Chapter 44: What Has Cancer Ever Done For Me?

“Life took over 4 billion years to evolve into you, and you've about 70 more years to enjoy it. Don't just pursue happiness, catch it.”
 Eric Idle

Considering the title of this blog, it was only a matter of time before I resorted to some cheap Python plagiarising. So with apologies to John, Michael, Graham, Terry, Eric and Terry…

Crispian: I’ve got cancer, the bastard. It infected my right kidney, and it has spread, I now have a secondary tumour and tumours on my tumours.

Colin: And on your tumours’ tumours’ tumours.

Crispian: Yes.

Colin: And on your tumours' tumours' tumours' tumours.

Crispian: All right, Colin. Don't labour the point. And what has cancer ever given me in return?

David: A greater sense of perspective on what is truly important in life?

Crispian: Oh yeah, yeah it gave me that. Yeah. That's true.

Morgan: More time off work to spend at home with your wife and family!

Tori: Oh yes... family time, Crispian, you remember what it was like when you were at work all the time.

Crispian: All right, I'll grant you that a sense of perspective and more family time are two things that Cancer has done...

Rolan: And rekindling old friendships...

Crispian: (sharply) Well yes obviously rekindling old friendships... friendships go without saying. But apart from the sense of perspective, the family time and the rekindled friendships...

John: Conquering the fear of death?

Sean: A greater appreciation of your remaining time and how best to spend it?

Deborah: More frequent visits from friends and family?

Paul: A disabled fast pass to skip the queues on all the rides at Disneyland Paris?

Kevin: A blue badge so you can park wherever you like?

Richard: Free prescriptions?

Sandra: Priority appointments with your GP?

Crispian: Yes... all right, fair enough...

Malcolm: And new material for this cancer blog...

Karl: Oh yes! True!

Clio: Yeah. That's something we'd really miss if you didn’t have cancer, Crispian.

Marianne: The opportunity to take part in clinical trials to advance our understanding of cancer?

Elizabeth: And you’ve won an Ockham award now.

Dave: Yes, it certainly got you a load of sympathy... (general nodding)... let's face it, they're no way you could have won such a prestigious award otherwise.

(more general murmurs of agreement)

Crispian: All right... all right... but apart from a better perspective on what is truly important in life, more time at home with my wife and children, getting back in touch with old friends, conquering the fear of death, a greater appreciation of my remaining time and how best to enjoy it, more trips and visits to see the people I love, fast access to all of the best rides at theme parks, a blue badge to get the best parking spots, free prescriptions and priority GP appointments, plenty of stuff to write about for this blog, the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial and provide data that will advance the scientific understanding of cancer and an Ockham award... what has cancer done for me?

Colin: Got you a Wikipedia page!

Crispian: (very angry) What!? Oh... (scornfully) Wikipedia page, yes... shut up!