Most recently, I have developed a terribly crass but highly amusing hobby. I find it increasingly entertaining to use Alan as leverage for all sorts of negotiations with my friends and family. Some of you might be familiar with this behaviour and have heard it described as playing the cancer card. Judge away, folks!

Here is an example of the kind of interaction I mean:

Mel: I’m ordering an ice-cream delivery. What flavours do we want?

Me: Salted caramel and vanilla and you have to order those because I have cancer.

Mel: (sigh) Right. Yep.

Here is another:

Dad visits from Sydney and we all go to jump in the car to drive to the pub.

Me: Shotgun, Dad. I have cancer. You’re in the back.


And another:

Every week almost everyone in my family does the Saturday quiz in the paper.

My brother (types his family’s score into the family chat): We got 16 this week.

Me (types into family chat): We got 16 this week too. 2 extra cancer points brings us to 18.

I know. This reflects VERY badly on me. It doesn’t fit well with the dignified cancer patient image we all shared until now. But here’s the thing…

It’s funny to me. It allows me to say the word cancer in a context that makes people laugh and roll their eyes and want to slap me. I don’t want cancer to be a word I trip and fall over when it catches me off guard. Every time I play these shitty little games with my friends and family, as wrongtown as it might seem, it makes the cancer smaller in my mind.

Fighting looks like a lot of different things. And I’m learning that people with cancer are all kinds of people. Some are serene and wise and patient. Some are angry and active and getting shit done. Some are stoic and private and able to compartmentalise things. Some are smart arses who enjoy annoying their loved ones with their newly found sense of entitlement.

Sometimes I am laying flat out, staring at the ceiling, on my bed at 3 am having woken up in a liver mets sweat (if you know, you know) and I am overwhelmed by the Alan in the room. The Alan in me. The reality of what could possibly happen is a ledge I am just barely acknowledging, let alone one I can contemplate deeply. This is the tiny room of terror in my brain. Sometimes I am in here.

But when I’m not, I’m fighting Alan the best way I know how – by making the fucker smaller in tiny increments of distaste and laughter. And by making my army laugh (and cringe) too.

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0 thoughts on “Alan is the New Shotgun

  1. We used to do the exact same thing. Found our way through the journey with laughter and lightheartedness. Yes, there were times for serious discussions and decisions, but the day the day can drag you down so to find a bit of humour along the way, I highly applaud you. But again, it’s whatever works for you Gibbo to kick Alan, and go kick him hard! Keep kicking babe. 😘♥️

  2. Shit, I have just worked out how to read this bloody blog. I’m very proud of myself as this has taken me a couple of weeks to work out. As for Alan, the only reason I think you are using this 4 letter word is because FUCK was already taken! As in rugby parlance, bring it in close now…..and let’s all get serious about helping Kristie knock big Al into a little al and getting him at the bottom of a ruck and kick the shit out of him!! I hope my first attempt at responding to a blog does not get me sent off! This bastard doesn’t deserve the time of day, so Kristie you kick him out of Melbourne over Tassie and well into the Roaring Forties!! Over and out…

  3. Hi Kristie
    It’s taken me a long time to leave you a message as was not sure what to say and wanted it to be something deep and meaningful that would make you feel better immediately . Then I thought it’s just a terrible, shitty thing to happen and all I want to tell you is that I’m thinking of you and sending you lots of love and best wishes. Joan xx

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