Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cancer Terminology - Three Posts in One

Weekends, when I have no Internet access, allow me to reflect ...

... and now, Potentilla/Christian at Auspicious Dragon and Lucia have given me food for thought on two subjects. The first of which is semantics ...

Lucia's first reaction to the labels "victim" or "sufferer", was to reject them and was to call herself a "fighter". Christian somewhat objects to the term "fighter" and I'll quote from Metastastes:

"Someone asked me on the phone today “and how are you, are you still battling it?” or words to that effect. “Oh fine”, I said, and nearly missed the point of the call, being away with the fairies worrying about conflict metaphors for chronic illnesses such as cancer".

Read the rest of her post here and then come back to read the rest of this.

So what do I think to these metaphors - possibly, Lucia, we are not "fighting cancer". We are fighting opinions and mindsets.

... oh and Lucia I'm still awaiting to read about "Survivors"!


Christian said to me, in response to my comment,

"I was hesitant to accept Clare's offer of a quilt for Kezia and link to her, I hate accepting /asking for financial assistance now and again from Clic Sargent, I hate seeing massive fundraising campaigns by parents for their child ... all of this stinks of "victim". But out of necessity, have to accept the humiliation".

on the previous Cancer Terminology post.

"I can see why it might feel humiliating to accept help from charities, but look at this way - a lot of people who work for/donate to charities get plenty back by being able to feel noble and generous. And others are doing it precisely because they have needed help themselves in the past and want to pay back."

Lucia said to me that the reason she is organising Lucia's Fabulous Fuchsia Ball, a fund-raising event for Clic Sargent, is payback (and if you are able, please go).

And, yes, Clare, (Quilts4leukaemia), I feel humiliated by your kind gesture ...

I'm going to discuss with Nanda the ACLT initiative when I next go back to the U.K.

Clic Sargeant and others are filling gaps in state-provided social welfare. For example, and as I've pointed out before, we are not receiving Child Benefit (although Kezia is a U.K. Citizen) and Disable Living Allowance. Clic Sargeant etc are filling a gap ...

... which leads me on to ...


Potentilla comforts me about the "Bunny Rabbits and Angels Brigade":

"the victims (patients or their families) are the ones who go all squishy and expect to always have everything done for them and don't hold themselves to any recognisably adult standard of behaviour, not the people who just need a bit of financial assistance from time to time. I have been having chemo with a victim, and believe me the distinction is very visible. (Actually, I suspect victimhood is a lifelong characteristic, and being diagnosed with cancer just gives them one more area to whinge about)".

I see Potentilla and Lucia, and H. and A., Rob and Lauren, Josie Grove and Cass and many others living full lives with many and diverse interests. They all have a life (and, in the case of the latter two, they continue to in the grave).

The "victims" don't help the rest of us - cruelly perhaps, but I will say it, get yourself a life.


Clare said...

Don't feel humiliated, please. I would much prefer to make a quilt for Kezia than send a whole parcel of quilts to, say, The Royal Marsden, and not know who was going to use them. The quilt is being made for Kezia and her alone. I am not a charity, I am doing this because I want to; because I love quilting; and it is a way of doing something I love for someone else. Quilts are made with love for someone to love. It just so happens that the next person is going to be Kezia.

Angus said...

Thanks Clare. I think Potentilla's advice was sound. And as we are on the receiving end of your quilt, perhaps we too will be able to give some payback in some other form.

Lucia said...

don't worry, the post is on its way. I did start typing it ages ago but have been bogged down with a.s. work. Also, the fighters thing is true.