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9 May 2014 / erikduval

The bright side of … hmm … cancer

People can be so negative sometimes. Yet, as the Great Philosopher Johan Cruyff once noted: ‘every disadvantage has its advantage‘.

Take cancer, for instance. OK, it’s a stupid disease. Actually, it sucks. I would even say: fuck cancer! But it also has its advantages…

Cancer saves money. Really. In the past, I drove about 35.000 km per year, traveling, commuting, etc. This year, I will do less than 10% of that. Money saved on fuel, maintenance, … That also makes cancer environmentally friendly, I guess. I will also save on shampoo, haircuts, travel, etc.!

Cancer saves time. Really. No more traffic jams during my commute – I just climb the stairs to my home office (which also has a way better view than my university office). Although I do a fair amount of video conferencing, I have way less meetings than I used to. I can’t go to busy places like shopping malls or movie theatres – more time saved!

Cancer is an excellent excuse for not doing whatever you don’t want to do. Few people will argue with you if you decline a request, citing cancer as the reason. I’d really love to come speak at your event, or I’d really like to review those papers for your conference, or I’d really love to participate in that midnight conference call with you, but – I hope you understand and I do apologise – I have to focus on my health now… Always works!

You see – everything has a bright side. Not only Johan Cruyff knew that, Monty Python knew it too (and they also played football, but I prefer Johan’s version of The Game, which indeed is a form of art)

So, here’s to the bright side of … hmm … like everything!


BTW, another nice thing about cancer: it provides a nice sense of perspective. I doubted a bit whether I should post this. Maybe some readers won’t appreciate my attempt at humour. Maybe some folks will be offended. They may have relatives with cancer. But hey, why worry about those things? If I really want to worry, I’ve got better things to worry about!



Leave a Comment
  1. dougclow / May 9 2014 3:00 pm

    Excellent! Maybe some people might not appreciate your humour, but I like it.

    • Erik Duval / May 9 2014 3:03 pm

      Thanks, Doug: it’s nice to have a few friends you can always rely on!

  2. r3becca / May 9 2014 3:43 pm

    And you hear from people you haven’t heard from in years, people bake you cakes and give you flowers and give up their seat on the bus for you, chemo nurses give you free cakes and biscuits, and if you have radiotherapy, you get tattoos for free It’s not all bad, but it mostly is. Hang in there.

    • Erik Duval / May 9 2014 3:56 pm

      You’re so right, Rebecca! I should have mentioned. Received at least 7 bottles of Really Really Nice Wine. (And can drink wine only 1/3rd of the time now, so they last longer!) And flowers. And cards. And free biscuits, it’s true. (“Take two”, they typically say. And we get soup too!) I’ll ask about radiotherapy next time we go to the hospital – only get chemo for now ( And I should try taking the bus. In any case, not all bad: definitely not!

  3. Brian / May 9 2014 4:55 pm

    I can’t say you’ve found enough bright sides to wish cancer on myself, but it is wonderful to see the illness has not sapped your spirit.

  4. Alan / May 9 2014 6:01 pm

    Liked the video. Here ere are a few video’s that make me smile for no apparent reason:

    • erikduval / May 12 2014 2:05 pm

      People are awesome, indeed, and so are some videos! Thx…

  5. Kerry b / May 10 2014 6:56 am

    Hi Eric sorry to hear your news. Fuck Cancer indeed. Two more tips from my treatment … I never went to the hospital.. I went to the day spa. And remember the first word in treatment is TREAT … You deserve one each time you have a treatment. I had to laugh at your comment about travel though. I live 3500 km from the town I get treated in! Thinking very positive thoughts your direction.

    • erikduval / May 12 2014 2:08 pm

      Returning the positive thoughts, Kerry. I can’t travel more than 200 km in one direction without leaving the country 😉 And agree about the treat part of treatment! I even receive gifts: have a nice wine cellar filling up with Really Good Stuff… Take care!

  6. JoB / May 12 2014 10:52 am

    And: you can see every single minute of World Cup coverage without feeling guilty for an instant. The same is unfortunately true of election debates. Actually, they should start giving red and yellow cards in the latter; as long as they don’t start with slow-motion repeats of repetitive & superficial arguments.

    Anyway, from a fired man to an ill one: thanks for providing perspective.

    • erikduval / May 12 2014 2:09 pm

      Yes, World Cup. And watching four episodes of Borgen on one day 😉

      From an ill man to a fired one: let’s agree to meet up again when I am recovered and you have a Better Job!

  7. JoB / May 13 2014 8:16 am

    Fondness of Borgen I don’t share. Then again my kids converted me to Game of Thrones so maybe that time will still come. I guess this is a stupid comment to make but I’ll make it anyway: Breaking Bad should be in your list if not yet completed.

    Sure we’ll meet when you have recovered. I’ll be a better JoB by then I hope, self employed or at least employed in line with the self’s desires. I like the ‘when’, nothing iffy about you 😉

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