I finished ‘The C Word’ by Lisa Lynch today. I had been eyeing it up in work for weeks. After the recent BBC adaptation starring Sheridan Smith (which I hope to somehow see) there was some interest in the book shop, and I remembered reading Lisa’s spirited blog posts on battling The Bullshit (breast cancer) on her blog, Alright Tit.
I found it fascinating and Lisa was so honest and human about telling it like it is. She is so jokey and pokes fun at her condition constantly, even in her worst moments. Sometimes this was hard to read, but it showed her determination to make everyone comfortable and not let herself be overwhelmed.
Lisa received a shock breast cancer diagnosis aged 28, and in her short life had achieved everything she could have hoped and had rigidly planned! She put me to shame, to be honest. Happily married, a Masters and an Editor of a magazine aged 25! Her world was shattered but she fought so hard, together with her amazing family and friends and her beloved P.
I was inspired and touched by Lisa and her young husband P’s relationship. With every blow of ‘the bullshit’ they just seemed to get quietly stronger, and all the beautiful Lisa’s worries that he wouldn’t love her anymore after she lost her hair and became bloated with drugs etc were more than unfounded. Relationship goals. As a woman, it’s terrifying to relate to the horror of losing your hair and the trauma of a mastectomy and all the other horrible side effects of chemo therapy that take a toll on your appearance and femininity. I found myself eyeing up my other half and wondering would he still be there if I suddenly looked horrendous.
Another thing: I will never underestimate chemotherapy again. I knew people were sick and lost their hair, but Lisa’s account conveyed an absolute hell, and I definitely have a new found fear for the treatment and respect for those who have battled through. Her suffering and survival will stay with me for a long time.
I’m glad to have read Lisa’s heart breaking, hilarious and honest story, And I think my life is a little better off from catching some of her light. It breaks my heart that the lovely P had to write the foreword, as Lisa passed away on 11 March 2013. I’m glad that she was on this earth and that she decided to share her experiences through her wonderful writing. I highly recommend you read it, and visit Alright Tit for more of her journey. Thank you, Lisa ! :)