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The Big C & Me

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With millions of people living with cancer, this OU/BBC series follows the lives of some of them as they deal with everything the disease has to throw at them: from the moment of diagnosis to whatever lies beyond.

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The Big C & Me follows the lives of nine people across the country living with cancer. Filmed over a year, we are with them as they, and their families, experience everything the disease has to throw at them. From that life changing moment of diagnosis, through treatment and life at home, to whatever lies beyond. Combining observational filmmaking and fixed-rig cameras in hospitals, The Big C & Me enters the world of the cancer patient in 2016.

As series co-producer (in partnership with the BBC), we've collated a range of resources on cancer care. You may like to:

The first episode of The Big C & Me will be broadcast on BBC One on Wednesday 1st June 2016 at 9pm (10.45pm in Scotland). Full broadcast details, and watch again links, can be found on bbc.co.uk. 

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How can we make a difference to people living with cancer? How important is communication? Besides doctors and nurses who are the unsung heroes who help those with cancer? Find out the answers to these questions and much more by ordering this free booklet produced by The Open University.

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Episode 3

Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: BBC In the last episode three people are facing up to the reality of life or death with cancer.

We meet 33 year old Mark as he receives treatment in the chemotherapy unit at the Christie Hospital in Manchester. Mark’s prognosis is terminal; he has been living with bowel cancer for five years, and knowing that the clock is ticking, he has one dream – to live long enough to see his young son on his first day of school. Over the year we see Mark and his wife Kerrie enjoy the time they have, but each appointment brings his prognosis into sharp relief; good news means they can hide from his cancer for a while, bad means they have to reassess their shrinking future.

50 year old Steve, a self-employed painter and decorator, has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. We join him as he wraps up work on the building site in readiness for surgery, which will see him unable to work for two months. Being out of action means no earnings  - an additional worry for the whole family. Post-surgery, Steve is determined to put his cancer behind him, but set-backs in his recovery mean he’s not going to get back to normal as quickly as he’d planned. As he awaits the all-important results, Steve reflects on what it means to have cancer and reveals how important it is for him to go back to being the normal guy he once was.

For mother-of-three and trainee vicar Katy, the offer of a clinical trial to prevent the return of her malignant melanoma is a chance she has to take but she knows there may be dangerous side-effects. As she celebrates her daughter’s wedding, we see her wrestle with the decision – put up with the side-effects or live in fear of her cancer returning.

Look at some of the episode's themes in more detail

Episodes in this series

Episode Description
Episode 1 In the first episode of The Big C and Me we meet three people with the hope of being cleared of cancer and look at... Read more
Episode 2 In the second episode of The Big C & Me we meet an 83 year old with pancreatic cancer, a nine year old whose local... Read more
Episode 3 In the final episode of The Big C & Me we follow three people who face life or death with severe or terminal cancer -... Read more