Saturday, 5 May 2012
After several weeks of good, positive feelings and a real sense of making progress, perhaps it was inevitable that something would come along and side-swipe me. The news yesterday that MCA, from the band The BEastie Boys, had died has hit me harder than it ought to. I don't particularly like the Beastie Boys. I'm not a big fan of their music. They don't feature on my iPod. So why did I find tears on my cheeks last night? Because he died of cancer in his parotid gland - exactly where I had mine. If I needed a reminder that this disease is sickeningly evil and destructive, then I certainly got one. I know that each case is unique and you can't accurately predict that two people with the same type of cancer will respond in the same way - and anyway, I don't know what type of cancer he had in his parotid. It could be a totally different type, at a different stage when diagnosed, he could have had different doses of radiotherapy; there are all kinds of things that could be different. But still, I find myself brought up short and having, once again, to confront my deepest fears and insecurities. Already I have asked the ever-patient Neil to reassure me that he'll not leave me, no matter what. He is so good at recognising my worries and calming me down - not that I am hysterical or even a bit distrssed. It's more a sad resignation to the reality, once again brought into sharp relief, that this horrible disease never quite leaves you alone. Even if it's not physically present in your body, its malevolent voice is talking in your head. I can't silence it permanently. I am hoping this is a temporary blip in my otherwise positive progress of the past few weeks. I have been reassured by family and friends that I shouldn't worry about something that happened to someone else, but I think part of the problem, for me, is that parotid cancer is so rare that anyone dying of it is news - somehow, if I had a more common cancer, I could believe that the chances of it being a different strain, a different type, to mine are greater. Des that make any sense? It does to me.