After a hectic week driving up and down the A23 for scans and tests last week, I have the weekend off. I did go out on Saturday to meet up with a group of fellow photographers in town but to be honest I wasn’t particularly enthused to be taking photographs and bailed out quite early. Today I’m at bit of a loose end too; I have to be at RSCH for my biopsy at 0700 tomorrow morning, so I’m not in the mood to be doing anything overly energetic or hectic. I’ll watch the footy, Arsenal are on the TV this afternoon (there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll be cursing the TV) but in the meantime I sit here in a contemplative mood and so I’ll put some thoughts down. I’ll try not to get too deep though as it’ll end up as a load of ‘contemplative guff’
When the news was broken to me of my condition, or I should say when it was confirmed, I obviously had all kinds of different thoughts and feelings going around in my head, having said that, there was no swirling maelstrom of emotions; it was more ‘matter of fact’ type of thoughts and one of these was that the primary cause of throat cancer is caused by smoking and drinking alcohol (I’d done my research) and one of the first thoughts that struck me almost immediately, and I actually did bring it up with the ENT consultant and the nurse in the room at one point, was that I was going to be ‘that bloke’. We all know of him, we’ve all heard others tell his story; he is the bloke that didn’t smoke or drink but still got cancer, the bloke that some people refer to when they inform us that their Grandad smoked 30 fags a day and drank 5 bottles of whiskey every week and lived to be 92, so they don’t see the point in giving up or reducing their smoking and drinking habits.
Well I don’t want to be ‘that bloke’; I do not want to be somebody’s excuse to keep smoking. I would rather my adversity be one of the reasons that helps somebody to give up their habit by turning the argument on its head and say that I am proof you should give up smoking. If cancer can strike me, somebody who last smoked about 25 years ago, then the chances of it striking a smoker is far higher. This isn’t news, we all know this, we have warnings everywhere and it has been common knowledge for a gazillion years that smoking is harmful to us, so my little story will not make one iota of difference to those who don’t want to give up smoking, but if you are one of the many people who do want to quit, put my tale in amongst all those other reasons we know about and hopefully it’ll make it a tiny bit easier for you to stop.
In short, don’t let my misfortune be your justification to continue smoking, but if you’re looking to give up, use my story as just one more incentive to quit the habit.
On the other hand once this is all over I might take up smoking, drinking and crack cocaine.
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