Thinking

Cass Brown is a regular contributor to the Gen Plus Blog.

Cass’ own blog in the UK, the very popular, VERY funny, and very personal Cancergiggles, has drawn over a quarter of a million visitors over the past two years. In his words, “Cancergiggles is an idiot’s guide to accepting, living with, laughing at and dying from cancer. The very, very last bit I can’t be absolutely sure of, but then who the hell can? I could have written some beautifully crafted, grammatically correct essays but I hope you will understand, that when I say “I don’t have a lot of time” I mean it far more literally than you do. I just wanted scribble a few thoughts to maybe light a spark in people – and then it became a book about Cancer, Life, Death, Illness and Politics”. His book is available through http://www.genplususa.com/shop.aspx, www.lulu.com, or directly through his site.

There always seemed to be a common belief that as years attach themselves to you, your body has a tendency to begin causing problems. The fitness revolution has meant that this is no longer written in tablets of stone and the norm is that good health can be expected well into our allotted span. I don’t do norms.

I opted for my own rebellion by going the major invasive surgery, radiotherapy, drugs and disability route and bizarre as it may sound, it was of the best things I have ever done. Resist, if you will, the temptation to call in my local nut doctor, whilst I try to explain.

As I approached 17,000 days, I was doing all of the things which were expected of a married man of my age. Hunting nuts and mushrooms, chopping wood and partying – just like you. The appearance of a tumour the size of a small goat, came as no surprise and the ensuing medical interventions provided some interesting distractions and novel experiences. The most interesting side effect however, was the discovery that there was still an enormous amount of laughing to be done. Having always been of a fairly cheerful and humorous nature, I discovered that becoming single minded in my stupidity, brought me a great deal of satisfaction and seemed to actually have positive benefits for those I came in contact with. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I found that I could communicate my attitudes to large numbers of people and I found to my utter astonishment that there were lots of folk who agreed with me. For the most part, these aren’t chopped up people like me, they are just the ones who want to live – not exist – live.

I think that it is the realization that living does not entail bungee jumping or snowboarding that is the breakthrough. The grey stuff that does the thinking is the only really important bit and as long as you have an adequate exercise regime for it, it will let you enjoy pretty well everything. Let me give you an example of living. I used to get very frustrated if I was wasting time sitting in a waiting room with a magazine, but there is no need, because you can think of a pig. Making your head work out of context is great fun because nobody around you understands and as long as you can resist the temptation to make pig related comments to your fellow waiters it is fairly harmless. Pigs, like most things, are very funny indeed.
I think my point is this. At some stage in your past, you were conditioned to think in a certain adult way and that is where things became dull. Now you are reaching an age where you don’t have to care, you can forget the brain washing and just think for the hell of it. Think what you like.

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