The C Word

Alright…this is not a normal blog for me.  It’s not about organisational stuff, or What I learnt Yesterday – although it fits that strand apositely.  It’s just not that common for a TV drama to still be burnt into my head 24 hours later.

The C Word starred Sheridan Smith as Lisa Lynch, the 20 something who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She didn’t want to be a victim, so she wrote her way through the bullshit (as she called her cancer).  And the blog turned into a book, which turned into this doc-drama play.  I half caught at the beginning that Smith was a friend of Lisa’s.  Lisa’s friends certainly concurred that she had ‘nailed it’.  There was one part late on where a counsellor or nurse advised her and husband Pete (the exquisitely pitch perfect Pail Nicholls – who I remember mainly as a sort of heart throb in East Enders?) to read a book – and was given a copy of her own book!  Apocryphal or what – it doesn’t matter – if it did happen – well, brilliant!

My dad died of stomach cancer, as his dad did.  I suppose that history makes it more cutting and real?  And having had too many friends in the last few years being diagnosed and treated for many and various cancers – 3 of them breast – I really couldn’t take my eyes or ears or hankies off the TV.

Some of you reading this will know who you are (and just one or two can’t read this), and will probably not have been able to watch.  It will be too raw as yet.  But for those who missed it – please, please have a go at finding it on iPlayer.  it was on BBC 1, on 3rd May.

45 years ago my dad’s eldest brother, Uncle Ted, was visiting his wife Aunty Marge in Liverpool’s old Royal Infirmary Hospital.  We were there as a family.  Uncle Ted was led into the corridor by my dad, as he had just been told the diagnosis and prognosis was not good for the breast cancer she had. (the patient didn’t used to be informed in the UK at that point).  I was left with Uncle Ted while he cried in huge gulps while I tried to console him, while everyone else had to go back to put on a brave face.  I was 11.  It stays with you.

My thoughts are often with you, my friends who have been or are still going through this.  Much love. You know who you are. x

just one of the reviews:

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/may/04/the-c-word-review-sheridan-smith-cancer-wonderful-testament

One response to “The C Word

  1. Phil,

    I saw the programme too. Excellent and moving production which was so true to how it really is.

    Like you, I have been there as the supporter/one in the corridor – and knowing what to say and how to act with the sufferer is a world all on it’s own.

    Very moving.
    Hazel

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