Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Media Day


I knew I was going to be busy today but didn't really know how busy. Well the Sky film crew arrived at 11 am and did not leave until gone 3 pm. I had saved taking my tablets until they arrived as they wanted to film me doing this.

I was worried I was going to gag on big capsule which is red and white and to me feels huge when in my mouth. Luckily the retakes were of the first pill and the last one not the huge one which I put in the middle of the scene.

I was out of routine which is not good for anyone ill whatever illness it is. Well filming started and went on. Faffing about in the kitchen and burning my thumb with the kettle slightly while trying to produce the effect of steam. Oh boy I was trying so hard to get things to go the way the film crew wanted them. Many people think filming is glamorous it isn't it can be boring and many times you wonder if you are doing what they producers and directors want you to do. It is then you worry and start to change things and discover what you were doing in the first place was what they wanted.

Next it was a sit down with a cup of coffee. During this time the furniture is being tweaked and moved about all round the house. You have to see it to believe it but the effects at the end are worth it according to the film crew.

Obscuring cables was what took most of the time this morning and pictures got strategically placed for this purpose.

So there we all are five of us in our little house getting on well and working as a team.

The interview then takes place. Its hard as the interviewer is not actually being filmed so the questions come and I have to answer them very accurately repeating various words and phrases that are key to the point that is being made.

This is tricky and sometimes the mind wanders. It is at times like this I feel insane and hope that what I am saying is ok. Not many retakes were done and as I know they will edit the film when they get back to the studio and probably use only half of what they actually filmed if that.

Continuity is a key issue our net curtains had been taken down at the end of the interview and then they were filming a piece for the beginning so the net curtain had to go back up again. So as you can see it is not glamourous it is a labour of love.

Why was I being filmed? I was being filmed for MacMillan Cancer Supports campaign for cold weather payments to be given to cancer patients. If you are not on Income Support or other particular benefits you do not qualify for this payment automatically and therefore it makes life harder when the cold weather strikes for those who are so ill and vulnerable that need to heat their home constantly and can't afford to.

It is not just the credit crunch that has brought this situation about to cancer patients. Prior to the credit crunch the financial implications were brought about by one person losing an income coming in due to illness and when a household loses half its income trouble strikes. Budgets go out the window and have to be revamped. It is times like these that cancer patients are hit hardest and do not know how to cope or who to turn to. This is where MacMillan Cancer Support come in. They offer advice, counselling and support so that cancer patients and their families do not feel alone.

MacMillan Cancer Support also offers grants for help with financial issues but they have limited funds and why should a charity have to tuck into its coffers to provide financial assistance which is given by the government to other vulnerable groups.

It is for this reason I have been busy campaigning to make the plight of cancer patients heard so that their financial hardships can come to an end and that they only have one battle on their hands and that is to fight the illness which caused the financial difficulties in the first place.

Stress can aggravate cancer. Lack of heat can contribute to other health factors like chest infections, asthma, heart attacks, strokes and worst of all hypothermia.

It has been reported in all the media how heavily burdened the NHS has been with patients affected by the cold weather if they had been able to pay their heating bills this would have been reduced.

Another factor is an unheated house is not only cold but also damp sets in. This then brings other health issues with it.

In the summer I have to have the heating on as I cannot regulate my body temperature like normal people do. I feel the cold more than most and therefore even when the sun is shining can have a thick furry cardigan on just to take the chill off.

I have not asked to be ill and neither have other cancer patients. I deal with the hand that has been dealt me as best as possible. I am not brave I just cope.

Tonight I discovered a message on the answerphone from the Sunday Mirror. I returned the call and did an interview with the journalist. I think I made him realise how big an impact this has on everyone. He said to me, "Celebrities are not affected by the financial issues". I retorted "Oh yes they are. If they have one income coming in where there was two their household income has halved and therefore their budgets have to be changed to accommodate the loss".

The government have said that everyone should eat five fruit and veg a day. When you have limited income you eat tins of food or eggy bread and have no money for the luxuries of fresh fruit and veg.

You have to choose who to pay and which is your priority.

When I had my 13th operation the week after I got married my husband said despite the consequences we had to have the heating on to help me recover. Then just before Christmas I got every bug that was going so could not go away as planned this meant sleeping on our living room floor on a sofa bed and just heating the living room to keep me warm and hopefully make me well again.

As I wrote in my first post I hope this blog opens up the issues and explores them from both sides of the coin so that one day a solution can be found for those that follow.

Best wishes to you all.


1 comment:

  1. Sick people should not have to stress out about money. One of the women I talked to last night at Relay for Life is up to something like 7 million dollars worth of treatment - and thank God for insurance. If you've got good insurance, great; if you're completely indigent, great. Anything in between, and you might as well lay down and die in this country. That's just not right.