Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Making a deal with cancer

Let's just say at the outset that cancer is an indiscriminative bitch. For every Michael Douglas, there's a Patrick Swayze, or Farah Fawcett, or Paul Newman or Lisa Woody. Or my dad.

Is it wrong for me to be pissed off at Douglas, who has just announced he's beaten Stage IV throat cancer. Why the fuck did it spare him, and not my dad? Or two aunts? An uncle? My maternal grandmother? My cousin's husband?

See what I mean, fucking bitch, that cancer.

It even goes after kids.

A good friend of mine is facing what no parent ever wants. About three months ago, her infant son was diagnosed with a tumour on his liver. He was barely one, and the tumour was the size of an adult's fist. A fucking adult's fist.

An aggressive chemotherapy regime was put in place, which has reduced his immunity to pretty much nothing. Thankfully, it is shrinking the tumour and he has a pretty good chance - once he has surgery and even more chemo. Which, by the way, has already affected his hearing and may have long-term consequences for his liver, kidney and pretty much every other organ. He's 17 months old.

My friend's story will , hopefully, be one of the good news ones. No-one that loves her will even consider the alternative. But the things she has seen while at the children's oncology department is the kind of stuff I choose to remain blissfully ignorant about. 'What do you mean, cancer kills kids? La, la, las, I can't hear you. Rainbows, unicorns, fairy cakes."

So here's the deal cancer. If we give you Michael Douglas, will you leave the kids alone?


  1. Sheila on Central CoastJanuary 13, 2011 at 7:26 PM

    I'm battling my own cancer but agree cancer in kids is heartbreaking regardless of the outcomes. A good friend lost his grandson, but my niece still has her daughter...lottery with unpredictable results. I'm nearly 60 but I can tell you the biggest support anyone can ever give is acknowledgemment. A lesson I had to learn first hand, previously being of the "don't know what to say, so say nothing." brigade.

    The biggest compliment I received was when a very macho male friend dyed his hair shocking pink for a whole week to raise funds and awareness. . Praying for your friend's son...

    cheers Sheila

  2. Sheila on Central CoastJanuary 13, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    forgot to add.. another niece has the only surviving child in the world of a rare genetic disease. All others have died by 6 months, Her daughter is 8. Very ill at times but going to a main stream school. Doctors are working blind and the family take life one day at a time but miracles can and do happen

    cheers Sheila

  3. Thanks for the comments Sheila. Fingers crossed that you beat the bitch.

    All I seem to be able to do for my friend is cook. I know that's helping in a small way, but what I really want to do is wave a magic wand.

  4. I think Michael Douglas would be an excellent trade. It's so hard to feel like things work out the way they're supposed to in the world when innocent little kids can get terrible things like cancer.

  5. Hey Nic, I have just linked to this post on my blog. So much going on at the moment and remembered this post you wrote. You have conveyed what I feel. Hope you don't mind, will be in touch. Cheers, Liz x