Now 2007 was not the best of years for me. Cancer came up on me through the end of 2006 and smacked me to the ground by the 19th of March 2007 when I was hospitalised, informed two days later that I had aggressive stage IV Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and chemotherapy had to start pronto.
But every cloud has those proverbial silver linings. The first being, I finally knew what the hell was wrong with me - I wasn't a hypochondriac after all. And second, I suddenly was a signed up member for the all powerful, all conquering cancer club and best of all, they issued the card of all cards, the lord of the cards, the card to rule us all - the Cancer Card!
I was put onto this card whilst reading Cancer Vixen that a friend so kindly brought for me early on in the treatment process. It is a very funny autobiographical cartoon book by Maria Aocella Marchetto, a New York cartoonist who went through breast cancer and documented her experience with great humour and accuracy - I highly recommend it to all cancer sufferers.
Anyway back to the Cancer Card. Its main benefit is that it gives you the ability to pull it out at any time* and wave it around and say "no-can-do I've got the Cancer Card". It enables you to get around doing all sorts of obligations and nuisance of normal life. Things such as boring cooking, doing the boring dishes, boring cleaning, going to any & all boring functions, staying at any boring functions, taking part in any boring conversations. In fact the old Cancer Card gets you out of doing anything boring at all if you don't want to – work included. Fan-bloody-tastic, should have got cancer ages ago!
The mysterious thing about the Cancer Card is that its power increases the sicker you become, so after about your 4th course of chemo its power will probably be at its peak and provides many, many a free-pass. The only thing Cancer Card can't actually do is cure cancer.
But I noticed a disturbing thing the other day - mine had vanished! No I hadn't left it in the car to be stolen by the local yobs. But ever so slowly, as I got better and better, its power had diminished. It's like a muscle, the less you use it, the weaker it becomes, until eventually it withers & dies.
And bloody good riddance too! Good riddance to the cancer, to the Cancer Card and to 2007!
* Cancer Card is only of significant use if you have friends & family around to pick up the slack and help you along - so make sure you don't piss them off too much.
* Cancer Card doesn't work at the hospital - they're on to us. Step on to hospital grounds and you walk through a barrier that suspends the power of the card until you leave again - tricky bastards these medical bods are - but love them we do.