipe and therefore affecting the nerves serving my vocal chords …this Cancer is in operable and terminal I had months of chemo and radio therapy which did not shrink it but it has not grown or spread. Just sits there like a time bomb!
    If it grows..what can they do??
    Thank you for being frank, it is diffucult to speak about the bastard Cancer is because bods get embarrased..I like to speak about it as it is, and don’t get the opportunity too often
    Wishing you peace, and humour and more blogging

  • Jennifer
    4 April 2015

    Hello Larry, I am a 29yr old survivor, but unfortunately experienced witnessing both of my parents truly suffer through terminal cancer at a young age (a few years apart). I stumbled upon your article but I was incredibly moved by it, and found it to be very insightful. I am very fortunate to be here today, and I don’t take a single moment for granted. Thank you for composing this article. It was severely ignorant for someone to state that cancer was the best way to die. That is disgraceful! You have shed much light on what it is like from your point of view. In my experience I found that others sometimes thought of themselves as the victims. While I’m sure it is not intentional, it becomes more difficult to navigate an already challenging situation. Thank you again.

  • Maggy
    28 March 2015

    Larry, I found this a very useful article, thank you. Best of all wishes to you and your family. I’m supporting a friend who is dying, slowly, of maxillo-facial cancer and I haven’t the faintest clue on ‘what I should do / say’. Never read Richard Smith’s article but he sounds like a dick.

  • Jo
    2 March 2015

    Larry I totally agree with all you’ve written. My husband died at 59 from the same cancer after a hard battle. You know the hardest thing to do when you’ve been told your going to die, is live. You can’t plan anything however somehow you muddle through. The way we got through our year from hell was to try and make as many good memories as we could no matter how small we had to as we had a daughter of 2and a half I took lots of photos and videos and my wonderful husband lives on I wish you all the very best don’t listen to ignorant people who should know better surround yourself with your loved ones

  • sue nicholls
    24 February 2015

    Cancer is certainly not the best way to die,my beloved husband died in pain just 8monthsafter diagnosis I endorse all that you are saying and my thoughts and best wishes are with you I am astounded that a so called doctor could write such an unfeeling

  • Jillywhizz
    24 February 2015

    Can’t agree more! After 18 years I am one of those breast cancer survivors and I thank The Lord everyday for all those who went before me for their courage in trying new medicines and treatments and all those doctors, nurses and scientists who work tirelessly in this field. I was only 40 with a 3 cm grade 3 tumour. I had three teenage daughters, loving parents, family and friends and it was the worst thing to put them all through. By some miracle the technology had been discovered that saved my life. Please keep up the good work, keep researching, trialling, and discovering new ways to beat this dreadful disease. No-one is untouched by cancer, it haunts us all.

  • Lynda Wilson
    23 February 2015

    Can only endorse every single word of your article. Pray it will be published in one of the major dailies. Hope you find the strength to continue your fight, you certainly have very many well wishers thinking of you. You are a wonderful person.

  • ian edge
    23 February 2015

    Hi i am a cancer patient with advanced cancer of the prostate and a secondary cancer of the bones I have read your message with an open mind and all the points In your reply are incredibly accurate I have personally found that being diagnosed as terminal was very difficult to deal with my fears are not now but at the end and I should have the right to say enough is enough like your pet I just want to sleep.thank you for sharing this post

  • rosam
    22 February 2015

    Can’t think of anything to say because you have said it all ! You truly are saying what those with cancer would say themselves ! Thank you x just one thing though Dr Richard smith until you have walked a mile in someones shoes just don’t say anything !!!!!!

  • Paul Brooke
    22 February 2015

    It is a fantastic response to a crass statement from a Dr of all people. I would only add that there appears to be some Drs on the net who have ‘found’ natural products that help and yes seem to cure at least some cancers. So, why doesn’t Big Pharma stop being overly interested in making millions from the products they produce and carry out more emphasis on clinical trials using the aforementioned ‘ natural products’ or are they doing so without us knowing it?

  • Cathy Smith
    22 February 2015

    Very emotional article.

  • Amy Carter
    22 February 2015

    Fantastic article, so honest and brave- thank you. May you have comfort and peace

  • Angela Jones
    22 February 2015

    This honest insightful and moving account , has put into words what many of us affected by cancer would wish to be able to say, the reaction from family and friends too is the hardest of all, and yes well meaning and out of love true, still the fallout is draining and frustratingly time consuming. My heart and best wishes go out to dear Larry, I wish you peace and dignity. Xx

  • Mr Alexander Paterson
    22 February 2015

    I’ve just been diagnosed ( 4 weeks before Christmas ) with terminal cancer myself and agree with you “cancer a better way to die ” lololololol no way is frekin good !

  • Glenys Evans
    22 February 2015

    Thank you & love to you I learnt from reading your words .

  • claire
    22 February 2015

    Wow. That is powerful and honest.
    I wish this man a stress-free remainder of his days and thankmhim for taking the time to write it. I actually agreed with everything he said and always thought along those lines too.
    Much love to you my friend; and I hope you have lots more smiley days to come :-) xx

  • Ian Murray
    22 February 2015

    A fantastic article and response to a educated persons naivety and lack of consideration to suffers and their families . May God give you strength when your hour arrives and walk with your family in their hour .

  • Helen Muddyman
    22 February 2015

    An emotive and articulate response. This piece of writing has beautifully tackled the ignorant and hurtful comments made by Dr Richard Smith who has obviously never had experience first hand of the impact of cancer. Larry you are an inspiring and courageous man. I wish you peace and love as your journey approaches the end, and as someone who has watched her 30 year old husband survive cancer thank you for raising the point that cancer knows no age limit and research is very much needed.

  • rose galbraith
    22 February 2015

    How generous of you to give so much of your time and energy to write this amazing article. Of course we must keep fighting for treatments and ultimately a cure, or preventative measures, screenin etc. having lost a close friend at 51 to cancer I agree with all you have said so succinctly… Wishing you and your family the best, enjoy your life x

  • Jane Dixon
    22 February 2015

    What a courageous piece of writing. Both my parents died of cancer and I firmly believe we must keep on fighting!

  • jude broad
    22 February 2015

    I lost my Dad to oesophageal cancer when he was only 52 years old. Doctors asked him for permission to try some procedures regarding his condition. Thanks to his bravery his treatment and feedback has assisted in the process of advancing a cure so think on….

  • J guest
    22 February 2015

    Larry you are right in every word you say, and a truly brave inspiring person. My mum had an aggressive breast cancer eight years ago, had numerous treatments and is still here today. However my dad wasn’t so lucky, firstly got bowel cancer in 2012 had curative surgery and a colostomy bag fitted for life, this took some adjustment big time physically and mentally. Then early 2013 struggled to swallow at first food then fluids which later turned out to be osophageal cancer which was evil to say the least and also terminal. Me and my step mum dealt with the ever changing dad which was the worst thing ever to witness your own parent going down hill like this. So to agree with Larry again cancer is most definitely not the best way to die in lots of ways from my experience just witnessing it let alone the patient.

  • Gill
    22 February 2015

    Thank you so much for this impressive letter. I know what it is like to go through this as my husband passed away in 2013 aged just 53 from bowel cancer. I very much hope you can enjoy your time left with your family doing what you want to do.

  • Zarqaf Fatima
    22 February 2015

    Every word of this artical is true and basis on facts , which no one can denia , how ever Saying “cancer is best way to die ” but reality telling us other story , Larry I salute you for your courage and bravery and how well you wrote this artical for those who don’t know and understand the fact of cancer and it’s effect on the person and people around the patient,

  • DOREEN WILKES
    22 February 2015

    I totally agree we should continue research, I had Breast Cancer 11yrs ago and luckily still clear.

  • christine fraser
    21 February 2015

    What a stupid man that doctor is he has obviously not had a close relative or very good friend waiting to die in the most horrific way knowing the sentence that awaits. WE NEED MORE RESEARCH INTO CANCER TREATMENT AND CURE NOT LESS

  • Julie
    21 February 2015

    You are an absolutely amazing person with a valid and in my view correct opinion. I watched my mother fight her cancer tooth and nail. The shock when she could fight no more is still in my memory. The Doctor in my opinion has got this completely wrong. A sudden death is a shock for the family but if I had a choice I certainly would be happier going that way and certainly not from cancer. My affairs would be easy to sort and insurance covers everything anyway.

  • Michelle croft
    21 February 2015

    My mother passed away with pancreatic cancer she was 62 so so young, the consultant gave her 6 months to live, she lasted 18 months, and should of never been alive, she went through shear he’ll, at the end, she was in agony, and anybody who says cancer is the best way to die, should be ashamed of what they have said!!!!

  • Kerry Brown
    21 February 2015

    Larry you are a very brave courageous man, I lost my dad to bowl cancer 4 year’s in January. And had to watch has he suffered the pain and the anguise the family went through. We supported my dad the best way we could with the dignity he deserved, that this evil cancer was robbing from him. I wish you and your family well. And hope that you get to spend has much time as possible an do the things you want to do with your family an friends . God bless you.

  • tracy falconer
    21 February 2015

    I don’t think it’s the best way my mum was termanil cancer conditions were not good it all has 2 change I struggle now each day 2 live with what I had 2 deal with even tho she was my wonderful mum same with my dad a couple months apart in 2012 dad didn’t get his own room and wee had 2 fight 2 have mum in her own room both worked run there own business payed there tax it’s all wrong I believe it’s government is left me just 2 cope each day its very seen how we’re treated in hospitals and it’s not the staff they are just doing what they have been told two do

  • Phil G.
    21 February 2015

    Larry you are an amazing person.
    My thoughts go out to you, and your family. I, like you and so many others hope that some day this dreadful illness will be obliterated.
    Try to remain strong Larry.
    Take care, and good luck.

  • Maria Lyszyk
    21 February 2015

    So sorry my love. Lost my husband to cancer after a liver transplant for Primary Schlerosing Cholangitis. You are right, cancer is not an easy death as you have foreknowledge of your own demise which is so hard to deal with. Yes, you can put your affairs in order, but again that doesn’t take long. It did give us just enough time to say goodbye, but we still wanted more. The anger if a life stopped is what I will always remember. You are brave to share your real thoughts with the world, bravo! My thoughts and prayers to you x

  • kath
    21 February 2015

    I take my hat off to you sir.
    So well written
    Bless you
    Unbelievable for Richard Smith to be so insensitive and i humane to make such a statement.
    It’s Hell
    He clearly does not comprehend the impact of a terminal illness beyond the science-shockingly wrong
    Kind regards

  • Donald.C.Rogers,
    21 February 2015

    Larry , there is not a lot I can say except my thoughts are with you & with Gods help &science we will conquer it one day, I have dreaded being told I have cancer because my wife went though what your wife is going through over 30 Years ago with the same thing with her first husband. good luck old son ,

  • Kathy
    21 February 2015

    Very brave man Larry, my heart goes out to you and your family and everyone else who faces seeing a loved one go through the end of life trauma that cancer brings to those inflicted and their families! I myself can identify with all what you have said but my mum had mental problems brought on by her type of cancer, which meant she wouldn’t and couldn’t understand she was dying! Mostly all I could ever think was “quality of life? More like quantity”! People everywhere should help fund the vital work that cancer research carry out, as you never know the moment it will affect you. Very thought provoking article Larry, God Bless.

  • Jenny
    21 February 2015

    Well done to you Larry for taking the time to put into words the true pain and suffering of people with cancer. My Father and my husband both died of lung cancer an awful and up dignified death I wouldn’t wish on anyone, My Mother has had breast cancer twice and beat it with the aid on tamoxifen and radio therapy and is now 92. I am so glad they are looking into alternatives to chemotherapy it is an absolutely horrible thing to endure and does your body more harm than good, in my opinion. However if it’s all that’s out there of course people have to try it. I wish they would do more research into the effects of cannabis oil on cancer, it has been known to cure even advanced cancers in certain people, and when it might not work for everyone, it’s worth a try. Big hug to you Larry, you are a special person xxx

  • lin
    21 February 2015

    Thank you for putting this articulate article out there, most people find it hard to discuss dying and yet it is going to happen to all of us! We could all benefit from reading more on how to support people within our families and circle of friends so we are exactly that ‘support’ not a burden. Thanks again.

  • Pat Small
    21 February 2015

    Larry your a star, your letter puts things into perspective, you are going through it so you are talking from the heart not from some diagnosis someone has come to. God be with you & help you through this sad time, and may he give you inner peace. My 18 year old nephew has cancer behind his eye nose & lymph glands & the journey has been horrendous, his treatment has now been finished, but we wait with bated breath to hear the words in 3 months they have got it. As of this moment he has lost his eye sight in one eye but he is here. We feel for anyone who is going through what you have described God Bless Pat xxxxx

  • mich
    21 February 2015

    Cancer is the worst way, my dad suffered for years and my mum suffered too watching him suffer, and I know what it did to me and others close. To be told you have an incurable cancer is confusing because you don’t know if you’ve got weeks or years. Christmases should be more fpecial but instead they are tainted with sadness. I’d rather die quickly and suddenly. The treatments for cancer have horrible side effects and the quality of life is limited

  • Babs Morokutti
    21 February 2015

    This gentleman has put into words that I’m sure all patients feel the same. Well said Larry,

  • Sue
    21 February 2015

    Good article. I lived with someone dying from melanoma. It’s awful. Every little improvement has you believing that your loved one is going to bet it even though you know it’s not going to happen. Such an awful roller coaster. Sorry I wasn’t able to read your article before my husband died, I’m sure it would have helped me understand more of what he was going through.

  • Ashley Try
    20 February 2015

    My God…what a lovely human being xxxx <3

  • carol Iseton
    20 February 2015

    I admire you so much for putting forward such a true view of what is such a emotive issue , not just for the sufferer but the loved ones watching this horrible disease take there loved ones from them. Thank you .

  • evelyn barker
    20 February 2015

    Thank you for telling the truth. The constant worry and the well meaning friends and family really hit a chord here.

  • sarah
    20 February 2015

    So moving x

  • Sue
    20 February 2015

    I HATE Cancer! I watched my Dad and my Son in Law suffer long painful days before they past away. My Dad had a secondary cancer, a brain tumour which completely took him away from us. My Son in Law lived his last year bravely making the most of his last painful days hoping for a cure while he spent time with his family. He spent 3 moths in isolation waiting for a a bone marrow donor. It wasn’t to be. Cancer is the cruel disease.

  • Vivienne
    20 February 2015

    Well written Larry. I have MND and there is no diagnosis let alone cure. I am now unable to walk and my swallowing muscles are also effected. I have a RIG tube fitted. I agree wholeheartedly with your last sentence as MND too is terminal.

  • Caroline Gordon
    20 February 2015

    It is a terrible disease!!! I have watched two of my closest family die from cancer. My mother and my sister. I sat with my sister for 9 days and nights. How can it be the best way to die. It eats into a body and is a slow awful death. Awful for the person and for the loved ones who are watching. I wish there was a cure and soon. I can say no more it brings back such sadness. I have known such wonderful people who have gone through such suffering.

  • Dave Mason
    20 February 2015

    Well done that man Larry& good luck with what lies ahead, Richard ! What a plonker you are for even thinking ( or not ) about what you wrote !
    I had a 3cm tumor on my pancreatic bile duct ! Eventually diagnosed in Feb 2006 ,it penetrated my bile duct, pancreas , bowel & stomach, 16th March 2006 i underwent 8 hours of surgery, loosing 50%of my pancreas ,50% of my stomach ,a chunk of large intestine and all my bile duct, the op was a whipple and that was followed by 6 months of chemo , I was 49 at the time and my 9 year remission is coming in March 2015.
    I do all the things normal peeps do the only thing I have diff is 40gms of omeprazole daily, I have a loving wife of 35 years who was my rock through my illness , I did get told no golf for 6 months , no scuba for 12 months and I wouldn’t work again . Well I went to golf 2 weeks after a 15 day stay in hospital and back to work 6 weeks after my op , the chemo was nusience factor but an insurance policy ! I scuba regularly and recently qualified as a master scuba diver !
    Lesson from this , some do survive if caught in time so keep up the good work cancer research , and Larry my thoughts are with you and your family !

  • Karen
    20 February 2015

    Well said and written , but on another subject my mom died of dementia , no one ever survives that illness and not so much money spent on research as on cancer.

  • Lesley Ratcliffe
    20 February 2015

    Well done Larry for writeing this and suffering how you are my best friend died of cancer in July she really suffered and she was so strong was amazing everythin you have wrote here is exactly how she and i felt about it you got keep fighting Larry but same as you say when you get worse and you know when its time and carnt cope no more life is just not fair taking the good ones n leaving bad ones may god bless you and your family n friends Larry thoughts are with you anyour family xx

  • Ann Carruthers
    20 February 2015

    I was horrified when I read what Dr Richard had said, yes everyone has the right to freedom of speech. But this is just not what you would expect to hear from a Dr. You would expect more empathy coming from a well educated Dr. I thank you for writing this. And all your points are well thought through. And researched. And I wish you, and your family together can make many more memories together. xx

  • Ginaw Watson
    20 February 2015

    Like Larry, my father died from pancreatic cancer in 1983. Unlike Larry, he only survived a month after diagnosis, so much has changed since then. Three years ago, my husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and after one toxic round of chemotherapy, died within 3 weeks of diagnosis. So yes, some cancer patients die quickly, but I am aware that many linger for a long time following their terminal diagnosis. Now my sister-in-law has also been diagnosed with AML; she is receiving treatment and is on the donor list for a bone marrow transplant. We are just praying that a donor will be found in time to save her. So I have much regard for Larry’s blog, a wise and brave man. I wish him peace and joy in his life.

  • Carol Vaughan
    20 February 2015

    Having just lost my dear sister to lung cancer at the end of last year, I wish I had seen and read this article, so that I might have had a better understanding of everything she was going through! Thank you and good luck to you Larry.

  • Lyn Absolom
    20 February 2015

    Larry all your points are well thought out and correct, I have a friend with advanced colon cancer, we can’t see him during therapy because he is so ill and doesn’t want visitors so that leaves him one week for close friends and family. Very tiring for him. Then back for 2 weeks of chemotherapy.

  • jean
    20 February 2015

    What a brave & interesting article he has written I hope lots of people take heed of his comments if the have someone they love with cancer.

  • Sharon Thomas
    20 February 2015

    What a brave man. Thank you for writing this, I think most of us who have been told they have cancer, terminal or not would agree. A flippant (in my opinion) comment by someone who hasn’t been effected by this, needs to have a day in the life of someone going through chemo and everything else that goes with. i agree with everything Larry said.

  • Shirley Webb
    20 February 2015

    I totally agree with everything Larry has said. Please can everyone who reads this, share it. My thoughts are with you Larry, and your family xx

  • john ellis
    20 February 2015

    I find it hard to understand a doctor writing such nonsense, when he is not in the position of the many thousands of people who are suffering from cancer, it is not only the person who has cancer, it touches the family, and all associated with them.

  • Jo Munyard
    20 February 2015

    Totally agree with everything that has been put in print. assisted dying is the way forward and the people that prevent this from happening need to shut up and allow those that want it to have it. If they don’t want it then they don’t have to have it. It’s an option that should be available! I have had cancer, chemo and radiotherapy. Your life changes after a cancer diagnoses……that’s fact….. Well done Larry for all that you have written ….. So sorry for your situation but this life is just part of a longer journey and dying is just the next step. It’s strange how you say about you and your wife and your strong love……my husband and I are very much in love after 18 years together……going through the cancer experience was really hard but luckily he helped me stay strong …good luck and thank you for finding the time and strength to write so eloquently about this subject…….

  • jane harvey
    20 February 2015

    I fully agree with all your points it is not the best way to die my mother had breast cancer and had 5 years of hell she was accidently given an internal on her deaf bed and suffered the indignation of nurses being rude and obnoxious to her the treatment made her ill the whole time and her quality of life was not good so she couldn’t enjoy her last year’s so keep up this vital work

  • Suzanne
    20 February 2015

    Extremely well put. Having just lost my husband to prostate cancer I can relate to everything that Larry has said. And so would have my husband. All those dying from Cancer are extremely courageous people . Thank you. Larry

  • Alex King
    20 February 2015

    I volunteer for cruk out in the community talking about lifestyle, early diagnosis and spotting signs and symptoms. I’m proud to be part of this amazing charity, we need more people like Larry. Speak up, stand up, support. What an amazing , powerful blog. Peace and love to Larry and his family.

  • Anne Pentelow
    19 February 2015

    Brilliantly written.

  • Kirsteen McKellar
    19 February 2015

    Beautifully written words of wisdom.
    I would wish you the chance to go to bed and sleep away when you were ready Larry

  • Susan Wardlaw
    19 February 2015

    What a brave and well-written response. I have huge admiration for Larry.

  • HeatherAnne Reiling
    19 February 2015

    Thank you for writing this, it is very thought provoking and I think useful, I feel that unless someone is really experiencing it that they cannot really know, they may have an idea, but can’t know how something feels. No matter what their experience, I hope you are as comfortable as possible, and that you and your family suffer as little as possible. I feel whilst the doctor may believe what he said, in the position of this gentleman he may feel differently. Bless you and your family Larry, I am proud to have “met” you through this written piece.

  • stuart nutter
    19 February 2015

    Fanatstic moving and emotional and well written.Tommorow is promised to no one ,but good luck Larry and your family,only someone like yourself and your family that have and are suffering from this horrible cancer have the experience to comment.This Doctor obviously/thankfully has not.Good Luck,i am sure everyone who reads your story will think,there but for the grace of god go i.

  • Flora Christie
    19 February 2015

    I have had a lobotomy for lung cancer 2 years ago and I have lost three sisters to the disease the mental anguish of CANCER is unbelievable at times

  • Alice Palmerton
    19 February 2015

    The only thing that we all have in common is that we are ALL going to die.
    We are not told Where, When, How, or Why. There are so many killer diseases out there that we are not immune to, but I think that ‘the big C’ has to be at the top of the list.
    From young children, to the elderly, if that is your fate, that is how you will go. Cancer doesn’t care who it takes, and I get the impression that Dr Richard Smith doesn’t care very much either. What would HE like the billions that are spent on Cancer Research, to go to?
    Larry, I pray that you slip away in your sleep, quietly and peacefully, just as one of my aunts did.(Lung cancer).. Most of my moms siblings were taken by that dreaded disease, but strangely it was all the females, my mom included.
    You are an exceptional and brave man, and I promise you that you are now on my prayer list. I am telling you this because there is nothing else that I can do to help you.
    I can only hope that the rest of your life is peaceful, full of love, and that when your time comes, you have a safe trip to meet our Lord.
    God Bless you and keep you as free of pain as possible…………

  • Dorne
    19 February 2015

    Brilliant response Larry to a somewhat foolish statement from someone who appears to have little personal insight into the brutal world of a cancer diagnosis. My Husband, I and all immediate family and friends had the ground swept from under our feet in October 2013. Our beautiful only child, was diagnosed with hereditary breast cancer at 24 years old. Her paternal Grandmother died at 39 years in 1959, a year after my Hubby was born. He sadly carries the dreadful BRCA1 gene. A brave, brave girl underwent a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy. Every day we live life to the full, grateful for the research that has given us hope. No longed for grandchildren for us but hey we just want our precious girl to Live, Love, Laugh and Grow old. Research has to be the only way forward for the future. Bless you Larry, may your journey be yours. As I said to my Daughter on that dreadful day. I so wish it was me and not you. This is your journey but we will be there to support you in any way we can.

  • Hannah
    19 February 2015

    I completely agree, my dad was poorly over Christmas with a chronic reaction to chemo. My dad has oesophageal cancer. Whilst on the ward (he was there two weeks) we saw three people pass away from cancer. I strongly believe that faced with this diagnosis people should be given back control over their own lives. Cancer takes so much away from a person, to be able to say I have had enough now should be possible. To choose when gives you back the power.

  • Carol hands
    19 February 2015

    Powerful piece intelligently reasoned and written from a real perspective. I have been through some but not all of this and I admire your spirit in taking the time to give a true view of how it feels to be terminally ill with all the ensuing uncertainty and fallout within your family and of course for you. I wish you peace dignity and sympathetic treatment and feel sure you make your family so proud. X

  • Patricia
    19 February 2015

    I agree with all you say Larry and especially the part about our right to choose when we end our lives. We believe it is humane to ‘put animals down’ so they do not suffer yet we insist humans go through the enormous pain and suffering before their lives end naturally. I plan to start saving the tablets for my ‘humane’ ending and hope I have the courage to take them at the optimum time.

  • Sadie Newman
    19 February 2015

    What an incredibley well written piece & couldn’t agree more with everything you have written! I wish you the very best for your how ever long future holds for you & as far as I’m concerned re that Doctor! He should be struck off as his attitude stinks! Doctors are to save lives & help with cures etc where ever possible! I wouldn’t want to meet him that’s for sure! Good luck with everything & I hope you are not & do not suffer too much pain.

  • Sue Sandham
    19 February 2015

    I lost both my parents to ‘C’ and many other relatives and close friends. Not that many years ago I worked in a Cancer hospital and met some lovely people. But when asked many of the staff declined to say whether they would undergo chemotherapy. Like me we had seen such distressing reactions to the drugs that, in my view, the treatment is worse than the disease. If I am unlucky and get cancer I will be reviewing my funeral plan, sorting out my papers and if this wimp of a government has not finally taken the wishes of the majority and sorted out euthanasia I will ensure that I have the wherewithall to do it myself!

  • Dave Mc
    19 February 2015

    Brought me to tears Larry and I feel guilty for crying, but what you have said I’m sure must echo as true with everyone who has ever known anyone who has lived with or died from this cruel disease. God bless you Larry for your strength and selflessness. I sincerely hope hope he grants you and your wife and family the courage that you will need, whoever he maybe to you.
    Dave Mc

  • Ali
    19 February 2015

    I am so with you on this. What a cruel way to have to spend whatever time left and you can almost see the people round you wishing you would just hurry up and be gone. Watching my husband since his diagnoses is like watching someone being pulled into quicksand albeit inch by inch. Each day a part of him dies and there is NOTHING good about that for him or his family. People who say stupid things like stay strong and stay with us are cruel as that places such a burden on the person who is dying.

  • David Ian Tullett
    19 February 2015

    well said Larry. How can it be the best way. No way. Wishing you all you wish for.x

  • Rosie Smith
    19 February 2015

    Our mum battled to stay with us and managed just under a year and it took nearly half a year to pin down that she had pancreatic cancer – through mis-diagnosis, broken scanners, chaperone availability -continued research needed.

  • Judy
    19 February 2015

    Well said and so true…..

  • Janet
    19 February 2015

    Bless you

  • Diane Hardy
    19 February 2015

    Well said Larry. My husband lasted 5 months with pancreatic cancer and it’s not a good way. My thoughts are with you xxx

  • Kelly
    19 February 2015

    Dr Richard smith.clearly doesn’t seem to have a clue.watching my mother die has been the hardest thing in the world. Mother had lung cancer. Which was stump.but got told she had a brain tumour only lived 2wks.she was robbed.

  • Alan
    19 February 2015

    Well said Larry. My mother took two years dying aged 57 after diagnosis for lung cancer, missing her grandchildren.

  • Tina Wootton
    19 February 2015

    This I am sharing as a committed volunteer assisting our local Marie Curie fundraising group in any way I and we can so may GOD BLESS YOU LARRY AND YOUR FAMILY X

  • Sue Leighton
    19 February 2015

    Well written and so very true.

  • Julie Butler
    19 February 2015

    Powerfully written, hope Richard Smith takes note. My son, aged 21, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and due to medical research into this rare bone cancer and the excellent care from his consultants he is almost two years post chemo and doing extremely well. Immense strain on all the family yes but my boy, who had such amazing strength, got himself through the horrendous treatment/surgery with such dignity – so proud of him. Larry, you are an inspiration…

  • Trevor Lawrence
    19 February 2015

    I have advanced prostate cancer and fully concur with this great blog ,hang on in there we are all so loved by our family and friends,God bless

  • JillJones
    19 February 2015

    Wow an amazing read and written with such courage and determination. I admire you greatly .

  • Nadeem Zafar
    19 February 2015

    What a wonderful article – heartwarming and truly inspiring.

  • Moya Morgan. Co Down. N.Ireland.
    19 February 2015

    Somehow words are not needed Larry! You said it all so eloquently.! I wish you peace.mo

  • john hazelden
    19 February 2015

    Hope I never have to see him I like your letter I hope he finds time to read it.

  • lynda young
    19 February 2015

    There is nothing worse waking up in the early hours if the morning in panic yes I agree more must be done to conquer all incurable illnesses

  • Helen Fenton
    19 February 2015

    Thank you for that…brilliant …..I too had oesophageal Cancer 2005 , it has now come back and is inoperable ..and I am “terminal” now too.I am 59 but determined to have a fantastic 60th year…
    Just to read your remarkable feat of bravery inspires me, and yes it’s crap!!
    However long you have, may you never lose your peace, sense of humour and most of all at the end ….your knowledge that research is the important thing you ..we can pass on
    Assured that sometime in the future the b****** Cancer will be no more

  • Hannah
    19 February 2015

    Larry, you have written such a wonderful and poignant response to such an ignorant man. It saddens and upsets me that people still think like this. I watched my own mother die of breast cancer when I was 12…I too can assure Dr Smith that cancer is not the best way to die. Love to you and your family you are a true inspiration x

  • fiona mcadam
    18 February 2015

    Im amazed that anyone can actually think.cancers the best way to go. From.a personal stand point ive watched 4 members of my family battle cancer and sadly lose that battle. It wasnt pleasant for anyone to watch. Larry your article puts exactly what its like for the patient and the family to deal with what is a death sentence. Obviously Dr Richard Smith doesnt deal with cancer patients on a daily basis.

  • Jane Gareze
    18 February 2015

    Larry, thank you for putting into words so beautifully what needed to be said. I was incensed when all these glorious sound bites hit the news and even more so when people “discussed” the issue in the media with clearly little empathy or experience. My thoughts to you and your family. (Please tell your needy pals to seek counselling elsewhere!)

  • Pat Charlton
    18 February 2015

    You are an amazing person. I was misdiagnosed with advanced breast cancer and can share the effects of chemotherapy with you. No it is not the best way to die all lives are precious and maybe in the future this man or a familvy member may be affected by cancer only then will he realise funding must go on. My best wishes to you and may you be given the strength to live on.

  • Tracey Pace
    18 February 2015

    I 100% agree with Larry whose blog is amazing and made me cry. I prey Dr Smith is not practising as I dread to think how his patients will cope with his lack of empathy believing they are facing “the best way to die” I was diagnosed with Brest cancer in 2010 thank god my doctors were amazing

  • Cousin Andrew
    18 February 2015

    Larry,
    You’re a star.

  • debra
    18 February 2015

    My father died of pancreatic cancer and what Larry said I agree. Since 2012 my mother together with friends and family have raised 4000 pounds. It is so important to not give up, and give the best gift we can to our loved ones. That gift is our believe and dedication to help others and stop this terrible deiease.

  • Celia
    18 February 2015

    I cannot begin to understand what you are going through but you are truly amazing. Whatever I say could not do justice to your bravery. I wish you the right to do what you want. X

  • Peter Harrison
    18 February 2015

    Having watched our son die with cancer of the bowel our thoughts are with you and your family

  • Janice Horner
    18 February 2015

    Larry, I’m so sorry to hear of your ordeal.

    Dr Richard Smith, may have a few points, but these are minor, and to be honest, insultingly ridiculous! Unless you are told (and I have not), that you have a terminal illness, how can anyone even begin to think how that person feels!

    I love your article Larry, it is written with passion! I sincerely hope this silly Dr Smith, reads it and regrets his arrogance and stupidity. Cancer is not a nice way to die Dr Smith … should I actually be calling you a doctor, because in this case it comes across as an insult to cancer patients, and you do not appear to have any compassion whatsoever! Perhaps you need to think about the future! Maybe, just maybe, you may get cancer and are told you are terminally ill, I hope your thoughts are the same, that cancer is a good way to die and for medical research to stop spending money for a cure … how does that crab you Dr… em Smith!

    Nice one Larry,

    Yours truly,
    Jan x

  • Frances Cooper
    18 February 2015

    My husband is 62 and has terminal cancer with only a few months to live. I fully empathise with you and your wife. I struggle on a daily basis and live the fear of losing my husband. My husband is exceptional in his outlook and has now accepted his fate. Unless you are going through this process I would recommend that people keep their ill informed opinions to themselves. Best wishes to you and your family

  • Tarnia Everett
    18 February 2015

    Larry, a wonderful piece of writing which I am ashamed to say made me tearful. My thoughts are with you and I send some love and hugs. Sorry I’ve not put a deep and meaningful comment, you’ve said it as it is and I accept it as you are living it. Lots of love XXX

  • Tony Lunney
    18 February 2015

    Larry.l am 66 in july have stage 4 colon cancer which as been operated on and l am currently undergoing chemotherapy for 12 cycles. I am curious how long.you were you angry that life can deliver.such a cruel blow.

  • Sylvia Haynes
    18 February 2015

    A very moving speech well done having stage 4 breast cancer I too was very offended and upset by this ignorant man I’m pretty sure if it was him he’d change his mind I wish you all the best with your treatment

  • Eric Jackson
    18 February 2015

    This article is the most useful one I have read in al my searches. My mother died of pancreatic cancer when she was 47. Towards the end, when she was effectively no longer with us, the doctor gave us a strong morphine tablet to stop pain, but also to stop breathing. This was a humane and sensible act as all the family were with her at the end. I have lived with prostrate cancer for 12 years, and the chemo is controlling the cancer growth at the moment. It is inevitable that I will die from this cancer, but am fortunate in having skilled consultants on the NHS who monitor my situation very well. I also think about when I will die, and concur with your wise description of the emotional and familial trauma. Thank you.

  • Fran Parker
    18 February 2015

    Larry ,no one knows what we go through,mine is cnacer. My children (2 out of five) are mad because I use humor to ge through. I had one year of chemo,one year of treatments,blood transfusions and the ever painful blood platelet shots. No one else knows but instead of falling apart I became a comedian. It has worked so far. You are a brave man and I wish your family strength. By the way my favorite saying through all this has been ,” Dream a dream,Create a reality”. I am writing a book on “parenting without Prozac. Best to you my friend.
    Fran Parker.2,20,2014

  • Josephine Ocallaghan
    18 February 2015

    A very moving piece if writing from Larry. I think he is extremely courageous and to my mind cancer is a terrible illness to live with and my thoughts are with him. He is a very brave man.

  • Marjorie Dean
    18 February 2015

    Thank you for such a fantastic blog article . I so agree with you on all accounts . With my thoughts and prayers for you and yours .

  • Nicola smith (no relation)
    18 February 2015

    Dear Larry, you share the views of millions! What an honest & powerful message challenging the flippant & idiotic opinion of a minority. I too, as were many, appaled by Dr Richard Smiths thoughtless & heartless statement. One that only a cold, medical, mechanical doctor could say. Gladly, I haven’t come across too many of his sort. I was moved by your honesty. How it might feel for the person who is suffering both physically & emotionally on so many levels. I had no idea how the cancer patient might feel, having to cope with the suffering of their loved ones on top of their own suffering. It is a tough journey, coming to terms with losing someone nearest & dearest to you. Of course we only want the best for our loved ones, it is part of our nature & nurture make up. It is selfish but love & grief often is. It takes more effort & redeems one usless, to except the enivitable without hope of a mirical. The argument that Richard puts across. ‘ cancer is the best way to die because you have time to put your affairs in order & say goodbye to loved ones’ Again, he couldn’t be more wrong.
    My Mum died very suddenly & unexpectedly after beating this torturous & suffocating desaese twice. It is believed it had returned for a third time. Mum was taken from us too soon, with no chance to say our goodbyes, no meaningful words shared, no wrongs righted or to say one more time how much we loved each other. Neither had Mum had chance to put her affairs in order. Close accounts, stop subscription mail etc. She hadnt written down or told anyone her wishes. This tormented my Dad no end. It only added to the suffering, that it was all down to us. We had no idea where to start, from song choices to a final resting place. We searched & searched for a scrap of paper, that Mum might have written something, after being nagged by my Dad to do so, but all we found were receipes! Mum wasnt interested on focusing on death, not for a moment. I firmly believe Mum wasnt ready to leave us, she wasn’t ready to meet cancer again, while she was well, she was having too much fun! And as a mother myself with two small children who adored her, i was enjoying the most precious & loving chapter in our sometimes terbulent relationship. Even after we cremated Mum, Dad was convinced he had got it wrong. Our only peace we can take from this most unbearable loss, is that this time it would have most likely been terminal & Mum had already said she couldn’t go through chemo again. We only found this significant details months later when the medical team was ready to discuss Mums condition with us, this only added to the torment. You mentioned Linda Bellingham, who was a truly inspirational woman. She faced cancer head on & took it by the balls but really, what choice did she have? Stephen Sutton Was a brave, brave young man. He hadn’t even started his life. He decided to do it his way & in doing so, raised thousands of pounds, inspired thousands & left a legacy. I wonder how his family feel about Dr Richard Smiths views? We need to put an end to Cancer. It doesnt care who it takes. My best friend little boy was diagnosed at One. He suvived & is now a healthy ten year old. Without the selfless acts of others & continued financial support from strangers, his outcome might have been very different.
    I wish you all the best Larry. I hope that thousands will continue to be inspired by your story & thousands more will be raised to help fight this vicious & unforgiving desaese.

    Lots of love,

    Nicola

  • Roma Gray
    18 February 2015

    Cancer in my family too please continue research for all

  • PAM ATKINSON
    18 February 2015

    The only thing i can say in response to this man Richards coments on wasting money on treating and curing cancer is” only when you have walked in the shoes of a cancer sufferer for even a day would you or any one els fully appreciate the devastation it brings on both the loved ones and the suferer of the evi ilness. I have been on both sides of the diagnosis and although both sides are different in the affects it brings to each one, It also brings devastation and a minefield of issues. It realy messes you up.there is no going back.

    once you hear those words. So anyone living with this diagnosis deserves respect and support from everyone because one day

  • mary Gorman
    18 February 2015

    There is NO easy way to die, no competition for suffering.
    All Dr Smith probably meant was that it had a few small, and possibly not always available, advantages over other forms of death. https://www.facebook.com/cat.turkington/posts/10152873222178493

  • Gaye Kasperuk, very grateful cancer survivor
    18 February 2015

    This man is amazing, articulate and a gentleman. As a cancer survivor I couldn’t agree more with the article. No-one, however much of a specialist you are, can understand what a very dark place just knowing you have cancer takes you to. At 4am in the morning it can be a very lonely place. I found the ‘cancer experts’ comments ignorant and offensive. I hope he gives up some of his valuable spare time to help the experts at CRUK, specialists that care and drive the treatments that cure and save peoples lives, thankfully like me. As we can tell from this gentlemans article, there is still a long way to go.

  • Sarah Cloke
    18 February 2015

    Wow! Well responded! I am the wife of a cancer sufferer, I can empathise with everything you say from your feelings to those around you, it is just like that. One extra thought for Richard. When we first had the diagnosis my niece asked me to walk the Shine Cancer London Marathon with. Some thing like 17,000 Cancer friends and relations were walking that night raising £3.5m for Cancer Research UK. Isn’t it fantastic that those suffering are the ones raising money to fund the next phase of research. I have 5 close friends who have been given that 10 years plus because their cancer was the more common kind and research has given quality of life.
    Larry you are amazing, thank you for being the voice for so many.

  • Gill
    18 February 2015

    Thank you for your totally honest insight into living life with terminal cancer. Though provoking and brilliantly written. This will be so helpful to so many people. Suffers, carers and loved ones alike. I wish you a peaceful pain free ending to your own life which we will all have to face eventually. Thank you again – Terry & Gill

  • Gill
    18 February 2015

    Thank you for your totally honest insight into living life with terminal cancer. Though provoking and brilliantly written. This will be so helpful to so many people. Suffers, carers and loved ones alike. I wish you a peaceful pain free ending to your own life which we will all have to face eventually. Thank you again Terry

  • Alison
    18 February 2015

    Thank you. You are truly inspirational. From a bowel cancer survivor.

  • jules
    18 February 2015

    I agree with Larry how does a consultant know how some one with cancer actually feels my brother was misdiagnosed with prostrate cancer was told that it was a water infection and not to worry he asked for a second opinion which confirmed that he had cancer but by that time it had spread he had chemotherapy but was so I’ll he stopped it by then it had reached his spine and he was bed bound very quickly I nursed him and I could see a business man that had his own company a strong man that enjoyed life turned into a frightened man that was slowly dieing without dignity as all his body organs were shutting down being unable to control his bowels or water works it is devastating for the family to see this my mother and father were so devastated having to bury there son before them my brother died 6 long months. Then my dear father was told he had bowel cancer in December 2013 by a consultant that said because of his age there wasn’t anything they could do my father was a alert quick thinking and had a good strong mind and brain 84 years young. His exact words were go home and enjoy Christmas! How could we knowing that my father was dying My father like myself had every fe years investigation of the bowels and blood test because of bleeding and problems with the bowels how was there never anything shown up in all those years my father died on February 20th 2014 at home with me as his career such a undignified death and in so much discomfort he was a pound and strong man within weeks became a person half the man he was he was I’m sure still in shock and couldn’t believe his life was over so quickly it broke the family’s heart and 5months later my mother passed with heart failure yet again getting the all clear the pervious week that her heart was fine……..
    I would like this consultant to go through what hundreds of family’s go through caring and living with cancer and maybe if he had a cancer scare his attuide would drastically change….my heart goes out to Larry and his family for writing this much respect and love

  • Pam
    18 February 2015

    You are a very brave and courageous man. My heart goes out to you and your family. We lost my brother to pancreatic cancer, aged 46. Thank you for writing this.

  • Maureen Glendenning
    18 February 2015

    Thank you for sharing this very moving account with us. My husband has had prostate for the last 3 years. He now has cancer in his bones, but no other treatment other than steroids, codeine and paracetamol. We are thankful for each day – we’ve been married 46 years and hope to reach the half-century – he is not in pain at the moment because of his meds. When the time comes, I want him to die with dignity. I also beleive very strongly in euthanasia, after all, we don’t allow animals to suffer, so why on earth do we humans have to?
    Well done Larry for such a well written article, and may the Lord have mercy on you.
    God Bless you and your family

  • sarah
    18 February 2015

    thank you for writing this. thank you.

  • Mr J Smith
    18 February 2015

    Dr Richard Smith wants horse whipping or worse he has not got a clue about the suffering cancer causes it’s victims.
    My father in law died at the age of 55 32yrs ago because for 18months he was diagnosed as diabetic I fact it was a tumour on his kidney that caused it to seep sugar into his blood stream by the time they diagnosed him correctly it was too late. He then spent 6months of pain, vommitting daily, deprivation of sleep and with apathy towards life. This caused unsurmountable stress and very little sleep for his wife and close family members including my wife and myself. My son lost his wife in 2006 to skin cancer at the age of 27 she left behind a 15 month old daughter. She visited her GP several times with a mole on her arm she had to insist he refer her to a specialist and he insanely referred her to a plastic surgeon because he said she was only concerned for cosmetic reasons, the diagnosis by the plastic surgeon was grade 2 melanoma. Three years later she had secondary’s in her lyhmpnodes it spread to her brain,bones and eventually her vital organs. She suffered vommitting upto 15/16 times a day till she died 10months later. The pain in her bones was awful she couldn’t walk within a couple of months of her terminal diagnosis,she had to suffer a broken femar for 4months before she died as well as a broken shoulder for 6 weeks. Furthermore I lost my 57 year old sister last March (2014) she was the baby of the family. She presented herself to her local hospital numerous amount of times with severe pain in her stomach so severe she would often pass-out this went on for several months sometimes she was admitted to the hospital on other occasions sent home with strong painkillers, their diagnosis at the time was pancreatitis, eventually in February she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer she died 5 short weeks later but for those 5weeks she was on the highest dose of morphine she could have and although it took the edge off the pain she still suffered considerable amount of pain.
    I hope DR Smith reads this because it would be interesting to know if he would be so arrogant to stick with his claim that cancer is the best way to die. I also resent his statement that the billions poured into cancer research is wasted, they have come a long long way to finding cure and prevention of some cancers and I’m sure eventually they will do so. I think this shows this man is an arrogant moron and he should be sacked for is insensitivity to cancer sufferers and their families.

  • Terry Edmonds
    17 February 2015

    I have just read this story for the second time and think it is a marvellous response to someone who is obviously very clever but does not understand how a person diagnosed with cancer really feels. I was diagnosed with bladder cancer last May and can only describe the last eight months as well. I had to have my bladder removed in September which means I have to live with a bag hanging from my belly for the rest of my life and at 60 years old I am struggling with that as it is a constant reminder. At the moment I am told that the operation was successfull in that the C has been removed but I have and will have for I hope a long time the fear of when and where will it come back. I have the most amazing family who are supporting me 110per cent but unfortunately do not always understand what I am going through. Just like that so called professional doctor who unfortunately does not know what it’s like to have this horrible disease. Good luck to you larry

  • Christine Hadfield
    17 February 2015

    I can totally relate to this as my dad died of cancer ,his cancer should have been totally curable but was misdiagnosed it and it spread from his thyroid to his throat then to his bones and lastly to his lungs where he had a truly awful time and thankful not long to live as this stage, but it was truly hard for him and for us who loved him to see his suffering. NO cancer is not a good way to die and i know how much he struggled, his battle lasted 7 years. its enough to make me want to see euthanasia in our country and i know if i had the same fate i would want to go. i saw my dads struggle . my mom also had misdiagnosed bowel cancer she suffered for months, ended up with complications from her operation which meant she lost her leg and then had MRSA!! had a truly awful death its so easy for those that have not suffered or been round those that have to suffer to make these stupid statements. I hope that you you can find peace from your suffering like my dad you have had a long and hard battle. I am totally for Euthanasia,the present system of denying food and drink to people to let them go is the most cruel disgusting practice we dont treat our pets that are dying of cancer that that way , if we did we would go to prison so why can they allow this and not help those that want to leave to go with dignity and in peace.

  • Val Mack
    17 February 2015

    What a heartfelt response , and agree with every thing you have said . My husband is in remission from bowel cancer , they caught it early thank the Lord. It was a roller coaster of emotions, fear being the main one for him myself and all our family, and he is constantly fearing its return and still lives in fear . Dr Richard Smith obviously has not had a loved one with cancer . I have just lost my father , he was in renal failure and had Prostrate cancer , and was in constant fear of a prolonged death in a hospital bed or hospice , he went quickly with a cardiac arrest , not very nice for me but so much kinder to him . Larry God bless you

  • Gill Hilton
    17 February 2015

    Dear Larry
    Amazingly honest statement of “as it is”. Having watched both my mother and father die of cancer I also wish that the statement “I’ve had enough” could be taken seriously by those, who seem to see it as there self imposed duty to protect us from ourselves. I can’t even bring myself to speak of politicians, who know that even if they have sincere feelings in favour of this, their message will be so twisted by the press, to make them unelectable. What can we do? Is some sort of poll of the entire population possible. Sorry to go on so

  • Chris Parker.
    17 February 2015

    A very moving and truthful article, well done!, agree totally with you.

  • Lorraine Davidson
    17 February 2015

    Well said Larry we just lost our Beloved Mother in November last year to Pancreatic Cancer we endured 25 months of a complete roller coaster of emotions Disbelief, anger,think they may have diagnosed wrongly, then reality God it was so hard miss her every day, I so hope as difficult as it is for you to keep strong and keep fighting May God Bless You x

  • Wendy
    17 February 2015

    Larry my heart goes out to you and yours I have been their one of the most traumatic times of my life, as for the doctors I am losing all faith take care and good luck with your recovery.

  • Chris Highton
    17 February 2015

    Very brave guy. My wife had Inflammatory Breast cancer 2006-7 and since then the amount of treatment and medication afforded her has been second to not. I admire Larry for his stance and his reply, the Doctor gives the impression that he doesn’t believe that we should all have a fighting chance. Larry is right also when he says the impact on the people around, me and my daughter, in my wife’s case is very profound and devastating. I shed more than a tear in the time leading up to us being told she had responded. I salute you Larry.

  • Trish
    17 February 2015

    Larry I so agree with what you say. I lost my husband to Esophageal cancer ( sorry for the spelling) he was 53 years old. Everything you say I can relate to. Oh I always thought he was the one you read about miracle man who’s cancer vanished. I always had hope he must have wanted to scream at me. No I don’t think cancer is the best way to die. Take care xxx

  • Jane Atack
    17 February 2015

    Articulate and well reasoned. I wonder if the ‘good Doctor’ will have the courtesy to respond.
    I pray the Angels take you the moment you decide it’s time to go.

  • Jacquie
    17 February 2015

    Larry, what a marvellous response. Richard has it totally wrong. My husband has cancer too. His has a rare desmo plastic melanoma which occurred on his nose. After 7 operations we are told no more can be done having gone back as far as his brain and having extensive reconstruction. Chemo and radiotherapy were not an option due to the nature of the cancer. He now suffers constant nerve pain and we have no idea how things will progress. We live life as normally as possible but every little thing that crops up stirs up our anxiety. My father died of a heart attack. Sudden and shocking to our family, but I know which I would prefer if I had the choice. I wish you as much long and pain free life as possible. Very best wishes.

  • Jacqui crewe
    17 February 2015

    Very well said. Thank you for putting my very same points in writing. Whisking the best for you – Jacqui xx

  • Felicity
    17 February 2015

    Thank you for putting forward your view on living and dying with cancer. As someone who has had several close family members die of cancer, two in the last two years I agree with you on every point and am very glad that you wrote about them, in answer to the comment that was made about dying from cancer. Thinking of you with love and sympathy as you deal with your disease.

  • Jacqueline
    17 February 2015

    words fail me, with that comment, they obviously not cared for someone with cancer, or know nothing about this awful disease. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us , I am with you on assisted dying. Big hugs and love to you and family xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Janice
    17 February 2015

    Larry my heart goes out to you I lost my beloved Mum to pancreatic cancer 20 years ago she was 53 she had her stomach removed in a 9hour operation she couldn’t eat only small portions of mashed food like a baby then she would be sick she suffered for 11 months after her operation and the cancer spread to her bones to watch her suffer and try to carry on with her life was heartbreaking at one stage she was crawling on the floor on her hands and kness I miss her everyday and if I came face to face with Dr Smith I would like to punch him in the face, sorry but makes my blood boil there is no research into pancreatic cancer that seems to have any positive results as yet and most People diagnosed suffer terribly. I wish you all the best you are so brave for speaking out when faced with such a heartbreaking day to day treatment love to you and your Family x

  • Anna
    17 February 2015

    God I feel for you Larry…my husband is just the other side of treatment for throat cancer and is on the snail trail of recovery…we have to wait for a scan of his throat to know if they’ve got it all and he gets the all clear…we believe he’s been fortunate they didn’t have to operate. Everything you stated is so spot on when you first hear the word “Cancer” as your life as you know it is gone, on hold and unlikely to be the same again even as a saviour. I have the greatest admiration for you and the strenght of your convictions. I don’t know what I’d do in your situation concerning “assisted dying” but surely choice is the ultimate aim of democracy. If we have a register for organ donation and none resuscitation why not on for assissted dying in the event of terminal disease.

  • Christina Mitchell
    17 February 2015

    You are a brave man Larry. I am so sorry you are going through this. I can sympathise with you as my mother died of throat cancer in 2013. I strongly believe in assisted dying, to watch someone you love go through what she did is heart breaking. My heart goes out to you.

  • Cameron Blair
    17 February 2015

    Thank you Larry for taking the time to write down your thoughts. I am recently diagnosed and although I expect to survive for up to four years the sentence was handed down with the diagnosis and all the psycological “stuff” that comes along with it. My wife of 30 years and I carry this baggage constantly and although I dread the “end game” it has essentially been there every waking moment. I think the guy just does’nt get it but will stop short of suggesting that he try cancer before spouting his unwanted opinions. I could not agree more with your comments on assisted dying and once again would thank you for your excellent blog.

  • Pauline Murphy
    17 February 2015

    So very very sad and so true I have watched 4 people die from cancer Mum Dad and two brothers and I wouldn’t have wished My MUms or my borthers death on anyone very very bad. Reading this sounds so very very sad but true.

  • Tina McLeod
    17 February 2015

    On behalf of everyone who has suffered and is suffering Cancer I would like to thank you for your eloquent and heartfelt rejection of Dr Smiths assertions. Having lost my mum and dad to pancreatic and oesophageal cancer respectively I would have to agree with every point you made. I wish you all the very best.

  • Peace
    17 February 2015

    Understandably, cancer is very horrible to have as many have lost their fight against cancer and I have many friends survive cancer and it is a blessing. However, I feel the funding for other diseases out there that are worse than cancer and take the lives of more people is not there. For example, cancer may get 6 million while other more critical diseases may get 6k or 60k. I feel it is important to advocate for all who suffer and are fighting a battle as such.

  • Diane
    17 February 2015

    Larry thank you for using your valuable time in write this, my thoughts are with you. I agree fully with you, as to assisted dying, we all should have the choice.

  • Diana
    17 February 2015

    Larry, thank you so much for being so BRAVE and open about this. I couldn’t agree more with you. You have all my respect and I wish you and your loved ones may you be able to go down this path in peace.

  • Angela Beggs
    17 February 2015

    Larry you are an amazing Gentleman, Every thing you said I completely True, my Dear Daddy God rest him died with Pancreatic cancer, as did my dear friend , the pain they suffered was unbearable, I will never forget my dads pain till the day I die, he was a good man and helped everyone as was my friend , more Research is needed in this field. When my Dad was told what he had from their on in which was 12 weeks he never smiled ever again, could not make decisions, sleep left him as did his appetite, . I have worked for Research for 25 years in raising much needed funds , and believe me they have come a very long way in Research . Time is the essence, and research with all their new Drugs can give people many extra years to enjoy Life, pain free. Without Research a lot of people would have died.

  • Sandra Colquhoun
    17 February 2015

    I presume Richard has never had first hand experience of someone with terminal Cancer or he wouldn’t have said they only have pain nearer the end. My husband died from Pancreatic Cancer in 2005 and I can assure you the pain I watched him suffer for 11 months was heartbreaking. I only wish he had been diagnosed sooner. He had been attending his G.P. For 5 months before diagnosis, and it was only diagnosed at that time because we went private for a C.T scan. I dread to think how long it would have taken for his diagnosis if we hadn’t taken action ourselves to find out what was causing the terrible pain, sickness and weight loss (he had lost 3 stone in 2 weeks) no one should have to suffer like that or be watching someone they love suffering so much. No death is easy to handle but to me Cancer can never be called the best death. I myself am a 12 year survivor of Breast Cancer, for which I’m grateful, we really need to find a cure as soon as possible for ALL CANCERS

  • KAREN LUDFORD
    17 February 2015

    I am a BC sufferer and have lost my mother to pancreatic cancer and have 2 friends terminally Ill with this terrible illness. No cancer is good – and certainly not good to die from. We need to do more research for pancreatic cancer as it is the worst!

  • Julia
    17 February 2015

    I lost my son suddenly 18 months ago from a brain cyst and not even a year later my husband was diagnosed with bowel cancer and after a bowel op he is now back on chemo as one of his lymph nodes was affected.Friends and family say how amazing we all are dealing with it all but what else are we supposed to do life has dealt us and Larry and 100’s of others bad cards but we just have to get on and deal with it.Thank you for baring your heart Larry I totally agree with every word you said.

  • Karrie
    17 February 2015

    I can honestly say I agree with every point Larry makes so eloquently in this response. My mother has just been diagnosed with non operable cancer of the oesophagus and liver. She is about to start palliative chemotherapy. We are a strong and supportive family, but this is hard on everyone. Any research that can lead to earlier detection or better health advice has got to be a positive step forward.

  • Kate Parkes
    17 February 2015

    God bless you Larry, I agree and support all that you have written. I lost my dad to Bone Cancer, he was not able to have chemo. I watched him from one month to the next slowly getting worse and worse, his last few months bed bound, he was in terrible pain some of the time, he definitely did’nt think it was a good way to die? But not once in all his suffering did he ever complain, he was a brave man. I worked at a veterinary centre for many years so I saw a lot of animals in pain, with diseases, or just had enough from old age and I always used to say humans should have the choice to be out of their pain and suffering if they chose , why not it’s their life….. My 14year old dog has been living with Pancreatitus for a while, when the bad days get more frequent and his quality of life is no more. I will do the right thing and kiss him goodbye, I will not let him suffer.

  • Chris French
    17 February 2015

    What a fantastically thoughtful and well reasoned reply to Dr Smiths point of view. It stirred lots of buried emotions for me having lost my wonderful Father to pancreatic cancer in 1977 at the age of 49. I was angry then that so little was known and so little could be done. It is a tragic waste that survival rates for this type of cancer remain so pitifully low. I wish Larry and his family all the strength and courage they need, and thank him for sharing his experience with us so that we might better understand.

  • Susan Kennedy
    17 February 2015

    What an amazing man you are, I am so sorry for your suffering xxx

  • Janet R.
    17 February 2015

    I’ve just been given a terminal prognosis for secondary breast cancer, I’m 50 years old but was first diagnosed at 47, many of the things that have been written I can totally empathise with, I wouldn’t choose to die with cancer neither would my 21 year old twins, husband, brothers, parents, close family members, girl friends, work colleagues and neighbours, the list goes on. It’s true what Larry says about coping with everyone else’s emotions, it’s a huge burden but what do you do? You can’t turn people away when all they want is to show how much they love you, it’s probably the hardest thing for me, I need lots of rest whilst enduring the chemo but I also need the love of people around me, it’s a double edge sword. The article written says it all and I admire Larry for being able to find the words that reflect probably what most terminal cancer patients think and are going through. I wish Larry and everyone else in our unfortunate position well and hope that one day in the not so distant future Cancer Research uk will find a cure through their research which will put an end to this unforgiving disease.

  • Jessica Beeby
    17 February 2015

    God bless you Larry and thank you for writing such a powerful, emotional, informative and supportive article. I wish you all the strength it takes to find your peace x

  • Patricia Hay
    17 February 2015

    I identified with every word of Larry’s article having lost my husband from cancer when he was 56. His initial kidney cancer, first diagnosed when he was 49, spread to his bladder, then to his brain. Those seven years of struggling through surgery and various treatments gave him plenty of time to put his affairs in order and say his goodbyes. But his quality of life, the mental anguish and emotional effect on himself, his young son and myself were not worth it. I’d have given everything to have ended his struggle sooner. Our son has since suffered a mental breakdown due to the emotional effect of watching his dad suffer so. How can we not carry on searching for a cure for cancer?

  • sally
    17 February 2015

    Such true and raw emotions, a very brave man! I was with my sister in law who had bowel cancer every step of the way. And how in gods name can that man believe it’s the best. Larry we hear you and all I can wish and hope for, in kindness for you is speed.
    I cannot understand fully how you feel and being honest I am the thankful for that.
    Very honest and emotional, God bless xx

  • linda brown
    17 February 2015

    Luvvie you are so right, I had bowel cancer, but have now to take chemo 6 months, I don’t know if it will be gone, buts here’s hoping. My family are fab, but I note what you said about them feeling the “victim”. It’s their way of coping, Larry we are the strong ones, I wish you well luvvie. xx

  • jan
    17 February 2015

    OMG Larry you are so so right. How dare this ‘man’ say what he did? My son has terminal osteosarcoma! He has suffered for the last seven years culminating in an above knee amputation, three thoracotamies where he lost nearly half of his total lung capacity, he’s had two ops on his spinal column to ‘scrape’ the tumour from around his spinal cord. It has now come back on his lung at a point that is inoperable, chemo is not working, so he’s just got to ‘wait’. My hero was 16 when this started and has been told he has approx 8 months. I never knew that there were so many teenagers that had cancer until Ed was taken up to UCH London. Research needs to carry on, there has been so many changes since Ed started chemo 7 years ago – ones that have given him extra time. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy so all I can say is that I hope and pray that Richard Smith and his family never ever get cancer and have to live and die through what we are going through!!!

  • Margo
    17 February 2015

    Wonderful article. Made me realise exactly what we need to do to be more there for my mum. God bless.

  • Jean Bates
    17 February 2015

    God bless you Larry my comment should say – so sorry!

  • Jean Bates
    17 February 2015

    My husband had oesophageal cancer which was removed and he went on to live a near normal life – although he still struggled with eating for the next four years, then developed pain in his back in April 2009. He was convinced that cancer had returned and after many weeks of tests at doctors and then further scans etc at the hospital it was confirmed in June 2009, he had cancer in the spine which was invading his liver and other organs. We the family were told by the oncologist that his prognosis was not good. Months maybe. By the time the diagnosis was made my husband had changed immensely. He had been bedridden for two months on morphine, could not or would not talk about his health, had stopped eating so had lost nearly all his body weight, he lost in total about five stone, maybe more, We, the family did everything we could to keep him happy and comfortable. He passed away the day before his 59th birthday on 11/07/09. f this is the way to die god help us all, it has scarred all of us in different ways, try living with someone with terminal cancer and then still say that cancer is the best way to die!! God bless you Richard with your fight, I for one will go,on supporting cancer research until every cancer patient survives.

  • Chris Heale
    16 February 2015

    My brother died of pancreatic cancer in March last year, having been diagnosed eleven months earlier. He was 41.
    There were some great times in the last year of his life and memories that I’ll cherish forever, but nothing will convince me that his was the best way to die.
    Given the choice between cancer and old age I think I know which he would have chosen.

  • Nicki Ferguson
    16 February 2015

    I have just read this wonderful article by Larry and I just want to congratulate you Larry on your honesty and the way you have articulTed living with a cancer diagnosis. Everything you have said so reflects what all of us are going thru and certainly echos my journey…..god bless you and thank you

  • Annette Rooney
    16 February 2015

    Larry you are inspiration to us all . I my self am bowl cancer surviver and skin cancer I feel greatfull to be here . Not one day goes past that I dont think and worry about my children as I was under 50 when got bowel cancer . God bless u larry you will always be in my prayers .

  • sharon jackson
    16 February 2015

    You are a very brave man Larry. I feel for you and your family at this really difficult time. I lost my husband to cancer and it affects the whole family and we all deal with it in different ways. May you continue to deal with it as courageously as you obviously are. Thank you for sharing.

  • janet cordwell
    16 February 2015

    I have breast cancer and have just ended my chemo and radiotherapy treatments, I have lost many friends and workmates due to various cancers, I also feel the same about assisted dying. If it’s considered “humane” to put to sleep animals that are suffering pain from a fatal and incurable illness, then what would we call the act of making someone suffer pain and loss of dignity and refusal of your final wishes ? Maybe we would call it ‘barbaric ” I wish you good luck in your fight for the right to assisted dying .

  • fleming
    16 February 2015

    try being told you have MND!….death sentence….NO medication of any kind!….NO HOPE! NO CURE!….nothing 75% of patients are dead within 14 months!

  • Yvonne Weekes
    16 February 2015

    I admire Larry for spending time writing this. I feel for him. As I cared for my Mam and later was with my brother while he reached the end of his journey. It was incredibly hard, and broke my heart. But that was.nothing to what it did to my brother. You have to walk a mile in someone’s shoes to understand. God Bless.you Larry

  • Sharon Briggs
    16 February 2015

    I lost my mum a year ago to lung cancer , that spread to her brain . I think research is the only way to go . How can anyone say that no more money should be spent on cancer research ! This man obviously hasn’t been affected by anyone in his family having cancer . It is an evil disease & has no boundaries . He needs to hang
    his head in shame !! You are an inspiration Larry . Take care xx

  • Anita
    16 February 2015

    Well done Larry!!!

  • maureen mcphee
    16 February 2015

    This story is inspirational too all cancer sufferers and there carers my husband was diagnosed with Nasal Phangeal cancer on July 20012 miraculously it disappeared with intense chemo and radiation treatment he now has secondary cancer nodules in lungs and one in liver but remains positive and still having treatment to control it ,thank you Larry for sharing your story God bless you for giving us all the courage to carry on God willing we will have a cure one day soon x

  • chrisie godden
    16 February 2015

    That was very moving and so true I think that you are a very brave man Larry, I have lost two sisters to terminal cancer so I know what its like, I will definitely keep you and your family in my thoughts.

  • Nana Speakman
    16 February 2015

    Anyone who has had a family member diagnosed with the disease would not hesitate to agree. I watched my brother die of bowel cancer, and have watched my 3 year old grandson fight neuroblastoma. No child should suffer this way. Dr Smith is talking utter rot.

  • Susan Doan
    16 February 2015

    Bravo Larry for writing this response to this clueless person. I’m a stage 4 PC fighter in my 50s and although I’m trying to make the best of a horrible situation this is an aweful way to leave this world. It’s painful and the toll it’s taken on my family is so hard to watch. I wouldn’t wish the diagnosis of terminal cancer on my worst ememy. Let’s find a cure or at least work on an early detection method for PC and some other silent killers!

  • Mrs JENNIE Joyce
    16 February 2015

    What an articulate and lovely argument Larry has written . I was diagnose with breast cancer many years ago so know exactly what he is saying . The only difference is I survived Larry is only looking death in the face , God knows when . Assisted dying for all should be our option . Of course without a shadow of doubt research must continue for all cancers .

  • florence garton
    16 February 2015

    my husband as just died of lung cancer and to me he really died inside when they told him it was terminal it is not the best way to die to my mind it is stupid to say that every thing larry as said is just how we were my husband only lived just over a year he never wanted to talk about dieing and he did not wont to know how long he had left more money is needed to find a cure my heart goes out to you larry for having the courage to do this xx

  • katchars
    16 February 2015

    Your response is an inspiration to all cancer sufferers. You have to rise above the ‘idiots’ who have no idea. Thank you for sharing, God Bless you.

  • dorothy McKeown
    16 February 2015

    You are an amazing person Larry. The truth is not easy but it’s better than being fed a load of rubbish We need more and more Research, these guys are doing a magnificent job and must be assisted in every way to keep going. Take care of yourself.i wish you well

  • renee Reid
    16 February 2015

    Points very well made.

  • Beverly bondon
    16 February 2015

    Larry what a brilliant response to a complete a…hole! Love and peace to you.x

  • Marie
    16 February 2015

    I am so sorry that anyone has to deal with this terrible disease. My husband died of pancreatic cancer. He was diagnosed in January or February after being in pain since the October before then (if not before that time). A few years earlier he told me that he felt really tired and I said he should see his doctor. I believe that must have been when his cancer began to affect him, He had various tests including a blood test, but nothing was found. He did not want to have chemo or radio therapy, as he believed that (with a terminal diagnosis) his quality of life would not be improved. He died in May, aged 57, and would have welcomed the chance to legally end his life before then. Although as survivor of our marriage, I felt a mixture of relief and guilt when he died, I would have supported his wish to die. I felt guilty because I wanted him to die so that his pain was ended, and also relieved that he had finally escaped it. But, I also felt guilty because I wanted him to live. Again, I believe that if he had been diagnosed earlier, I think his cancer was Stage 4 when he was diagnosed, he might have stood some chance. Pancreatic cancer is one of those cancers that are generally found too late.

  • Fiona
    16 February 2015

    Thank you Larry…love & best wises to you, your family & friends

  • louuse
    16 February 2015

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on your life, my own darling sister is in secondary cancer with it now in her bones but the team at the bacalaste hospital in Caen, France have worked very hard to contain it and at this moment she is doing well but we never forget that this time it has not been removed. I send you love and my best wishes to you and your family and pray you have quality time left to enjoy with your people xxx

  • Patricia Hutchison
    16 February 2015

    Thank-you for taking the time to write this page. I’m terminal Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma (kidney cancer). I was diagnosed aged 45yrs now 55yrs & still fighting. Take chemo tablets at home everyday. They say you just live in hope but that’s far from the truth. I would like not to wake up & struggle through yet another day. So thank-you

  • sue
    16 February 2015

    well writen goodfor you to speak out,i lost my dad to lung cancer my brother in law to lukemia,and now my sister is terminal with bowel cancer and non hogkins lymphoma.wishing you and your wife all the very best defo no what yous are going through godbless

  • Gina Armstrong
    16 February 2015

    Larry, thank you for helping me understand. Your response to shockingly insensitive comments from someone who should have known better is incredible.

  • Sharron
    16 February 2015

    You are a true Legend.. So perfectly put. God bless you.

  • Anthony Johnson
    16 February 2015

    bless you and a massive huge thanks for sharing you’re life with everyone
    I wish hire situation had a better outcome
    if u had a wand I’d wave it in a flash
    love

  • Anne
    16 February 2015

    My husband had been I’ll for 2-3 year going to see his GP often they didn’t listen told him he was depressed and gave him antidepressants but of course they never helped, by the time he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic Cancer he was too I’ll to have chemotherapy, and apart from pain relieving surgery there was nothing that could be done.For the next seven life was a living nightmare.You ask if is better to die suddenly or slowly there really isn’t an answer to this because everyone has different view s and everyone is right. My beloved husband of 38years died on the 11.11. 11 seven months after diagnosis aged 61.My grief will always be with me the memories of those hidious months etched on my mind.So how can anyone think cancer is good way to die.And without research how can anything change.There I so much more to this story as there is for family who has to face such devesting news. Doctors please listen to your patients.

  • isla mcallister
    16 February 2015

    Wonderfully true. Exactly how my mum explained it! Especially others feeling like the victims! ‘ how will i manage without you’ my mum like you fought cancer twice but it beat her in the end in may 2013. Stomach cancer. Horrid physically and emotionally too! She wanted it all over in the march enoughs enough she would say!! But cancer dragged her alonf another8/9 weeks!!! my kids & i have raised over £800 to help cancer research since . X

  • Anne Tindall
    16 February 2015

    Thank you Harry for sharing with us. I feel so humbled by it.

  • Pat
    16 February 2015

    My husband died from a rare cancer – a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme – brain cancer. His death was very sudden just 36 hours after diagnosis. I have since found out that this type of cancer is at the bottom of funding for research projects. ALL cancers should have adequate funding for research to find a cure. Death by cancer is definitely not the best. I just hope Dr Richard Smith does not get cancer and have to eat his words.

  • Ann Tidey
    16 February 2015

    Thank you Larry, for this. My parents both died after long, painful, debilitating cancer battles (one, a brain tumour; the other, breast cancer). In both cases it was distressing for all and undignified for them. Some of the medical staff dealing with my mother were not among the most sensitive, and I ended up battling with them, when all I wanted was relief from pain and distress for my mother. It is a HORRIBLE disease. You spoke about your experience in such a powerful, but rational way; I can only applaud your words. I shall save what you have written so that I can at least have some sensitivity when others are in this situation. Alternatively, I will use them if it comes my way. Wishing you love, peace and joy.

  • Judith Buckley
    16 February 2015

    I am so sorry you are having to walk this path once again. I thank you for your sensitive and succinct response to a shocking and insensitive article and for an insight into what it is like from your point of view. I hope it will help me and others to be of more help to our suffering loved ones.

  • Carol Selemba
    16 February 2015

    Larry I think you are amazing, it makes me so angry to see these comments by IDIOT RICHARD SMITH. I actually emailed the CEO of the BMJ and told her exactly what I thought! I lost my dear husband to Melanoma (skin cancer) and he knew he was terminally ill. It broke my heart but I cannot begin to imagine how my man felt. Put me infront of the IDIOT and lets talk!!! Larry I finish by saying what an amazing gentleman you are, my thoughts are with you and your family

  • Evelyn
    16 February 2015

    I’d like to thank Larry for writing this blog. I lost my sister last October to another ‘rare’ cancer which seems to belong to the same family of cancers as Larry’s. As those cancers are not so well known they tend not to be considered as possibilities when the patient describes their symptoms to their doctor. My sister was given the impression that the doctors thought she was making things up with the result that she obtained nothing to help her with her appalling symptoms. By the time her condition was identified it was too late and she died a few weeks after receiving a diagnosis.

  • Tricia Collins
    16 February 2015

    I watched my mother die from this particular cancer and agree that nothing mu