Cancer and Cake

The other week I sat down to watch The Bucket List, I didn’t really know much about it, except that it was a comedy and that Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson starred in it. In a nutshell, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, it’s about two terminally ill cancer patients and their quest to achieve a number of things on their to-do list before they die. It’s a little cheesy, it’s easy watching, there’s a moral (kinda), you can probably take as much or as little out of it as you like. The tag lines of the film probably tell you all you need to know:

When he closed his eyes, his heart was opened

You only live once, so why not die with style?

If you’ve not seen it I’d recommend it.

Except it left me thinking. A lot. Regular readers (all two of you 😉 ), will be aware that my dad has terminal cancer, cholangiocarcinoma (you’d think after three years I wouldn’t need to double check how to spell that bloody word but no such luck). At his last appointment he decided not to have chemo for now (it was only likely to give him extra months not years) and to just carry on as normal – whatever normal is. The irony of the situation is that my dad is, or at least looks, fit and well; you wouldn’t know he was ill, indeed if it wasn’t for the routine scan earlier this summer I’m not sure we’d have been giving it a second thought. Dad was given three months to live, three years ago this week; he has surpassed all the odds already.

Last week was his birthday. What do you get a man who is dying for his birthday? Getting my dad a birthday present is an epic task at the best of times. He’s almost Buddhist in his approach to life and possessions – nothing is permanent so why want for anything? The only answer my dad has ever been consistent with when asked what he wants for his birthday – or for Christmas – or any other occasion is three well behaved children. We’re not too bad, us three, and we’re all adults now – so hopefully that need is met. So, true to form, what did I get him – I got him nothing, I baked instead. Double chocolate brownies for my pa on his 63rd birthday.

Which loops full circle to the point of this post – having just watched the Great British Bake Off on BBC2 I’ve decided that I’ll be baking tomorrow night for the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday. It’s not too late – you can still register to raise incredibly valuable funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Trust me, Macmillan do really make the difference between a good and a bad day and just £25 could pay for a Macmillan Nurse for an hour; to be blunt that hour could change someone’s life.

You can help Macmillan continue their fantastic work – and you get to eat cake; what more could you ask for?

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