Extra extra read all about it

October 12, 2017

Since having major surgery one year, three months and twelve days ago (not that I'm counting) and subsequently receiving my diagnosis, I haven't read a newspaper or watched the news.


This may horrify readers - how can I opt out of current affairs, do I not care what is happening in the world and how it affects me?


Quite frankly, I have more important things to worry about than the idiots who are being elected into power or the ridiculous results of slim majority decision and popular vote! 


It's not that I don't care about the plight of others in the world, but I have my own personal plight, as selfish as that may sound.


My hysterectomy took place exactly a week after 52% of the UK population took the radical decision to vote for our country to leave the European Union. Despite having many other more pressing and urgent matters on my mind - 10% chance that my Borderline Ovarian Cyst would be malignant - I exercised my democratic right and voted to stay in the EU. I thought my vote might make a difference but I now wish I'd stayed at home and packed my hospital bag!


As the referendum results filtered through, the realisation dawned on me that not only was the world at large changing, but my life was about to as well.  By that point, I had already started glazing over at the mere mention of politics, not having the headspace for that and the very real possibility of ill health.


As I came out of my general anesthetic, woozy on morphine, the surgeon delivered his news.  Like a town crier, ringing his ominous bell, he announced


"oh yay, oh yay, disease was found on your ovaries, womb, fallopian tubes and omentum".


These became the only headlines that now mattered to me. And the only news which made any sense to me from that point on was recovery followed by survival.


A few weeks later, I sat in the surgeon's office to receive further news - my confirmed diagnosis following biopsy of what had been removed from my now pretty empty abdominal cavity:


Headline: stage three high grade serous ovarian cancer


Lead story: chemotherapy


Everything became very uncertain for me at that point and my world became very small indeed, revolving purely around me and my impending journey.


I knew I had to - and wanted to - remain positive. In order to do so, I had to remove any negativity from my life. 


Newspapers, news programmes and websites are harbingers of doom and gloom. Whilst they serve a purpose of keeping us informed, they do so with an enormous amount of cynicism and negative opinion. Has it always been like this? 


It seems that rather than focusing on the advantages of one point of view, reporters will highlight the disadvantages of the other point of view. A political leader doesn't declare what their manifesto is, but decries the actions of the opposition. Front pages are full of no, not, never, won't, can't and don't words. 


I quickly accepted I have a chronic long term condition which will be managed with drugs. I am fully aware that I have a disease which may shorten my life.  I therefore do not need this life to be sullied by political mud-slinging, name-calling, finger-pointing and whatever other playground tactics  people in power have stooped to using.  I want to enjoy the life I have without worrying about the free world being run by an megalomaniacal orang-utan (I know that much, it's difficult to escape!)


I still have the newspapers delivered at the weekend but...


...it has been 469 days since I picked up the main section and read it cover to cover.


...it has been 67 weeks since I turned on the television and made a conscious decision to watch the news.


...it has been 15 months since I opted out of current affairs and focussed on affairs that are current to me and my health.


I am an avid social media user so unless I unfriend and unfollow all my friends and family on Facebook and Twitter, I can't avoid the news completely. I am interested to read my friends' views and opinions but often, I have no idea to what they are referring. If it interests me enough, I'll follow it up. 


I hope you will understand why the only sections of the weekend papers I read are travel, home, weekend review and the magazines.  Prince Charming and I also snuggle down on a Sunday evening and exercise our grey matter by tackling the crosswords.


So don't attempt to strike up a conversation with me about something that is happening in the world, don't expect any insightful political opinion from me and don't hold your breath for a heated debate.


Hold the front page - I receive more than enough news of my own and it's always an exclusive!


Watch this space...

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