Sunday, 4 August 2013
What to say.....
An interesting talk with an ex-Falklands vet last night revealed that my blog reaches parts other blogs are not reaching just now. There are other situations where people are perhaps not entirely engaging brain before opening mouth.
Two remarks made to him on his return from a bloody and brutal war stuck out
'Where have you been?". Sorry, er, did the Falklands War completely pass you by? It was front page news in every newspaper in this country for weeks and I am in the army, you know.
"Well done." Er, thanks....I think. I didn't do it all by myself and it's not like it is in the films. If you happen across dead bodies, yours or theirs, the screen doesn't fade out and the smell lingers within your nostrils and you shut your eyes and can still see it, for the rest of your life.
It was interesting meeting people I didn't know and catching up with friends who didn't know about me. I have got quite good at the whole
"I've got terminal cancer so I am just enjoying every day as it comes and not worrying about anything too hard just now"
thing. I hate seeing the shock in the eyes and I hate telling people, but it is the elephant in the room and I would rather people knew, so they didn't waste time talking about stuff that didn't matter and told me about stuff that did.
It is funny, but when you are dying, the Sod It gene comes out in other people too. They talk to you about emotions, situations and feelings they would never have admitted before. Vulnerabilities surface, discussions on a deeper plain and, extraordinarily, a lot of love from people you didn't expect. The posh English are, in the main, pretty bad at physical contact, let alone saying anything remotely emotional. There was a lot of denial, however blunt I was, but I am now realising that this is their way of telling me that they love me and don't want to lose me, rather than stemming from complete ignorance or total distrust of doctors or just to annoy me (even though the steroids make me very vulnerable to annoyance. Crabby, moi?).
One thing that was utterly revolutionary about last night was that nobody told me a story of a cancer patient who survived their terminal diagnosis by 25 years and no one suggested some weird and wacky food/exercise regime that would "get rid" of the cancer. Nobody put their head on one side and I found more out about some of my friends in 5 minutes chat last night, than I have in the last ten years. Weirdly, it made for one of the most interesting evenings of my life, so far.
Maybe there was something in those Martinis?