I'm feeling a little bit resentful today. This is probably an ugly post, so avert your eyes if you want to maintain the illusion that I am a saint.
Ok, still with me? Right, so here goes.
Actually, I would like to precursor this with an introduction:
I was sitting with a friend a few days ago who said that her father had eosophogial cancer and she was reading my blog and ticking things off her list of how she felt, as the process was very similar. I was comforted by this and was really glad to have spoken to her. But here I am about to stray into a problem that most people probably don't have:
I am jealous of my parents. Not the cancer, of course. I am jealous of the fact that they only need to say "go" and tests are done and results obtained. The nurse who did my smear test said it would take 4 weeks and then they would send me the results by post.
I am jealous that my father got authorisation for a blue badge (disabled parking) last week simply because his doctor said so. Ok, so I think that the criteria are weird out here, and I am not saying he does not need one. But why did it take us 3 months, including an aborted trip to an inaccessible GP's surgery to be given the same consideration?
I am jealous because my mother wrote an email to a famous surgeon about my father's case on Wednesday at 7pm and by 8pm had a response from him saying that he would be happy to meet with them. And all because they had had an introduction from a woman whose husband was already a patient of his.
I am jealous because my father does not have to fight for the medication he needs with doctors who don't think that a particular drug is "necessary" and therefore refuse to represcribe it. He gets what he wants and needs without argument. Maybe that's because it's cancer and therefore my dad gets what he wants, when he wants because we may have many years to battle the system after his system has given up.
But, in short, I am jealous of the ease with which my parents seem to be navigating these waters. That's a terrible thing, because I would not wish their situation on anyone, but, on the other hand, it's not like my partner's impairment is a "nice" one which gives her or me all the energy in the world to ring government agencies 20 times a day.
Sometimes I tell Nay, "you know what? Sod the government. Let's throw money at the problem, because that will save us the aggro". But she soldiers on on principle, because it's important that people like us pave the way for people who are less able and less vocal. But sometimes I want to have a friend at the Department of Work and Pensions, at University College Hospital, at JobCentrePlus. Because what I am really jealous of is the grease that has been put my parents' wheels, the fairy dust that makes their passage through this seemingly blessed.
My mother complained that the blue badge was going to take a week to arrive. I laughed, then thought "now you know" and then almost strangled her. Wow, that's really ugly.
So remember, boys and girls, Cancer is not nice. But money and connections help. And always, ALWAYS, remember the poor sod struggling next to you and give him a hand up the step, if you at all can. And if you can't, you can always blame the DWP.