I always thought that this demonization of cancer was silly. I see it as part of my body that is ill. I don’t feel that it has ill intent toward me personally. A part of me that has hit a fault line & though, when I was diagnosed in 2014 they said that it was inoperable & that I had seven months to live if I had no treatment, I didn’t believe them I  began to talking to my tumour, who I named Tubby. I reasoned with him that if I died he would too, a sensible approach I felt.

I have never gone along with the idea that cancer is an evil that has taken over from Black Death. I feel that our modern lifestyle, our pollution – whether self-initiated as my lung cancer is or inflicted by outside influences has much to answer for. I also believe that as cancer is the milk cow of the pharmaceutical companies they are in no hurry to come up with a cure. I am sure that the doctors working in the cancer area are sincere but give the ‘Big pharma’ conspiracy theory credence too.

Mainly though, I believe that our bodies our capable of change, I believe that they respond to our attitude & that going into despond & panic is a mistake. When the doctor told me that I had incurable cancer I responded like that ancient hippy I am with ‘A bummer eh?’  partly a bit of bravado, but I decided that this was my attitude & no need to book the MOT for my old Polo for longer than six months then; & alongside this the belief that I can live with  this. I was already booked to go to France for a few days & I booked a train journey to Budapest with a friend. Be positive was my watchword. The cancer remained stable & once actually shrank & I was delighted with Tubby, we rejoiced in our success.

Of course there were & are moments of horror at the thought of giving up on life, I might be eighty years old & had a rather jolly life until recently but I do love life & would like a few more years of it. I have wasted a good deal of time, though no time is really wasted if it is lived. Until recently I spent weekends in London which was fun. Now I am limited to home & walks round the block with my embarrassing walker, worse than my grisly walking stick. I have grown weak & feeble & try to do my exercises that conflict with a long term hip problem. Probably an age thing, but I am in age denial mode – perchance I should accept my infirmities as a fact & live with them. Instead I write. Which gives me joy & makes people laugh. I also watch a lot!

The area I live in changes all the time & brings new people to observe & wonder at. The area is very much alive with some of the most good looking children & women anywhere.  I peer like the nosey old creature that I am. There are fascinating new customs too, some revolting so I can utilise my disgust stringently then see the refreshing stuff anew I grew up in a leafy suburb & never forgot the dullness, the competitive gardens & the boredom.

So? What is the state of play now? I am due for an oncology check-up this month & as is usual a certain trepidation enters Tubby’s & my life, a kind of low down tremble. Though we have decided that death will be a new adventure, we hope! We shall not go gently though, I think we need a fanfare to see us out!

Now, I have quite suddenly sprouted a new lump on my neck to liven up my life. Is it? Isn’t it? Should I go into panic mode? Then I get a call from a funeral director do I want to talk about a funeral plan! I swear at the woman with her cooing voice ‘Do I F as like’ & collapse into laughter the ironies of life eh? Then a new friend came round to walk with me & cheered me up & as I gobbled the cakes she brought I thought I must get more – result I decided to go it alone, I have this Zimmer with wheels which I find hideously embarrassing, I am vain, still worried about street cred at 80! In denial of age stereotypes & determined not to change. All nonsense but it has worked for me. This walk was a treat, nonstop smiles & 2 offers of cups of tea, the shop were delighted to see me, we talked about Zit, my dog, who waited for several hours outside the shop when I forgot him. This small walk has made me realise I have freedom & next I intend to drive again.

I am happy for the most part & have begun to write again seriously which is lovely; I have had excellent support from my doctor, a brilliant nurse & a dozen or so carers who come to ‘help’ me shower. They are a nixed crew but all fascinating in their variety. I feel very lucky & if & when my luck runs out? It has been interesting & has brought me new insights. I expect to write more of these blogs & would be very glad of any comments.

My way may not be yours, we find our own ways & being ancient is an advantage in this case & GOD KNOWS this is rare. At least I have had a good innings


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  1. Leah Jones says:

    My biggest hate of anything after the way animals are treated around the world – is the world of the BIG PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. I am totally believing that the cure for Cancer and many other “impossible” diseases and illnesses is alive and well, and being ignored in safes and drawers etc. in these terrible place. What the hell would they want to let the world know about it for? They’d lose so much money – the only reason for which they exist, I’m sure.
    So, you’re 80 – I’m 73. and still feel about 25. I still get by with a walking stick, but I lose it everywhere and it takes me ages to find it again. I have another which doesn’t leave the car, except for when I’m using it while shopping, when I leave it in one of the shops I go into. Unlike yourself, I no longer have the very quick and sharp mind I used to have – I lose words everywhere, and it makes me utterly furious. Mostly because I know EXACTLY what I want to say – just lose some stupid and easy word. Ah well, c’est la vie, I suppose.
    I love your communications – ‘cos you speak of life as she is, not moaning about guns and polititians and suchlike, which I’m pissed off with.
    Be well – bugger the doctors – and enjoy the days, and keep warm.
    With love, Leah.

  2. Kath bannister says:

    Mo i always admired your quirky idiosyncratic take on life and now your plucky attitude to terminal illness is fuck off inspirational. Am amazed to hear you still have zit, i always think of him every november 5th remembering trying to comfort himxx
    Long may the force be with you Mo big love xx

    • Mo says:

      Hi Kath I can’t help it, makes sense to me gives me power,
      reality or not I am part of my body, my body is part of me! We are together in this ride.