Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Another Brick in the Wall...

I have written many posts since I last posted on this blog, since a lot has happened since I last visited, but I have had neither had the time nor the energy to complete them. I would love to tell you what happened with my new haircut, or how my newly-suntanned surgeon is now back from his travels abroad, or how I recently bumped into an ex-best friend of mine who just hadn't been there for me at my lowest moment and the strong emotions that I felt after this encounter. But nothing and I mean nothing seems relevant or important enough after experiencing the night that Londoners experienced two nights ago. For the first time in the twenty years that I have lived in this complex, sophisticated, sometimes frustrating city, I sat in my home and felt too scared to leave. And this was at six o'clock in the evening. While the news of rioting and looting seemed to get closer and closer to my own home, I found myself checking my back door wondering what I'd do if I suddenly found my property, or worse still my family under threat.

Yesterday, as I sat in my lounge about to get ready to attend yet another hospital appointment, I wondered what kind of descriptions the media would use to describe the violence and looting that took place in virtually every area of inner-city London over the last three days. Will it be described as an aggressive cancer that quickly spread through the capital, seeding its malignancy from shopping centre to high street ? or a race riot that erupted after one man was unlawfully killed by police ? or more simply a kind of Clockwork Orange opportunistic style of anarchic behaviour by a group of underclass kids too disconnected and dispossessed to know any better ?

The morning after the riots I walked through my area and observed the broken glass, the boarded up shops and the look of complete disbelief and shock on the faces of the many residents who like me are just ordinary people. None are rich, even fewer have businesses. The riots have forced me to think about what I've been through in the past eight months and the marathon treatment of chemo, surgery and herceptin that I've worked my way through. What has been the motivation for my efforts ? To stay alive for as long as possible of course. To be there for my son. But when I listen to the voices of the lost and immature out-of-control teenage rioters who will one day be London's next generation, I feel worried. My greatest fear ? Not that I won't make it, but that my son's voice might one day be among them.


  1. wow. we here in the states have been seeing the images of london burning, worrying about the real meaning of it all. i am glad you are okay.

    after what we have gone through, the value of life becomes so much more evident, so much more pronounced. we are connected to what is vulnerable in this world in a palpable way.

    here was my experience with this:

    i wish you the best. i hope that your son is able to learn from you to be a compassionate voice in this world.

  2. Hi Chemobabe,

    Thanks for your comments - sorry about late reply but I've been busy with medical stuff ! These riots have been a wake up call for us all, and the reasons behind them are so complex. Most Londoners condemn them but realise that something has to change. Having a serious illness allows us to put ourselves first for a change, but when we see this taken to its extremes, suddenly it doesn't look so attractive.Thanks for connecting - I'll have a look at your post soon ! Hugs, Cxx

  3. Watching the rioting reminded me of the riots in Toronto (Canada) last year with the G-7 Conference. It was totally random violence, the destruction of private property. You have to wonder how some of these involved would have reacted if it was their homes that burned down and businesses looted. Watching the London riots I felt sad, sad not just for the victims but sad for those youths who would get caught and end up with criminal records that would affect them permanently. I also have a teenage boy my concern is that I won't be here to advise him when he needs it the most.....but then I'm not in a rush to leave.
    I hope you are doing well.....
    Alli xx

  4. Hi Alli,

    Thanks for your comments. It's interesting to hear how riots evolve in different parts of the world. Things are quiet here now - it ended just as quickly as it began. But I think everyone is aware of how quickly things could escalate again. I hope to be around too to give my son guidance - and I hope that my teachings will be enough for him... I'm doing well, hope you're good too !

  5. I just found your blog. As a fellow cancer survivor, my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Also...Great Blog! You are a credit to the cancer blogging community. I have added you to my blogroll, “Cancer Blogs Lists” with over 1400 other personal cancer blogs at, a cancer networking site featuring a cancer book club, guest blogs, cancer resources, reviews and more.
    If you have not visited before or recently, please stop by. If you agree that the site is a worthwhile resource for those affected by cancer, please consider adding Being Cancer Network to your own blogroll.
    Now that you are listed, you can expect to gain a wider audience for your thoughts and experiences. Being Cancer Network is a place to share and communicate.

    Take care, Dennis (

  6. Thanks very much Dennis ! I feel very honoured to be added to your list and will check your website regularly for updates and information. I am in the process of creating a 'blogs I read' list so will definitely consider yours once I get round to reading it ! Many thanks for dropping by and thanks for connecting ! Cx

  7. It's really nice to see the blog so active and updating with thought provoking articles!!

  8. thanks Ashley ! I hope that you keep on dropping by ! Cx