Last Thursday and Friday I had a follow-up visit to the hospital where I have my treatment and scans. On the Friday, with several hours of free time, I decided to make a commentary about the people I was observing and what I think of as The Cancer Personality. This is an idea I've been exploring for more than a decade and an observation that I may have made about my self once upon a time ! You may think I'm judgemental in my comments and that was certainly not my intention. Of course I know nothing about the suffering, resilience, hopes, desires or struggles of the people I observed. What follows is my observations as a writer and as a human being who has taken a similar, albeit different journey.
Distinctive personalities might be found in any number of acute and chronic illnesses. My guess is that certain constellations of physical, psychological and emotional traits and experiences, might one day be found to align well with certain illnesses.
This is a recording I mad ea few months ago when I was having a really hard time with the impacts of Carcinoid Syndrome, which is a byproduct of my tumours. I'm not really sure why I made this, except perhaps to show you that I'm as real as you are. When I feel shit, I feel shit !
I've always envied people who were older than me and as I approach 50, I feel a real sense of excitement about where I'm at in life and what is to come. In this monologue I reflect on ageing, by exploring :
The negative baggage associated with physical and mental changes
Our fears of dying
The joy of ageing and old age
The importance of accepting ageing
The benefits of old age and why it's worth looking forward to getting older
The best and worst kinds of ageing
Transcending the fears associated with ageing and embracing the wonder of getting older
Moving through the passage of perpetual grief and growing through resilience
The choice we all have about how to age.
You wont find any sympathy or regret in this monologue.
You may wish to skip the first 23 minutes and my wishing to provide my sick sister with a means to fulfill a lifelong dream. I was having a hard time with her illness and seeing her suffering.
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I can't recommend the writings of Marie De Hennezel, particularly her books on dying and ageing. Unfortunately most of her books are in French but at least two of them are in English.
May you enjoy People of Earth.
In today's monologue I explore the issue of faith and trust and reflect on what we can learn from young lambs and old ladies, about the power of will and our desire to live. I also reflect on the 5 Remembrances, life's impermanence and uncertainty.
Relevant links :