Only an hour after the initial alien conversation the Reduce My Risk advert came on TV. The day my family left me after telling me the news, we parked up at a supermarket and right there was a Macmillan Cancer Support billboard. The next night I got in to bed and cried, I turned on the TV to more adverts. My Instagram feed was full of friends doing charity runs in aid of cancer charities. On the last day of term, my youth theatre group improvised a piece involving cancer. A new colleague started work who had her own very recent experiences of cancer. I went to see a new play – it’s plot twist involved cancer. I sat down one night to watch Deadpool and there it was – cancer. Cancer, cancer, cancer.
It seems that since that hideous little gremlin of an alien came to my family, cancer has become so much more prevalent in my every day life and I am seeing it all around me. I remember reading an interview with one of my favourite playwrights, Bryony Lavery who said “when one becomes focused on a subject, it’s suddenly everywhere…like a magnet picking up iron filings”. I could not agree more.
As I talked to my partner about this last night he said to me “It’s always been around, it’s not that there’s more of it – you’re just seeing it more”. He hit the nail on the head. For the past 9 weeks, my alien filter has been on and I have been looking at the world through this. Subconsciously I have been honing in on all the alien related aspects around me. I had turned myself into an alien magnet and therefore was attracting the expected filings.
I don’t think this will change – the magnetic field cannot be uncharged. But what I can do is gather the iron filings and do something constructive with them. This blog is a way of making my thoughts into something more coherent, I have phoned up Macmillan so that they are more than just a billboard, I am writing to Reduce My Risk as there is no mention of ‘bad luck’ (my mam’s contributing factor), I am putting on a play to do my bit and raise money for Cancer Research and Braving the Shave in November.
By doing this I feel like I am part of a community, with everyone doing their bit to fight the alien. It is less of something that is surrounding me and imposing itself upon me, but something that I am a part of and through this I am encouraged to be proactive.
Very recently my community has expanded by being invited to blog as part of Cancer and Everything Else – ‘a friendly bunch of under 30s (ish), dealing with cancer in one way or another. Some of us have it, others are in remission, some of us have close family members with it, and others have close family members who have died from it. We’re all trying to make sense of it, however we can.’
Take a look