Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Wendy Richard

I had a good chuckle at Wendy Richard insisting that her recipe for chili con carne be printed on the order of service at her funeral. I also found her simple willow coffin very moving.

She has provided much of the "visual soundtrack" for my generation and she will be sorely and genuinely missed.

It is proving to be a hard time for those living with and being treated for cancer, as there is also the media blitz over Jade Goody's sad demise. I think the least judgemental of all have been those people living with and being treated for the disease. I've known a number of very young woman who have died of breast cancer and it has always seemed like the cruelest cut of all, because they often leave very young children or are deprived of ever knowing motherhood.

I'm not going to debate the wisdom of living in the eye of the camera, it seems to me to be more like a life in the eye of a tiger. But Jade Goody has already saved the lives of a number of her peers, who like her had thought that youth conferred some sort of invincibility and/or immortality, and that is something they and we should all be very thankful for.

I also hope her situation makes them think about their own sexual health and that of their daughters - the new cervical cancer vaccine has the potential to save very many lives.

I was also saddened to learn of Ann-Marie Rogers death. She won a landmark victory in 2006 to be treated with HER2 inhibiting drug Herceptin. When I was first diagnosed this drug was still in clinical trial and I had to volunteer for the trial to get the blood test to see if I was "Her2-positive". Fortunately I wasn't, as HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer, but at least I then knew what type of cancer I was dealing with. I can't imagine what it must have been like to fight a high profile court case while dealing with this disease.

On the radio this morning they were again debating the merits of feminism and some women in the debate were being almost apologetic for using the word.

These three women are all feminists in the best possible sense of the word, in that they valued their lives and the skills and strengths that they each possessed.
They are wonderful examples of life being so much more than mere longevity and we should celebrate them.


Blogger PI said...

Apparently Wendy - despite blandishments, stolidly refused to give her recipe when she was alive so it was a nice gesture. I believe it had chocolate in it.
I always remember a very young athlete - years ago, who died of cancer, she was a pretty young girl and it was very shocking to everybody. Someone explained that the disease gallops in a young fit person. Hopefully that is no longer so.

3:27 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

It's still true, young people's cell division/repair etc is fast, so the cancer is fast too.

I as borderline as I was pre menopausal at diagnosis, which is probably why I'm alive, as cell regeneration is slowing. It is an odd idea, that you live cos you are nearer death!

4:32 pm  
Blogger BarbaraS said...

A resounding 'hear, hear' for you A.

That's an interesting thing you say there A about the cell division/repair speed in our youth contributing to an aggressive spread of cancer, I didn't know that. That's got my poem alert bleeping...

9:21 pm  
Blogger Colin Will said...

Yes, sobering thoughts A. BTW, DunbarJane tried chocolate last time she made chili. Excellent. You don't get the all-out flavour of chocolate, but it just adds something. A terrific sauce for venison has choc in it, plus raspberry balsamic vinegar. That's a Gordon Ramsay recipe. Foul-mouthed he may be, but his recipes are great.

10:47 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

thank you Gordon! South Americans seem to use chocolate a lot in savoury things, the book Water Like Chocolate, a favourite book of mine, is full of such mentions.

11:08 am  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

I always wonder if enough is being done in cancer research...like what CAUSES it, and how we can prevent it, and why is it happening so much more today, than it did in the past.

I gave you an award, by the way :-)http://crows-feet.blogspot.com/search/label/Award

9:35 am  

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