As you saw in my last post I arrived back from camping feeling rather ill. Well it got worse and then one morning I woke up looking like an Oompa Loompa. In no time at all the three oncologists were gathered around my bed. The haunting portrait by Ken Currie (above) that made such an impression on me a couple of years ago in Edinburgh came to mind immediately. He says in an interview on Youtube that when he was observing the three worthy oncologists he had been commissioned to paint, he was struck by the thought that people see cancer as representing the darkness and that these men go in to rescue the poor souls and bring them to the light. Very mythological this may be but is not the story that I am choosing to spin from my diagnosis.
They say that when film was the silver screen the silvering process allowed directors to capture something that the eye could not see. An alchemy took place between the filming and the audience’s reception of what was up there. I think the same alchemy is at work in this painting. The three oncologists are wrapped in a chilling, ghostly light that Ken Currie’s unconscious dictated. They themselves can’t have been pleased with the interpretation. But we the public are mesmerised by the truth behind the image. I guess in art the reception is all. To me the world of oncology IS the very darkness from which those men in their arrogance see themselves helping people to escape.
So what is the story that I am spinning from my diagnosis? Well, it is that I have much to learn from it that I haven’t yet learned. Less a diagnosis and more a dare perhaps. Dare to live life learning right to the end. Dare to keep it going against the odds. Dare to show that a change of diet (cancer loves sugar) I can beat the medics by years. Needless to say I’m taking charge. So it’s no to operations and no to chemo. I’ve always said in my book and my posts that old age is the last but one adventure, so maybe I’ll be going straight on to the last adventure. Old age not being for sissies, this diagnosis could be a sort of get out of jail card.