27. Poor Predictions but high expectations!

This piece introduces a caveat to “my” new NHS being a slave to optimism, the power of the curative rather than palliative label, and the power of health rather than illness. There is good evidence for staying positive and optimistic (Sandeep Jauhar, “Fighting Cancer No Holds Barred”, 2015 Book review of “The Death of Cancer”, by Vincent T. DeVita Jr. (himself a cancer victim) and Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, 328 pp plus Illustrations.

We need also to think about death. And, this book review article also points to knowing when the fight is no longer worth it and preparing for a “good death”.  (Article referred to me by Prof Gael MacDonald).

I for one am certainly prepared for a swift rather than a malingering demise. It has taken the present predicament for me to increasingly recognise that I have had a “good life”; nay, as we say in Yorkshire, a “great life” with Elaine, Ellen and Richard and our extended families. I count my blessings, and I am not the only one who thinks so!

Just before I share Nick Robinson’s story I should also like to point out that I am not completely “off the wall” in believing in the power of big data in the fight against illness on global scales. See the following:

Accessed 30 December 2015, http://www.aridhia.com/use-cases/precision-medicine/

Link kindly supplied by Dr Pam Sinclair and Graeme Sinclair.

Mark Beggs is leading an innovative approach to the use of informatics to assist, where appropriate, in the treatment of patients utilising genomic data (gene profiling based on the Human Genome Project).

Mark Begg 1

[“AnalytiXagility extends its services to industrialise the ability to link and analyse sequence and other data sources to support precision medicine research and initiatives.

The platform provides capability for national genomics facilities, genomics initiatives in the NHS, stratified medicine research, bioinformatics start-ups and annotation service providers.

These services are made available through the Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC). This unique centre bring together experts from academia, industry and the NHS in Scotland to implement a biomedical informatics service to aid clinical and translational research, and enable stratified medicine. As the lead industrial informatics partner, Aridhia is able to offer immediate solutions on a monthly subscription, without the need for investment in infrastructure.”]

 And so, on to Nick Robinson’s story…

“After my shock cancer diagnosis I’m reluctant to make predictions, writes NICK ROBINSON, but in 2016 we Britons must finally decide who we really are”. By Nick Robinson, Former BBC Political Editor, For The Mail On Sunday. Published: 00:45, 27 December 2015 | Updated: 18:21, 27 December 2015.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3375058/After-shock-cancer-diagnosis-m-reluctant-make-predictions-writes-NICK-ROBINSON-2016-Britons-finally-decide-really-are.html#ixzz3valwH2dD
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

[“Even when I was told that rather disturbing news, I didn’t really learn the important lesson. Again and again I repeated what I was told. After swift surgery I’d be back at work within a month with my tumour a mere memory. It didn’t, of course, work out quite like that, as you may know if you heard my croaking on air as I started work in my new job, presenting Radio 4’s Today programme.

Nick Robinson 1

Again, I’d made the mistake of making optimistic predictions. Yes, one of my vocal cords was damaged but all would be fine given enough rest and recovery and rehab. That too was not quite right. Even after that month away from full-time work turned into seven, my changed voice meant that my prediction that I’d soon be ‘back to normal’ was a delusion.

Was that the fault of the experts – the doctors in this case – whom I listened to? Of course not. They didn’t know. They couldn’t know the future. All they could offer was their best judgment based on their years of knowledge and experience. Blaming them for the fact it didn’t all go as perfectly to plan as they and I hoped would be as absurd as shouting at the weatherman on the telly when it floods. As someone once said crudely but perceptively… s*** happens.]

Yep it does, and it happened to me too! (Author – that’s me, cmon keep up!).

[Does that mean we should ignore the predictions of those meant to know more than us? No. However, they should be offered up with a heavy dose of humility and a prominent health warning. So here goes… This, I predict, will be the year when we have to decide who on earth we think we are and who we want to be as a country.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3375058/After-shock-cancer-diagnosis-m-reluctant-make-predictions-writes-NICK-ROBINSON-2016-Britons-finally-decide-really-are.html#ixzz3vajcRHAc

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook]


As Buggs bunny used to (nay, still says!), “that’s all folks!”




Bye for now. See you again tomorrow.

It’s also nearly time for Chapter 4 of my NHS health care reform package, so watch this space if you want to finds out more about, “Preventative treatment – promotion of healthy life styles”




2 thoughts on “27. Poor Predictions but high expectations!

  1. Hi Roni

    I felt the same as you when I first heard about “Pointless” when we returned to the UK after Australia but our now, Acting Deputy Head Teacher, Ellen, convinced us we should at least give it a chance. We did and became hooked. It is a really catchy quiz programme, where it is not enough to know or choose the correct answer, but you must choose an option that no one else knew was correct to score top marks and, eventually, win the prize money – commencing at £1000! Now that seems pointless. But give it a go, anyway; you could have watched a catch-up BBC i-player episode instead of reading my blog!

    As for the rest of your comments – I couldn’t agree more, especially Nick Robinson’s last paragraph as you noted.


  2. Good to see that Nick Robinson is on the mend, Colin. I especially enjoyed his optimistic parting note about the country, although there doesn’t seem an awful lot to be happy about as we enter 2016.
    But I’m now con concerned about you – you’re into Pointless! I have to admit that I’ve never watched it, but I never saw the point of even tuning in to something that calls itself ‘pointless’. This says a lot about my own particular take in life: most things have a point and a purpose. When I give up work (probably not in 2016, but not too far distant) I’m really going to struggle with losing my purpose, since just about everything has revolved around work for so long.
    I’m back off to bed, having spent my wakeful middle of the night hours very purposefully catching up on your blog.


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