Shortly after B’s diagnosis, someone said to me that it will seem as if brain cancer is ‘everywhere’.
I didn’t really take this in at the time, but now I realise what that person meant. Sometimes it feels as if not a day passes without me hearing of some reference to brain tumours – in the press, on tv, in books, etc.
There was a documentary on British diver Tom Daley on tv before the Olympics. Much of it was about his father’s recent death from a brain tumour. He was our age (40). So not only was the brain cancer stuff scary, but also the realisation that we are old enough to have a son Tom Daley’s age.
On The Secret Millionaire a few weeks ago, a wealthy businessman paid for a stranger’s treatment for a brain tumour.
Sheryl Crow has been in the news recently as having a ‘benign brain tumour’.
I watched a show about London’s New Spitalfields Market, in which a worker casually mentioned that his wife had died of a brain tumour.
My reaction to these chance occurrences is a sharp intake of breath, then a desire to hold my hands over my ears and sing ‘lalala’ quite loudly.
When that passes, I’m frustrated by the lack of medical facts. ‘Brain tumour’ isn’t enough! What type, what grade? Primary or secondary? If I have to hear about it, I want details!
Last night B and I had a bit of down moment, then we watched some tv ‘to relax’ – only to hear on the news the speculation that film director Tony Scott may have thrown himself off a bridge after learning that he has brain cancer.
Great. I often wish I could shield B from this sort of information, but of course I can’t, and he’s not a child.
I’m sure I heard these things just as often before, but they had no real impact. There is one example that springs to mind. Around 6 months ago B and I watched a British drama called ‘The Syndicate’. Timothy Spall’s character was bashed over the head during a botched robbery. He had a brain scan and, by chance, a cancerous tumour was discovered. As the doctor was informing him I remember turning to B and saying ‘that is about the worst thing you could ever hear’.
Ha! It seems amusing now, in a macabre kind of way. Luckily I don’t believe in ‘tempting fate’.