Changes to the Welfare Reform Bill with regard to limits to entitlement of ESA for breast cancer patients
I am terminally ill with secondary breast cancer. I have been lobbying my MP's and the House of Lords with regard to the Welfare Reform Bill. In particular, the Government wants women who have breast cancer to return to work after 12 months, and be refused any benefits for any reason. I have argued that during that first twelve months, we undergo mastectomy, 5 months chemo, and then viciious radiotherapy. This is followed by medication to fight the cancer, which has to be taken for 5 years, with side effects that can leave us in agony, let alone recover from the burns caused by radiation, and the body repairing itself after the chemo has destroyed a lot of our cells.
Once we have recovered from radiation, we then deal with breast reconstruction. Some women may have to have chemo again as the cancer returns. A friend of mine is on her third bout of chemo, as the cancer has spread to the liver and bones. She will not qualify for ESA as she has been on and off chemotherapy for over 3 years.
I have not even mentioned the psychological damage we have to deal with. During all of this time the Government thinks we should be fit for work. Whilst some of us are able to do some work, we are not fully fit and able to work full time, effectively.
The Government proposes that only those with 6 months to live should be allowed to remain on ESA after 12 months. I would ask that this be changed to 12 months to live.
I would also ask that women with secondary breast cancer, where the cancer has spread and returns, should be allowed indefinite ESA.
Would it be possible to start a petition for this. It is being debated again in the Houses of Parliament very soon.
I attach an extract of some of our experiences:-i had to go for a medical assesment i have been taken off esa since the beginning of january have to go back to work soon i would just like to say this goverment sucks.i found a new lump in december a yeat to the date i had my masectomy had to have a scan and a needle biopsey taken still waiting for results.
Since my hysterectomy 6 months ago and then going back on tamoxifen it has caused my joints to hurt so much that am now struggling, my GP just gave me anti-inflammatories but they are not working, feel like am now 4ft 2 with the pressure, pain in my head and way am just feeling like have the weight of the world on me!! Pain in my elbows, my thumbs, my hips (come downstairs in the morning sideways like a crab) and in my neck - too painful to touch