Today it is 12 months since my darling baby sister had her cancer removed, and so today I dedicate my blog to her in celebration of her recovery. I remember thinking at the time ‘why couldn’t it be me’, well actually she had uterine cancer so it wasn’t really a possibility, but there might be a lesson in being careful what you wish for. I now see it that her cancer was just so that I could see how to deal with it properly, she is an inspiration to me and a perfect example on how to enjoy life after cancer. It just shows that blood is thicker than water, and my sister is thicker than me.
Yesterday, I had a request from the editor of a local news website, asking if I would mind a link to my blog being put on his website. It got me thinking about the anonymity of it all. Although there are a number of readers who know my identity, there are not that many in comparison to the total readership. I had a while to be able to think about these things before I first published my blog, and question the reason I wanted to do it in the first place. I had been researching cancer websites and forums for many weeks prior to my blog being published, and almost all of them said the same thing – it’s good to be able to talk about cancer. One thing I didn’t want to become was a bore. I didn’t want to become the guy always talking about his ill health, you know, the one in the bar that eventually you give up asking him how he is. At least while I’m writing about it people can choose whether to read it or not. The truth is that people react in different ways, some people just don’t want to hear it, never mind talk about it. There are some people I haven’t heard a word from since I’ve told them of my diagnosis, they just don’t know what to say. That’s not a criticism, just an observation, but I hope in time they will learn to talk about cancer. There are far too many people dying of ignorance and/or embarrassment. I will however be remaining anonymous. If someone wants to know who I am there are plenty of ways of finding out, I don‘t particularly hide it, but it‘s not essential in telling my story. But I owe it to other people in my life, both past and present, to stay anonymous to protect their identity. Apart from that, the anonymity underlines the message. You don’t know who is going to get cancer next. You don’t know who has cancer already. They could be sitting next to you on the bus, they could be living next door, it could be someone you work with every day.
Last night was a difficult one. I was looking forward to being on my own again, as much as Lew was probably looking forward to sleeping in his own bed again. Then I read a few things he had posted on Facebook and all of a sudden I was in tears. Tears of joy, tears because I was proud, and tears because I was missing him, already. We don’t need to tell each other how much we love each other, but it’s sure good when you read him telling everyone else. What seemed like a long time whilst he was here, was all of a sudden over in a flash. Oh well, at least the floor is a bit tidier.
Whoever it was who told me Quorn had improved – they lied. If I need protein in a bland form, I’ve got my energy drinks. I don’t need them to look like mince to be unpalatable. I’ve never wanted to become a vegetarian, I like my steaks to be walking across my plate, leaving a trail of blood. I remember years ago hearing Paul and Linda McCartney talking about their family Christmas, and how they made ‘turkey’ out of macaroni. For gods sake, if you want a turkey buy a bloody turkey ! I suppose at the end of all this I will have to think seriously about my diet. I’ve never been a lover of fish unless it’s a) kippers or b) covered in batter and deep fried from the chippy. For the time being I’ll stick to my yogurts and soup (with added cream).
I can’t always fit in the anecdotes I want to for fear of making my blog entries too long, but the reference to yogurt gives me the opportunity to do so today. As we were rushing towards Albert Square on Monday we were accosted by woman with clip board, the one’s you usually try and avoid by swiftly changing direction. On a rainy day, when almost everyone was heading to the same place, she asked whether we would like to take part in some market research on yogurts – “it will only take 5 minutes” she added, with a big smile on her face as we were probably the first people to stop within the last 2 hours. Her face dropped as Lewis burst out laughing as I asked her if she was having a laugh. She insisted she was being serious, before I politely explained that I had tasted enough yogurt to last me a lifetime. Adding that we were in the same rush as the other throngs heading in the same direction, I promised that we would stop on our way back if she was still there. We took a different route on the return journey.