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Post-op report

Dear friends,

I’m back home after a week-long spell in the Royal London Hospital recovering from seven hours of surgery on my lower spine. The experience proved arduous, as grueling as it sounds, but the good news is that I’ve survived and should draw tangible benefit from it.

What happened was that the revlimid therapy which I had been taking for more than a year – and whose exorbitant expense I had written about – became ineffective, and as a result the myeloma lesion on my spine became active and angry. The pain running up and down the left side was doing me in and I was losing the use of my legs. Although there were risks and difficulties involved with the surgery, it did at least offer the possibility of getting to another period of relative stability and mobility and was therefore worth the effort. Read more

A different kind of cancer story

Bill Roberts reviews a memoir by a British socialist about another kind of struggle
Socialist Worker (US), July 15, 2014

THERE IS life after a cancer diagnosis. It’s not all pleasant, but as Mike Marqusee shows us in The Price of Experience: Writings on Living with Cancer, it is not necessary, or even healthy, to accept the enforced isolation of most treatment regimens.

Marqusee, who has already exceeded the prognosis for his multiple myeloma by several years, widens our understanding of what such a diagnosis means for the patient caught up in the complex world of the cancer industry. This is not a confessional cancer story, but a provocative examination of what having cancer in the 21st century can tell us about social relationships, and what an encounter with mortality might achieve. Read more

HEALTH: A warning from ‘one grateful NHS patient’

This is a very powerful book. Rather than simply relating his misery about the disease, Mr Marqusee celebrates the wonderful and free treatment he is receiving at Barts Hospital.

PETER GRUNER reviews The Price of Experience for The Camden New Journal, 4 July 2014.

IN a remarkable book, political activist and writer Mike Marqusee, who is suffering from cancer, makes an unusual appeal from “one grateful patient” to the hard-working NHS staff who are providing his excellent care.

“The government takes advantage of your sense of commitment to your patients,” he writes in The Price of Experience. “But by letting them do so you are doing no favours for those patients.” Read more

Macmillan Cancer Support gets it wrong, big-time

Red Pepper, July 5th, 2014

The charity tries not to be ‘political’ – but it is embracing a highly ideological privatisation initiative, writes Mike Marqusee

In a letter in today’s Guardian, the Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support defends the organisation’s leading role in the proposed privatisation of NHS cancer services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

As a cancer patient, I know Macmillan makes all kinds of wonderful contributions, but this initiative raises the most serious questions about its approach. Read more

“No ordinary account of living with cancer…”

Virginia Moffatt reviews The Price of Experince for Peace News, June 2014:

‘When I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2007, I vowed to friends I would not add to the surfeit of cancer confessionals’, Mike Marqusee writes in his introduction to this collection of essays. It was, however, a promise he ‘should have known’ he wouldn’t keep. And thank goodness he didn’t, because this is no ordinary account of living with cancer, and is probably the finest writing I’ve ever come across on the subject. Read more

London launch meeting for The Price of Experience

Book Launch: ‘The Price of Experience: Writings on Living with Cancer’ with author Mike Marqusee

Wednesday 2 July, 7-9pm

Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Rd, London N1 9DX

At this event Mike will speak on the politics of cancer in the age of austerity, and will be joined by Wendy Savage of Keep our NHS Public.

There will be time for questions, comments and discussion on the issues raised by the book. Refreshments will be available at the event.

***£3 entrance, redeemable against any purchase***

***Copies of the book will be available to buy at the event*** Read more