I’ve spent years resisting integration into my local community, by refusing to speak to neighbours, failing to support nearby businesses and spurning local events. However, I now find myself a part of two distinct communities.
Fairly soon after ‘all this’ happened I joined the Macmillan site which has specific forums for brain cancer sufferers and their families. People on this site provide a staggering amount of information, advice and comfort to others in similar situations to themselves. There are a few that I now correspond with regularly.
It can be quite confronting, as some are living through an experience which can only be described as dire. Many are years down the line after the tumour has recurred. I’m not sure whether my approach to this should be ‘forewarned is forearmed’ or ‘ignorance is bliss’. I waver between the two.
I’ve also discovered that people are NICE to each other within the cancer community. At first I found this quite disconcerting. When we visit The London Clinic, the reception staff are so polite and friendly. When B leaves after treatment they say ‘Goodbye, B’. My reaction to this at first was to think ‘what do you want from us?’ But the answer is nothing, they are just trained to be nice. It’s hard to get used to when you’re a Londoner, braced for hostility whenever you leave the house.
I’ve read blogs a bit in the past, I think the first one I followed was Brian Kellet’s tales of life in the London Ambulance Service. Sometimes other writers ‘like’ my posts and I check out their blogs, which can be about anything from yoga travels to cookery to digital publishing.
Here are some of my favourites:
- 5 things to do today (I’ve even contributed to this one)
- Things organized neatly (appeals to my OCD side)
- Tired of London, tired of life
- Shit London
- Eat like a girl
- Recipe rifle
I sometimes read other brain cancer blogs but often find them a bit close to home. Reading about other people’s situations, who are sometimes further along in the process, can be disheartening. There are also those who last posted months ago then suddenly stopped – it doesn’t take much to put 2 and 2 together and figure out what has happened there.
Here are a couple that I check in on occasionally, with fingers crossed that they are doing well.