Friday, 18 July 2014

Illness and attitude

Just a quick post tonight. We are with family. They are cooking some amazing thai concoction and I have been reading an article on the history of our attitude to illness, specifically cancer.

When my grandfather died I was 11 years old. He was in his early sixties. He came to visit and I remember a thin pale man and a milk pudding only he was allowed to eat. Later, a phone call in the afternoon, my father's quiet voice, understanding, trying to help the person at the end of the phone tell the terrible news they had to tell. People were afraid of cancer, they spoke about it in hushed tones, or they didn't talk about it at all.

Someone very close to me was diagnosed with cancer a few years back. We talked about it. It wasn't a dark cloud to avoid, but something to understand, like an uninvited difficult guest at a party, something to get to the bottom of and work alongside. Treatment, wonderful drugs that didn't cause sickness, a gradual improvement and life went on, if a little more slowly.

Illness is no longer the taboo it was. So many diseases if not curable, are manageable, they have a human face.

When people have experienced an illness that has brought them or someone they love close to death, it changes everything. Then they sometimes find the strength to change lifestyle habits that were making them unhealthy. If your dad dies of lung cancer, it's a whole lot easier to give up your 20 a day habit.

I look at the precious people I have in my life thanks to medical progress and I feel I am honouring them by giving my body the best fuel I know how, and cooking food hourglass food for them whenever they let me. Because selfishly, there are many more happy days I want to share with them - many more happy memories waiting to be made.

No comments:

Post a Comment