Friday, 1 April 2011

Race For Life? No Thanks.

Well, this may be a provocative piece and I am sorry if I offend anyone....but here goes.
It's that time of year when we are bombarded with adverts, posters and leaflets asking women to join the "Race For Life"- several running events that raise money for cancer research.
Good luck to all those taking part. I've read accounts of women undergoing cancer treatment who make it a goal to finish the race. Many run in memory of loved ones who have died or who have got the disease.
Now, five years ago, a cancerous polyp was found in my lower bowel. It was taken out and I underwent surgery to remove the affected part, "a simple plumbing job" was how my lovely surgeon put it. I then had to have further surgery to repair a collapsed lung.
At no time during my treatment, did I feel the need to take part in a sponsored run at the end. I felt the need to get home to my family then go and buy nice things. My husband likes to say that during my months of enforced "rest", John Lewis nearly went into administration. What I wanted was to return to my normality. I was profoundly grateful to all who looked after me, and I immediately set up a regular payment to Cancer Research, amongst others.
Not long after my illness my two lovely sisters-in-law ran the Race For Life, my daughter and niece went too. My daughter wanted to write my name on her back. I asked her not too, it just seemed mawkish somehow and felt like I was already dead! Then I had to bloody well sponsor everyone. So now here was I, who had had cancer, paying people to run for cancer research, who I was already contributing to.
If people feel the need to run with others and gain some sort of fulfillment, then who am I to judge? However,I am just not into mass public displays of emotion. For me, just "getting back to normal" was enough. I do not feel the need to go and hug everyone and cry for those who did or didn't make it. I give thanks and remember in my own way.
So, good luck ladies. Just please don't ask me to join in. Bah and humbug!
P.S I do like the Macmillan Coffee Morning Event. I willingly donate money on a non-mawkish day, to eat cake and drink tea and not have to wear pink, a stetson or a feather boa.
P.P.S Seriously, good luck if you are running, hope I didn't offend.

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