I’ve realized something curious lately. I find it relatively painless to say I have a brain tumour but virtually impossible to say I have cancer. Why is that?
Cancer is such an unpleasant word.
I’m not saying ‘brain tumour’ sounds poetic or alluring. But telling someone you have a brain tumour is a little like declaring you have crabs or chlamydia.
The shock value is mildly entertaining due to the gulps and gasps and the lack of clichés available.
Whereas with the word cancer there are many vexing metaphors.
‘Oh poor you, you have a long bumpy journey ahead of you!’
‘Oh poor you, you need to be a warrior and fight this battle!’
These violence and journey clichés are questionable to me.
After all, this isn’t Game of Thrones.
What if you knew your cancer was terminal yet everyone’s telling you ‘Be a warrior, be a fighter’… Surely when you’re teetering on the edge of your own existence you’d feel you’ve failed because you know for sure you’re losing the mother-fucking stupid goddamn battle.
On the upside of brain tumours… Most people know fuck all about them so you don’t get so many clichés.
It’s especially advantageous to spell out exactly what tumour you have as many have long Latin sounding names and this adds to the theatrics of the moment.
Technically mine’s not called Bambi, her real name is Anaplastic Astrocytoma, and she’s a rare one, it’s guesswork even for the experts.
But one thing I know for sure… Shoving 2 sticks of unsalted butter and a pickled onion up my ass will not cure me.
Obviously this is just my personal view and I’m sure there are some out there who find my taxonomy objectionable.
But that’s ok because ‘Ego irrumabo non facio.’
(That’s pidgin Latin for ‘I don’t give a fuck’.)
In other news I’m counting the days until I get a month’s reprieve between radio and chemo.
I’m going to board a jet plane and head home to Blighty for 3 weeks. Against some of my doctors’ recommendations but again… ‘Ego irrumabo non facio’ as my body requires M&S food, country walks, country pubs, London and the Sunday papers.
Oh and there’s quite a few faces Catwoman is desperate to lick.