living with cancer

Combative words are often used in association with cancer, but they can feel disempowering to people simply trying to get through one day a time. The idea of a cancer 'battle' is lazily synonymous with going through treatment and the group explored other ways of describing it.
Our girls are so lucky to have you as their father. Of all my life choices, you are the best. Many would have walked away. You stay because that's the sort of man you are, not out of a sense of duty but because the thought of leaving never even crosses your mind.
If cancer is cruel then waiting for those results was pure malevolence. But I'm a mum so life went on. I clicked into autopilot - dropping the kids off at school, running errands, supervising homework. I never once let on to my children that my life was hanging in the balance.
As children we cut the stems, put them in water, and they would curl up into weird and wonderful shapes. We would try and sell them to passers by. Now I eat the leaves and the stems. If I am brave I add some burdock leaves, which takes me right up to my bitter taste threshold. But it's seasonal detox.
We take it for granted, a social convention, wishing a Happy New Year. This year the words did not flow for me. I was visiting a close relative, about my age, recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and undergoing a severe treatment regime.
I asked my partner Claire the other day why they call it a "livery section", which sounds a bit vague for my liking. "You mean a liver resection?" she replied. If the Two Ronnies were still around then there'd be a sketch in that.
A bit more pain and hanging around and being at the mercy of machines is doable. It's a bit like going on a long tour with a really shit band. The chemo I've done for the last two days is certainly not as bad as my worst hangover was back in the day, but it does feel like the most oppressive jetlag, the plane having flown in from Mars.
Undergoing cancer treatment and living with or beyond cancer is no mean feat. It can take single-minded determination to deal with treatment and its side effects, as well as life-long uncertainty and a roller coaster of unexpected mixed emotions.
I know that most of my female friends and family members hate their bodies to varying degrees in a way that the blokes I know just don't. Not to the same bottomless extent, anyway. And it makes me indescribably sad. How else could we be spending that time?!
A simple question. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Being affected by cancer this Christmas can come in many different ways. You, someone you know or are close to, may have just been diagnosed, may undergo or finish treatment.
It's only the enforced waiting that's made me realise how quickly everything happened before. How I've effectively been on fast forward since that fateful day back in June. From the first time I heard the C-Bomb to the day of the mastectomy a total of eleven days passed, it felt like years, but it was just eleven days.
I know others have lost the fight for time so I want to give the last word to Angie, whose funeral I covered in one of my blogs. When asked just prior to her death, was she frightened? She replied " After living with this awful disease for so many years, nothing on this earth can scare me now."