Tuesday, 30 September 2008

21. Radio Times

Not quite to plan. Hoping to avoid a bog-standard cancer victim interview on Radio 2, I fear I ended up producing exactly that. What about the gags, Steve? The cute witticisms? The slightly off-colour asides? Can we get a little mustard on that ham?

Ok, don’t go crazy, I'm not beating myself up about this, but somehow I felt I couldn’t cut through the familiarity of a radio interview. Too comfortable. Not enough pressure. Everyone was so nice. My edge blunted by cosiness and a bloodstream full of morphine. I didn’t really hit the spot.

Did I even deliver a clear set of headlines?

I’m dying of cancer, but I’m still the same bloke. I choose to deal with this head on. It wouldn't suit everybody.

It’s not about me. It’s about Mary and Dan and Katy and all the things they have to deal with in all their relationships every minute of everyday. How they learn and grow and gather strength. Tough for me? I don’t think so. Look around and see who else is involved.

And what about the wider and widening circles of friends and family and how their lives are moved? Don’t just look in the obvious places. Emotional release comes easy for some people – but the more restrained have feelings too. I can see that now. The most surprising people are affected.

OK, it’s getting late, the pain is coming back, and the broadcast has attracted hundreds of emails I’d like to read. So I’m rushing to prĂ©cis here. I want to be clear – at the risk of being trite.

It’s the little things that count. I’m staying close to home.
Normality can become profundity.
People are much kinder than you ever imagined.
I’m still not angry. What was done cannot be undone. What was missed can stay uncovered.
As the pain worsens, one day at a time can become one hour at a time or even one moment. But let me tell you, even that moment can be enjoyed, if you can get your head up to experience it.
I’ve learned a lot in these past few weeks – and still I’m not afraid.

OK – enough of the potted philosophy. It was a good day. I enjoyed my few minutes on the radio – complete with the statutory BBC taxi that didn’t know where it was going – and I’ve got a load of new stuff to read. But, pain permitting, I want to get home now. Apart from everything else, I’m missing out on the continuing adventures of Rosey Rose The Crazee Cartoon Cat. And that's not to be missed.