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CLL Support Association
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The Devil closes in as we age

There seems to be more younger patients with CLL than there has been and I have pondered a reason but have no solid answer. When we were all diagnosed we were probably asked a few questions about our work and lifestyles to see if there is some loose common thread centering around the use of chemicals. It has been thought that early deaths among the farming community is the use of chemical sprays handled without due care. But with CLL I have yet to find another user and my use is minimal.

We all have been told that we are suseptible to other cancers and as we age we are more likely to be diagnosed with something else like skin cancer and bowel cancer but fortunately nowadays these cancers are more treatable and so the average age for death goes up, and this is good but many face their full stop in care homes suffering from Alzheimer's. I have recently lost an aunt and a sister-in- law to this terrible end of life condition, albeit in their nineties, and it is the worst kind of suffering one can imagine particularly for a close relative, husband, wife etc. where all the dignity of life is removed.

For some time it has been known that aluminium ingested or otherwise is a cause, amongst other things, and the use of aluminium saucepans many years ago was changed to stainless steel. However we all use aluminium foil, or at least most of us, and I have been reading a recent report on the use relative to Alzheimer's, and it appears that when used in cooking aluminium from the foil is absorbed by cooking juices.

Now you may well say, very interesting but what has this to do with CLL, well not much perhaps but yet another weapon the Devil has in his cupboard for those of us with a reduced immune system having to duck and dive. For me, having experienced those suffering from Alzheimer's or Vascular Dementia, I would rather go out with a smile on my face and all my marbles.

5 Replies

I absolutely agree with what you’re saying Berrytog and there’s always the question if long life is desirable at any price. My lovely mum is in dementia care but she’s content, has wonderful carers and her temperament means she has adapted and embraced the little joys she has left in her life.

The main ‘devil’ awaiting many people in advancing years is actually loneliness in my opinion. It’s more pernicious, painful and cruel than any illness or disability in my opinion.

Best wishes,



Know I agree with you Newdawn.



Yes, Newdawn, loneliness is difficult to bear as one is experiencing it, whereas in the case of dementia the carers and relatives are experiencing the trauma and the patient, generally unaware to the greater extent of their predicament, is being cared for to a high level. In the case of loneliness, a fit person cares for themselves, sometimes with a degree of support. In the latter stages of life there does not seem to be the family support that is seen in foreign countries, particularly the Middle and Far East. One's family is chasing the buck and tending to their own children with little quality of life. Then the inevitable happens and one loses one's partner having probably spent one's twilight years solely in each other's company with the odd visit from friends or family. If this happens in one's early retirement and still able to go out and communicate then one can be seen as a predator by other couples and invitations reduce. And this is the time and circumstance when help is truely needed.


"...seen as a predator by other couples..."?? How ghastly! Has anyone actually seen this happen to people they know?


Absolutely! I think my mother was quite relieved to find she had stomach cancer aged 88 rather than Alzheimer's, her greatest fear.


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