It has to be said, cancer is having a field day at the moment. I mean a real purple patch, a winning streak of such proportions it’s almost unfair. Hey, cancer, save some luck for everyone else you jammy sod. It made a sudden strike the week before last by killing off Lemmy, which sounded like it took all of 2 days. And who says cancer isn’t merciful. However the proper cull started with Bowie. If it was being nice it would have ended with Bowie too. Taking Bowie was like watching Han Solo getting written off in the new Star Wars film. I could have said Bambi watching her mum getting shot, but I’ve never seen it. There was a sense of immortality to Bowie but even the immortals aren’t immune to cancer. The week then doddled on a bit with idiots saying stupid things about Bowie and more idiots repeating them and then suddenly Alan Rickman got zapped too. That’s right, by cancer. We all thought cancer had gone away but it was just hiding round the corner, fiddling with its pantomime moustache. Rickman’s death almost felt like a sympathy offering but by all accounts he had just hidden it from the world as well. This is quite a thing to do and at least it means neither of them sought to cheapen themselves and appear on GMTV and Loose Women to talk about their ‘cancer hell’ or their ‘battle with cancer’ or ‘living with cancer’. If I had cancer, and I probably will at some point because I’m a human being (hooray) then the last thing I’d want to do is discuss it with Susannah Reid and Kate Garraway on a sofa, or around a daft table with Collen Nolan and Anita Dobson, or whoever the fuck it is.
Anyway, the dust hadn’t even thought about settling on Alan Rickman when cancer took another great big bloody run up and clobbered the chap who played Grizzly Adams before handing poor Celine Dion a double whammy by taking her husband and one of her brothers out of commission in the space of 2 days. And that’s just the famous people. Fucking cancer, what a slippery little bugger. Of course cancer is the very best evidence we have that there is no God and that we aren’t quite as special as we think we are. We’re doing this Dryathlon January for Cancer Research UK again but to be honest I’m beginning to wonder if it’s worth it in the long run. Of course I’ll stick to my month as long as ‘the wife’ sticks to hers, but I’m not remotely convinced that we really will ever get rid of cancer. Even if we did some other hideous way to die would wriggle out of the woodwork and see us off instead. As far as I can tell we just seem to be getting more and more types of cancer to contend with. When I was a kid all you heard about was lung cancer and maybe a bit of breast cancer. Then breast cancer got really big and famous just as testicular and prostate cancer began to wave cheerfully from the side-lines. Now you can have cancer of pretty much anything; the spine, the liver, the colon, the semi colon, the eyebrow, the fingernail, the shoelace. With all these cancers popping up left, right and centre I’m amazed anyone is still alive.
As you may know I’m not a huge fan of big charities because I don’t believe we should live our lives based on other people making us feel guilty. I don’t mind helping out but I don’t like being patronised in the process, as Cancer Research UK do rather well. It’s the little things like storing my previous email address so that when I join up on their website I can’t use a different address, because that would only be more convenient for me, not them. I don’t like the rubbish little jokes they write into their letters because I’m not a 12 year old with no sense of humour. I think you can be funny about cancer but it generally helps being funny about cancer to start with. Incidentally I’m not over-thrilled by any company or product that uses shit little jokes and attempts at humour to make sales. I think Innocent Smoothies started that one. Wankers. Add to this all of Cancer Research UK’s handy fucking hints about how to get through January without a drink. These tips include – ‘Tell Your Story’, what bloody story, I became a miserable Dryathlete on the 1st of January by not drinking alcohol and I’ll stop on the 1st of February by getting pissed. Riveting. I stop drinking, you get the money, you fuck off, I start drinking again. Very, very simple. Another tip is ‘Office Treats’ whereby you bake some cakes and goodies for your chums at work. What’s that supposed to achieve? This country has been taken over by cakes in the last 10 years. Cakes are the cancer of the food world so encouraging more of the little fuckers isn’t helping anyone. I could go on like this for quite some time but I’m going to draw a line. I have massive respect for anyone who has to deal with cancer and this diatribe probably isn’t helping.
I don’t know many people who have had cancer. I’m sure that as I grown disgracefully older more of my friends and such will start getting pinched by it, and that will be very sad. It’s a funny world but it wasn’t designed for us to live in forever. Watching us try to keep everyone alive as long as possible is just another way of letting cancer win, because cancer doesn’t care. You can’t ‘live’ with cancer or ‘battle’ it, it just turns up and tries to kill you and if you’re lucky a bunch of drugs might make it go away for a while. Or they might not. At some point my work colleagues might just sponsor me for helping to fight cancer but what I’m really fighting is the urge to open a lovely bottle of red wine, which for me makes the world make a tiny little bit more sense. Oh, and Mr Cancer, if you’re reading this why don’t you just fuck off somewhere else, like Mars. You’re not big, or clever and you don’t have any friends. And you smell.
G B Hewitt. 17.01.2016 (posted on the 22nd)
Actually, Mr Cancer, don’t go to Mars please because we’ll have colonised that before you know it. Yes, of course we will. Any day now.