Caring for the

28 April 2000

Caring for the

terminally ill…

SOMERSET-MENDIP has two new contact leaders I was happy to meet before the talk given to their group by Margaret Raines.

This Macmillan nurse started with a parable: An old man was walking along a beach and came across a young man who was tossing all the starfish that had been washed up on shore back into the sea. "Why are you doing that, there are thousands of them it wont make any difference you cant save them all," said the old man.

"Itll make a difference to this one," said the young man throwing another fish back into the sea.

Macmillan nurses care for people with cancer for whom there is no cure. They administer treatment to ease the symptoms of the disease and counsel the patients and their families. The aim of the charity is to make available the same care for every cancer patient throughout the country.

Margaret spoke in such a caring way, explaining that the earlier people go to the doctor if they feel unwell or out of sorts the better chance there is for survival. Although cancer is not the most common cause of death in this country, heart disease takes far more lives, it is still a taboo subject for many people.

There followed quite a discussion about the new drugs available and we were interested to learn that fresh cuttings from yew trees are used for some medicines.

Jean Howells

Macmillan nurse Margaret Raines (centre) with Somerset-Mendips two new contact leaders –

Pam Frost (left) and Phyl Lee.

See more