Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A Brazilian.

Forgive me, dear reader, for not writing a lengthy post this week. Truth is I’ve been up to my eyes in baby wipes, Super Noodles and bacon (read: packing for Glastonbury). But, actually, it’s given me the perfect opportunity to show you something I’ve been doing excited little jigs about for the last week or so: the cover of the Brazilian Portuguese edition of The C-Word.

Ain’t it great? I'm beyond chuffed with it – not least because even Sgt Pepper makes an appearance. The direct translation of the title is ‘Things To Do Before You’re 30’ which, frankly, I’m kicking myself for not thinking of for the UK version. But hey. 

Cooler even than seeing my daft little tome published in a country I’ve long wanted to visit, however, is seeing how someone else has interpreted The C-Word. And this, I like to think, really ‘gets’ it. There’s the cat; a heart; the shoes; the bra; the eyelashes; the tattoo... But also, it’s simple, and optimistic, and happy. Which, despite the subject matter, has always been my aim. 

‘How’s the TV thing going?’ asked Other Always-Right Breast Nurse at Smiley Surgeon’s clinic this week, for my three-years-past-diagnosis check-up. (*bows* Thank you; thank you very much.) 
‘Ooh, it’s all kicking off again,’ I said. ‘It’s very much in the works.’
‘Blimey, Lisa, you’ve had a crazy three years.’
‘I know, it’s ridiculous, isn’t it?’ I said. ‘Pure daft.’
‘Amazing though,’ she said, ‘that a drama is being made that’s all about you.’
‘Oh nonono, I dont think of it like that,’ I said. ‘I mean, it’s not about me, is it? It’s just a story.’
‘Well, it’s a story that it'll be good for people to see,’ she asserted. ‘Provided they get the message right.’
‘Oh?’ I said, hoping she was thinking what I was thinking. ‘So what would you say the message is?’
‘Well… this!’ she said, pointing two open palms in my direction. ‘You, standing here, three years on. The message is: however traumatic your experience might have been, there’s life beyond it.’
‘Yes! That’s EXACTLY the message,’ I said, with a big daft grin plastered across my face.

That ‘message’ is something I’d worried about earlier in the week, after being – very flatteringly – asked to speak at the Women At One charity lunch in Guernsey. It’s always difficult to know what part of my story to tell (do I go down the cancer line, the blog line, the book line, the luck line…?) especially when, in whatever room you find yourself speaking, with something like The Bullshit, there’s bound to be someone with some kind of experience. Indeed, in Guernsey I met wonderful women with all kinds of relationships with cancer: someone whose Mum had been diagnosed that same week; someone who’d recently gone into remission; someone whose Dad had breast cancer; someone who was patiently seeing her husband through treatment.

It’s much the same whenever I walk into Smiley Surgeon’s clinic. Yes, I’m a picture of smiling, boisterous goonishness whenever I’m in the waiting room, but what about the other women in there? Because, just as they were at the Women At One lunch, some of them will be dealing with cancer; some will be unsure whether they have cancer; some will be nursing someone through cancer; and some will have absolutely no contact with cancer at all. But the thing is, that smiling, boisterous, goonish idiot is just me; it’s just how I am. And I’m darned if I’m going to hide it. Because, as far as I’m concerned, that back-to-normal stuff is what’s most important… not the stuff that came before it.

I’ll never get my head around finding myself in a position where folk are seemingly interested in what I have to say – it’s as weird to me as the initial diagnosis. And so it might not be everyone’s idea of responsible reporting but, to my mind, the most significant thing I can ever say (and want to say to anyone who may have Googled breast cancer in a panic and happened upon this blog) is this: please remember that there is an afterwards. And, if its anything like my afterwards, it’ll be everything you’d hope it could be: simple, and optimistic, and happy. 


Anonymous said...

Lisa, I was lucky enough to be sitting at your table at the Women at One Lunch in Guernsey. Your speech was fantastic! (You looked just Fabulous by the way!) I am sure every single woman in the room somehow related to your story. Your 'normal girl'(perfectly acceptable term of reference for someone who is in thirties who is going to rock Glastonbury BTW)story was so moving and inspirational (you probably hate that word) that it bought me to tears (although not sobs like I heard someone else doing). Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, it was delightful to meet you and I look forward to your return visit to "The Rock" !! I am just about finished your book which you kindly autographed for my mum in Australia who has also been through "The Bullshit and come out the other side" I have sneakily read it before posting it to her! I am loving it. Enjoy Glastonbury - Top tip: Mud = ruined Louboutins !!

Stephania Andrade said...

Congratulations on your book being translated and published in another country! Take this as an excuse to visit Brazil ASAP!

Best wishes

Fen said...

ooh it is a very effective cover, I really like it, congrats.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa,

Congratulations on your book; I read it last year when I was going through the Bullshit. You are an amazing person. I am at the stage of finding normality after everything; somedays really good, somedays not too good, but then I read your blog and see you are three years down the road and it helps so much. Keep up the blog, hope you enjoyed Glastonbury; it looked a blast.

Anonymous said...

Hi lisa
i am 37 and had breast cancer last year and a mastectomy. My hair is at the stage where it is short but wild but at least its hair. Loved ur book and love the blog. My new goal is to travel the world and i am getting my implant replaced with micro fat grafting next year so i am very happy to getting rid of implant. You should really go to brazil and let people see the wonderful woman behind the book.

Freda said...

The Brazil cover is great. I keep hoping to come across you in person on the radio or tv. The main thing is - don't change who you are, you're great.

Lisa Lynch said...

Aw Sam, that's so sweet of you! Thanks for being a friendly face in a crowd! Hope your Mum is getting on well.

Stephania and Fen, thank you! And believe me, if there's any way of getting out to Brazil, I'll find it...

Finally, to the Anonymouses (!), huge love and luck to both of you on getting through The Bullshit. Here's to a normality that involves travel and fun and fabulousness.


Lisa Lynch said...

Freda, hello! (Great bloggers comment at the same time, clearly!) So pleased you like the cover; I'm made up with it. Expecting the hard copy to arrive any day now... if only I could read it, eh?! L.x