Saturday, 7 February 2015

Cheerleaders and Cancer

When I was a student at QSS I used to enjoy going to the football games against our arch rivals: everyone else.  But especially Moira.  And Trenton High.

The cheerleaders looked pretty, the young men on the field were handsome and athletic, but I wasn't there for either.  (Actually, some of the guys were ugly spuds and a good face mashing into the turf would have only improved their looks.)

I was fascinated by the dynamics, the interaction, the hype and the strategy.  I paid closer attention to the coaches than the players, to the plays than the game.  One thing struck me then as strange and still does to this day.  It was the cheerleaders shouting "we're going to fight, we're going to fight, we're going to win!"

Seriously?  When we've never won against this team before?  Are you psychic?  And who is this "we" you speak of?  I'm not on the field; my buddies George, and Shane, and Donny and a bunch of other guys are.

Clearly they weren't talking to the players, it was to the team supporters.  Their job was to get us all hyped up so the positive energy would carry the day, or at least bolster the training, strategy and determination of the team.  I respect that.  Hey, keep your spirits up fans, we're going to need it when the going gets tough.

But there is no place for cheerleaders in my cancer diagnosis.  I really hate the encouraging posts and messages from my well-meaning friends "you're going to fight this thing, you're going to win..."  "if anyone can beat this, you can!"  "be strong and your positive attitude will help you beat this" and my absolute least favourite, "cancer picked a fight with the wrong guy."

No pressure there folks.  Bring on the marching band.

Mesothelioma is thought to be an incurable disease.  I'm not fighting it.  Here's my plan.  I'm going to focus on the strategies and the plan, and if we don't achieve a winning outcome, then at least to beat the spread.

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