Tuesday saw us in Bristol, where we spent an afternoon enjoying the exhibitions at the Royal West of England Academy and having a mini-picnic beside the River Avon before meeting up with friends for a drink and meal in the evening. It's now ten years since our intake joined the Planning Inspectorate, and one year since two of our group left, so about time for a get together to catch up on each others news. Several people remarked on how well Steve is looking, which was very reassuring. Thanks everyone for a lovely evening!
Wednesday saw us back at Bristol harbour, this time visiting the M-shed to see an exhibition of Norman Parkinson's fashion photography from the sixties - as well as some examples of Bristol fashions from that era - fascinating stuff! We took the opportunity to admire the stunning views from the roof terrace and have lunch in the cafe before heading back to the car and home to Oxford.
Another reunion on Thursday and another roof terrace under blue skies - this time meeting up with our friends Ian and Ruth for lunch outside at the Ashmolean Dining Room. Very delicious; very filling. No room for an evening meal!
As well as being reunited with friends in the real world this week, a lot has happened to our virtual friends in the mesothelioma community, with both good news and not-so good news...
In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court has ruled that insurance liability for negligence resulting in exposure to asbestos and subsequent diagnosis of mesothelioma is "triggered" when the victim was exposed to asbestos dust, rather than when symptoms develop, which is usually decades later. This means that thousands of mesothelioma sufferers will now be able to claim compensation from those responsible for exposing them to asbestos fibres without adequate protection and safeguards, where the insurance policy wording required injury to be "sustained" or "contracted" during the period of insurance.
A victory for common sense. Thank you, Supreme Court judges. Your decision won't help us as we have been unable to prove, on the balance of probabilities, where Steve was exposed to the asbestos dust which caused his disease. However, it will help many others. Compensation doesn't cure mesothelioma, but at least it will help address the financial concerns arising from such a diagnosis.
Also on the good news front, meso warrior Debbie Brewer has landed safely in America, where she will be presented with an award for her work raising awareness of the disease and her support for others. Well done Debbie and well deserved!
We were delighted to hear that Tess's disease is still stable after another regime of chemo as part of the NGR-hTNF drug trial - excellent news Tess and long may it last!
Amanda and her partner Ray are enjoying spring, without the need to resort to pain killers, which is great :-)
On the down side, Mavis in Kent has been taken off chemo as her body can no longer handle the side effects. She has been told to think in terms of quality rather than quantity of life. I know that she will make the most of every minute with husband Ray and Louis the dog. Thinking of you Mavis and sending lots of hugs and positive energy.
Our other meso friend Jan is having a very hard time dealing with pain and the frustration of not being able to convince her specialists that cryo-ablation - using very cold temperatures to injure cancer cells - which has worked for her in the past after treatment in the USA is worth trying in the UK. I wish I had a magic wand to take away the pain and could send that knight in shining armour with a cure. Sending our love to help you keep fighting Jan.