I keep hearing some TV commercial using the Sid Vicious version of the song. Most folks prefer Sinatra’s classic interpretation, I’m sure. Some may hate the song altogether, no matter who sings it, and some may never have heard it. Such is the story around interpretations of songs. I’ll argue until I’m blue in the face that only Bing should sing “White Christmas”, I gag when I hear Clapton’s “I Shot the Sheriff” because I only like Marley’s, and Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” is THE definitive version, and I violently turn off the radio if I hear Rufus Wainwright’s take on it (of course, since Cohen wrote it, I do listen to his versions, consisting of whatever selection of the many verses to the song).
The point of these musical musings is that everyone has their own point of view about how a song should be sung, and how cancer should be treated. While I can create my own playlist with my preferred versions, I would never insist on forcing my playlist on others, and I certainly do not suggest anyone do what I did with cancer—in terms of medical treatment choices, attitude, ANYTHING! But as anyone with cancer knows, it is damn near impossible to avoid anyone telling us how to do cancer.
Several days ago*, there was some small ripple on Twitter because a person told Lisa Adams to enjoy the time she has left—and stop fighting, what is it with people saying that?! The essence was, stop treating, accept that we all must die—that tired old message. Geez, not even a year after the Kellers decided Adams was not doing cancer to their liking—WTF!
At first I thought this person did not have cancer, and was just mouthing off. My gut reaction, to anyone who spews that “we all gotta go sometime and it is your turn now” crap is: hey, unless you are the one doing the dying, you have NO right to say that. We all gotta go sometime? OK, be my guest, I prefer to stay alive. And I still have that view—I’ve seen enough of that kind of sentiment expressed prior to this to be quite set about my view. (No, I do not have stage 4 cancer, and I do NOT have an opinion about how it should be handled, not even for myself—I learned during cancer that it is not possible to know what I’ll do in a situation unless I’m in it, will cross that bridge when I get to it).
After reading a few of the tweets tho’, I am guessing this person is also stage 4 and has decided to stop treating. That’s fine—for him or her, but not Adams or anyone else.
Cancer is a human issue, one that all humans must consider and discuss. The fact that money and time is spent on research for treatments that might benefit millions is a matter for public discourse. But there is a fine line crossed when one person tells another how to handle the same stage and/or type of cancer. I’ve said many times, cancer does not exist in a vacuum—two people may have very similar types of cancer, but there are too many other factors, medical and otherwise, that mean comparison is just off-limits. Sure, advice is fine, but the ultimate choice must remain with the individual. And just because any individual shares their story of choices on social media, it is NOT an invitation for criticism or questioning, or especially permission to “stop fighting”. (I’ve posted about the issue of whether sharing a cancer story invites public opinion before, here and here, and will likely do so again.)
My various playlists would likely give most folks a headache, switching from Morrissey to the Misfits to Metallica in moments. So I would not force them on anyone, hell I don’t even share them. Who cares? They’re mine. Same with cancer. The treatment path I took worked well for me, as did my post-surgery choices. Some may take the “way” of Ol’ Blue Eyes, and I’ll side with Sid’s “way”.
My Way. Your Way. The only WAY to do cancer, is the patient’s way.
*Several days ago—what can I say? I’ve been busy. So my posts about things are gonna be late. I write a post in my head when things happen, and hope I can get around to writing, but usually I don’t. I hope to write about many items—the Dr. Smith blog for one, but I can’t promise anything.