Tag Archives: passion

The Passion to Survive Pancreatic Cancer

4 May

Recently I’ve found myself being criticised for being too “passionate”. I’m not referring to any lurid lechery but more mundane matters. For example, when I let out one of my expletives on the golf course. My golf partners can hear me calling myself “twit” or “you silly boy” – strong stuff indeed. Then I’m told to calm down – it’s only a game. Or letting my emotions get the better of me when West Ham concedes yet another goal. “They don’t care about you – why should you care about them”, I’ve been reprimanded. Or little idiosyncrasies of people in the service industry that tend to irritate me. Being told “Why do you take things so seriously? Don’t take them to heart” – is not exactly heartening.

I look at these minor infractions and ask myself whether they have any meaning. My outbursts on the golf course are only aimed at myself, and last no more than the moment. I demand a high standard of myself and if I can’t hit that little stationary b… ball, why can’t I be irritated with myself? And wishing West Ham win? It’s only a game – and for its duration, why can’t my team win?

The question is whether my attitude today is any different from before I was diagnosed, and whether it makes any difference? The answer to the first question is a definite “no” but to the second question a definite “yes”.

To those who know me, it’ll come as no surprise that I can often be ignited from a very short fuse. I may go “bang” but then it’s all behind me. The bashing is basically at myself – and I’d be sorry if anyone felt slighted.

As to whether it makes any difference?  Cancer hasn’t changed my character. I’ve always been passionate about causes that concern me. I see my passion as a spark that is able to ignite my continuing fight.

This week I went to the funeral of a work colleague. A “Yekke”  born in Berlin in the 20s who came to Palestine as a twelve year old and became a legend in his own life-time defending the country. There were a number of old-timers there, many of whom I hadn’t seen for a while, who looked at me as if to say “What, you’re still here? You really must be amazing”. I don’t see it as such. Deeds of daring deserve their due, while I struggle to find the answer as to how I’m hanging in.

Perhaps passion is part of the plan. In the meantime, West Ham are surviving in the play-offs and I want to see them play in the Premiership next year. Maybe it’s not only a game.