ME vs Cancer

Here is a great article about a fellow sufferer Jenny Andrews, who has had both ME and cancer and her experiences of the difference in attitude and treatment between the two and her descriptions of having ME.

There are some great quotes

“Jose Montoya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University and a leading expert in CFS, has described the condition as ‘one of the greatest scientific and medical challenges of our time’. 
He said: ‘Its symptoms often include not only overwhelming fatigue but also joint and muscle pain, incapacitating headaches, food intolerance, sore throat, enlargement of the lymph nodes, gastrointestinal problems, abnormal blood-pressure and heart-rate events, and hypersensitivity to light, noise or other sensations.'”

“Chronic fatigue is like having horrendous nausea and then being thrown on a ship – and feeling sea sick – with bags of potatoes tied to each limb – and then someone asking you to run a marathon. And that is just to get to the toilet.”

“‘I’ve been told I’m not ill, to have a glass of wine and that I’m actually depressed. There comes a point where you start to doubt yourself and think “am I”?
She continued: ‘However with depression, you have no motivation, feel like there is no point to anything and have no fun any more. 
‘I do have the motivation, drive and ambition to get up and do things – just not the physical strength.
‘Some people think I’m making it up and being lazy – it’s horrendous.”

“‘I’ve been told that in order to have the best chance of recovery, you need to start getting treatment within the first six months.
‘But many doctors say you have to have had symptoms for six months before you are diagnosed with CFS.”

“Tony Britton, of the ME Association, told MailOnline: ‘We are not surprised by Jenny saying having chronic fatigue syndrome feels worse than those awful days when she had bladder cancer.
‘When people have cancer they can generally access speedy and effective treatment, research is rapidly moving forward to reduce the death toll, come up with individualised treatments, and providing a good quality of life as long as possible. ‘The whole medical and nursing establishment can get behind you.’ He added that by contrast, CFS – which is also known as M.E. (myalgic encephalomyelitis) – is poorly understood.”

Please do read the rest of the article.  Well done Jenny for getting this article published.

My husband had cancer in 2006/7 and despite having a strict drug regime and risking hospitalisation if he unable to keep his medication down he says he is glad he had the cancer over ME.  He is now able to lead a normal life and care for me and my daughter, people with ME can’t do that.

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