FRANCESCA 13.12.1979 - 08.04.2013

Francesca Marvell formerly Pattison passed

away today. Francesca allowed me to be a part

of her intimate and very painful story and for this

I am eternally grateful. It is something I hold dear

and will never forget.

Good night Francesca. xx


“…sometimes in your bleakest hour you need to offload some stuff. I’ve been awake for an hour - I’m on steroids to stop me being sick from the chemo and I remember from 2009 that this waking up in the middle of the night business happened a lot,and was quite frustrating then too. Everyone knows it’s when it’s quiet and dark that that’s when you tend to go off on some mad thought process. I’ve been really good, I think, at not dwelling on the past 2 years but very occasionally it’ll hit me and I’ll replay it all. Every last bit of it, right back to 2009 when it all started. The tests, the is-it-isn’t-it, it’s ok it’s sorted, oh no it’s not it’s back. And I can’t help but come to the conclusion that, if things had been done differently, none of this would have happened. Obviously it’s all with the benefit of delectable hindsight and I’m not angry, nor do I blame anyone. I’m just bitterly disappointed. So many things didn’t come to light at the right time, or weren’t spotted until it was too late and that’s really REALLY hard to swallow. What should have happened: this 29 yr old woman has a triple negative cancer and is a BRCA1 carrier = instant double mastectomy right from the start. Instead there was multiple surgery, a programme of gruelling treatment aimed as an ‘insurance policy’ which didn’t do a bloody thing and 6 months later, back to chaos except now on an unbelievable scale. I hate the way things have turned out. I hate the fact my life is largely not my own any more. If I ever wanted to leave London, I probably couldn’t as you can bet the best cancer brains are down here rather than anywhere else. Even planning a holiday involves working round other people’s timescales and trying to be flexible enough to accommodate these, yet I don’t see that many people bending over backwards to accommodate me. I’m at the age now where I would ideally like to be thinking about having a family in the not-too-distant future and that’s looking increasingly unlikely, and I know that’s the next big thing I’ll have to come to terms with somehow.

Having cancer is boring. And tedious.And I don’t like the fact I can’t remember who I was or what I was doing before I got it. Seriously, I can’t and that’s really sad. I have a port in my chest that they use to plug me into a drip that pumps me full of chemicals that I know are hopefully doing some good but is this what it’s going to be like forever? This it now? Just plugged into a machine?” 

Francesca 2010

Vet Life

In the UK we own over 27 million pets, half of which are dogs and cats. Thus 43% of households contains a furry, feathery or scaly creature. 21% of pet owners have them as companions and in many cases domestic pets become a substitute for the loss of a partner.

As the recession bites More Than Pet Insurance conducted a survey in 2009 that revealed people in the UK are taking a more cavalier approach to the health and safety of their domestic animals. The poll revealed around one in ten UK pet owners would be more prepared to administer medication to their pets in an effort to save money rather than paying for professional advice.

More Than Pet Insurance said: "Self prescribing human medicine for an animal can have serious repercussions, with vets warning prolonged use of human painkillers such as Ibuprofen can lead to kidney failure or stomach ulcers which if left unchecked can prove fatal for dogs."

Considering it takes several years of dedicated training to become a qualified vet, do pet owners really know enough about animal health to recognise if their pet is ill?

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