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?