John Diamond's C: because cowards get cancer too can be a good icebreaker. It's quite funny as well as being an insightful and articulate personal view of being a cancer patient - in real time, meaning that he wrote it as a series of articles as his cancer developed.
It will also be sure to get the attention of male staff members who will immediately all start fantasising silently on what it must have been like being Nigella Lawson's husband.
I posted this a while ago in the writer's group but thought that it may also be relevant to this discussion.
Outside Looking In
The new normal -
What is it?
How this concept has changed.
There are times now when a barrier exists -
Separating me from the rest.
When the others continue with the trivial, the mundane,
The whining and complaining,
I often find that I watch, observe as from behind an invisible blur
Wondering why it is so important to them?
While I often partake in banter and conversation, I sometimes notice myself
Looking on from another place,
Still in the room but somewhere else.
Is it that the perspective has altered?
Or that the understanding is greater and no longer absorbed by the banal?
Does the facing of our own mortality bring us a level of peace along with the fear –
Thus excluding ourselves from the perceived triflings of others.
Strangely, this isolation can also come with a sense of smugness-
“I have been where I hope you never have to go-
These insignificant details leave me unimpressed.”
While participating in it, the conversation often leaves me unengaged.
Ultimately it leaves me saddened
and my mind wanders to what may come of my normality inside the bubble,
Behind the barrier.
Excellent, you have captured the feelings that seem to be shared by many.
Strangely enough, on the weekend I wrote a verse with a similar theme but didn’t post it on the site.
Just goes to show the similarity of experiences.
I occasionally find some situations (work and social) can be isolating because many people I work with around my age are married already have children. Also, some single people are much younger than me, so there are few people I have anything in common. Sometimes, it is easier to stick to topics like - hobbies, travel, music, news etc which isn't age or family related.
It is hard to figure out how to respond to a tricky question - like, "have you done something to your hair" or you look different compared to last year. It helped me to have some answers "pre-prepared" and only disclose info to people that I felt ok with. It gets better with time.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.