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Over the summer I have been acutely aware of the media’s focus on cancer, new over-priced cancer drugs, and death and dying. I am facing my own death and dying at a time when these issues are being debated at a national level. It’s a weird feeling, given that I am currently in the process of working out what I want for my own end of life care.

I have also been following what is happening to Helen Kelly who is facing her own death from terminal cancer, and sharing her battles with the health system. In an article that appeared on Stuff today, she talks about her submission to the Health Select Committee which is in the process of considering submissions on assisted dying. She makes lots of very good points, and also mentions Atul Gawande’s fantastic book “Being Mortal” which describes how badly medicine often treats those approaching the end of their lives.

I also admire her willingness to be photographed without a wig or a scarf, especially as I am still avoiding even looking at myself in the mirror without my wig, let alone letting anyone else see me.