Boffins are my super-heroes

With Mr T chucking missiles out, left right and centre, insulting America’s allies, and continually displaying his ignorance about the rest of the world, I can understand it if world affairs might be leaving you a bit wobbly.

So, today, I thought I’d share something positive. Something encouraging. Something nice. The scientists – that great community of dedicated boffins – are slowly but surely winning the war against cancer. Go Team! 

Okay, there are still plenty who don’t win the fight, and it’s especially devastating when it’s a young person. But, just think: twenty years ago, when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I was told that if it came back there was nothing they could do for me. I would die. So, when it did turn up again in 2011, I thought I might not make it to Christmas. But, here I am in 2017. I’m discovering that there are lots and lots of us who are living with cancer, rather than dying (quickly) from it. Okay, we’re all going to die of something, some time, and for me it most probably will be the cancer, but for a lot of us this disease is no longer a bullet train into eternity. YAY!

Back in 2012, I was one of the first patients to whom my oncologist gave Denosumab. (Denosumab helps my bones fight the invading cancer cells and reduces the pain levels. God bless it.) It was still “experimental”. But these days, I often meet other people living with metastasised cancer, who are on this wonderful drug. Instead of sitting hooked up to a drip for half an hour every month, we get a quick jab in the tum; all over in minutes. Okay, for the next couple of days, I feel lousy, but it’s worth it.

I was in the chemo room yesterday, waiting for my jab, when I met a lovely lady whose husband is also on the big D. He has been living with metastasised prostate cancer for the last nine years. Nine years! I can remember the days when that was an automatic death sentence of months, if you were lucky, not years.

So, hooray for all the boffins, slaving away in laboratories all around the world. God bless you and your work…and I pray you’re kept safe from stray missiles and nasty budget cuts.


PS Please don’t send me diet tips; links to sites about marijuana; information about ‘faith healers’; links to articles about how the medical community are keeping the secret of the cure from me, in order to make money, or anything about the wonders of mung beans, tofu and aromatherapy. You might think I’m pathetic, but I choose to trust my oncologist. So far, what he’s doing is working.


  1. Ken Rolph
    Jun 3, 2017

    These new developments are fine when they work. But there is an awful lot of testing along the way. I have the unfortunate position of being almost well, so useful for experimenting on. “Here, take this juice of a venomous lizard. Should fix you right up.”

    A certain class of nasal sprays just doesn’t work on me. Sticking a cattle prod up my nose produces a better effect. I think we’ve already mined the lode of general cures. The new stuff seems to work best when it can be fitted to people with certain characteristics.

    Otherwise I just walk more and sleep well. Even boffins approve of that.

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 24, 2017

      I don’t mind the testing. I figure it may well be the cure, in which case I’m first in line, and if it isn’t, then I’m doing my bit to help them find it. If I don’t benefit, perhaps my kids will. Glad to hear you’re sleeping and walking better. A cattle prod? Who knew!

  2. Paula Vince
    Apr 22, 2017

    That’s wonderful, Wendy, and a great reminder to give them credit. My dad was also getting a regular tummy jab, and his cancers, prostate and colon, were either cured or kept under control for years. We’d thought we might lose him back in 2004 when my youngest son was born, but instead he lived another 13 years, passing away just this February. And he was aged 84 instead of 70. I think he was at peace with going at that age, and although we miss him, that’s a great comfort to us.

    • Wendy Noble
      Apr 22, 2017

      Wow, Paula, I didn’t know that about your dad. How wonderful that he had all that extra time and could die, “full of years”. Gotta love those boffins.

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