Let’s Talk About Cancer

Today, 4th February is World Cancer Day. So let’s take some time away from movies and films and selfies and water charges and talk about cancer.

What’s that? You don’t want to talk about cancer?

Yeah, tough shit.

In the time it takes you to say you “don’t want to talk about cancer,” I guarantee you someone, somewhere is being diagnosed with it. Someone else, maybe in the same hospital ward just died from it. And someone else is either so deeply sedated or so young or so scared that they can’t talk about it.

So don’t even bother telling me that you don’t want to.

Are you scared of cancer? Do you know what’s scarier: cancer treatment. The mental health issues. The reactions of your friends and colleagues and family. All those things are a million times worse than cancer.

Cancer is nothing to be scared of, but people insist on making it scary: the rest of us just have to deal with it. Every second of every hour of every day. We don’t want to talk about it either. But we don’t have the luxury that you do.

Today, I want to make a statement, I want to do something that is bold and stupid and genius at the same time.

Let’s rob cancer of its power. Only we, as people, can take away from those fears.

Share your cancer story. And if you haven’t been affected by cancer, you’re either very blessed or ignorant, because I guarantee someone you know is fighting this battle right now. (Even if it’s years later, they’ll still be fighting. Battles don’t just come to a nice close.)

Share your story. Own it. Let’s make it less scary. Let’s make it so this time next year, when world cancer day comes around, we’re fighting cancer, not the stigma and fear.

Fuck cancer. It does not have power over me, not any more. Don’t let it have power over you too.

I’ve already told my own cancer story, many times. But just to make sure you’ve heard it, you can read my book The Astrocytoma Diaries on Kindle, with proceeds going to Irish and international cancer charities, the types of charities that share their stories and make us less scared of cancer.