“Greg begins six months of chemotherapy today. This is a daunting prospect after six months of last year taken up with the same. I know the drill, I know what I need to do on these days as his carer.
Today was slightly different though. In between the collection of packages from the chemist, organising future blood tests and watching Greg puking and shivering in a chair as the drugs take hold, I also had to find the finance department because we are having to pay for the cancer drug Avastin.
They were very confused; people don’t just rock up and pay for cancer treatment. You either have what is available on the NHS or you don’t have it, that’s the deal for most people.
I was asked if this was the amount for the full treatment I explained no, this is for one round, I would be coming back in three weeks to pay another £1860.83 and would continue to do this every three weeks for six months. They were horrified.
This is the reality of cancer care and the NHS. We are in the exceptional position to be able to pay for this because of the unprecedented generosity of people but ours is not the usual situation. This is happening right now. Today. Imagine having to know that you couldn’t have a drug that would either save your life or buy you more time with loved ones because of money. That’s the deal.
Our NHS is more than a British institution or a bastion of ideals, its life and death. It’s the life of my partner and the father of my babies. Actively fight for this because we won’t have another chance.”