I’ve been meaning to blog before now. Before “the news” (yes I did pause to make air quotation marks then) the idea was a weekly -ish blog about other stuff as I assumed I didn’t have to be Not Quite Ripley about cancer anymore. Also I don’t want you lot to see the blog pop up on your timeline or inbox and think “Oh, not more bad news. If I wanted this much tragedy I’d watch a Susan Hayward film thank you.” For those who just thought “who?” shame on you and check out Smash Up – the Story of a Woman for some lovely scenery chewing by la Hayward. It got me thinking about my girl Ripley. I think story or script writing is at its best when the characters are portrayed as ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Obviously a superb actor helps too. As such, it’s not that big of a leap of faith surely to imagine that character doing other “stuff” when they’re not being chased down corridors by a Xenomorph. Which is a torturously arrived at analogy of my situation. Yes, I still have terminal cancer but I don’t spend all my time on high alert about it.
So here I am on a sunny Sunday morning with my coffee to be sipped and my cats pestering me for attention. Clare Balding is just finishing her show on Radio 2 and it’s nearly time for Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs or as I like to think of it the “hey the restraining order didn’t say anything about requests on the radio” show.
Since I last wrote my world has been a bit “cancery” for various reasons though. Other people in my life are facing their own alien and unsurprisingly doing so with bravery and panache. Also, I recently read an article in The Times magazine about Jennifer Saunders which seems to have caused a bit of sniffing and arm folding. She was asked if she thought some people keep wearing cancer as a badge and she said, “Forever and I’ll give you why – because this is the job you don’t have to work for. You get so much attention and, if you’re not used to that, I bet it can sway you a little.” Hmm. Now I like Jennifer Saunders and I admire her “no 4 page spreads in Hello magazine about her brave struggle” stance but I also couldn’t help but feel a knee jerk reaction of “that was a bit callous Jen”. She did say SOME people not all but still. I suppose my take on it is yes, you do get loads of attention. Yes, it is heady. A few days after my prognosis I got a bit “I MUST get my blog reposted on Twitter by someone famous”. I’m not sure why and I’m not very proud of it. In my case it was the hopefully understandable panic of “I want to make my mark on this world, me, Debbie Wells” stupidly forgetting the fact that to many people in my world I have. That comes out as big headed and is not meant to. I’m also guilty of angrily playing the cancer card when receiving my fourth or fifth computer generated threatening letter in as many months from a large energy company while they sort out their problem of working out who lives where in our new build road (well not so new build now) and who they supply energy to. I fired off an email which used the c-word. Why? Exactly what difference does it make to their bungling attempts to sort out the problem? None but it made me feel better for a while after I pressed “send”. Anyway I think for a while I was exactly the sort of person she meant and therefore, to me, her argument is valid if a little brusquely worded. Still it sold papers eh?
Thank you for reading – have a good week and I’ll try and make this a Sunday morning ritual.