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Letters / Living with cancer

The amount of money raised in 24 hours is a wonderful achievement. Five pounds for every woman, man and child in Shetland.

We might need to revisit the language around the human condition that affects one in two of us and therefore be default all of us.

The one in two statistic seems to have been used to enhance ‘fear’ and therefore necessity to act. Fight or flight – Research or Denial.

Relay for Life back as hundreds turn out for fundraising event

My plodding around the track, only 20 laps (I’m not competitive) was the opportunity, like all walking, for meditation, inspired and informed on this occasion. by the memory bags that lined the track. I counted 257 great grannies/ grandads, grannies/ grandads, mams/dads, non-parents and young people.

Whilst reflecting on my nearest and dearest who died, survived or continue to live with cancer I was not overcome with a tsunami of emotion, close to a tear or too perhaps at times, but recognition that I had dealt with my grief for those lost and reconciled my thoughts and emotions around the living with cancer.

Whatever your response to cancer, even if you and your nearest and dearest have been untouched by it. Do whatever works for you. There is no definitive response. Cancer is as individual as we all are.

I do think as a culture, the UK does have some serious collective work to do around acceptance of death as part of live and more particularly alleviating, rather than prolonging the pain and suffering of dying.

As Hank Williams, rock and roll’s first tragic death at the age of 30 – booze- certainly, pills(?) sang: ‘You’ll never get out of this world alive.’

Live your life, be all you can be to yourself and others. Enjoy.

James J Paton
Lerwick