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You, Me and the Big C: 5 good things from cancer

The women of the 'You, Me & the Big C' podcast are your BFF’s, your sisters, daughters and mothers. They are you… but with dodgier cells and they’re too busy living to worry about dying.

As well as their honest and raw podcast, which includes laughter along the way too, they will create a weekly top 5.

This week, the #YouMeBigC team choose what could be considered a controversial talking point:

"Most people don’t think there are any positives to do with cancer, but there are a few," said Rachael.

L-R: Rachael, Deborah and Lauren.

Here's a quick introduction (if you don't know the squad already):

R = Rachael Bland aka ‘Big C, Little Me' Well known to BBC Radio 5 live and BBC audiences as a news presenter. Rachael has been in continuous treatment for recurrent breast cancer for a year.

D = Deborah James aka ‘Bowelbabe’ Stage 4 Bowel Cancer doesn’t stop Deborah from getting to the party. This glamorous 35-year-old mum of two has even been known to drink champagne during chemo!

L = Lauren "Lolli" Mahon aka ‘Girl vs Cancer’ Lolli was already a successful lifestyle blogger, so when cancer came calling at the age of 31, she styled it out by setting up a new community for young women with cancer.

And this week the team were joined by singer and actress Linda Nolan...

N = Linda Nolan was diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer in April 2017.

1. Love

R: Let's do our top five good things from cancer…

Number one - love. It’s got to be love and that outpouring of love that you feel from friends, from family and from complete strangers.

L: All you need it love guys.

D: Absolutely.

2. Not sweating the small stuff

D: Number two. I think perspective.

L: Yeah.

D: It gives you a real perspective on what matters in life, what your priorities are and apologies if I don't have any sympathy for you if you've got cold anymore!

N: I have a scan every three months and I'm lucky. The NHS have been brilliant with my treatment.

I have a scan every three months to see if the cancer is still the same or if it’s spread, and I have decided that I'm not going to spend the three months in between each scan worrying about cancer, because otherwise cancer’s going to be ruling me and that is not going to happen.

3. Making the most of everything

L: I think it's definitely carpe diem and seizing that day, because it does make you live life doesn't it?

It really does make you make the decisions and do the things you always wanted to, because what's the point of waiting around for it? I think it’s a really positive thing.

D: Do it now.

N: I think my plan is to have a great time. It's made me appreciate things I have.

It's made me make better choices in my life in that if I'm going to somebody's party because it's their 50th birthday and a TV show comes in, I now go “Sorry I can't do this TV show,” I’m going to the party.

4. Playing the 'cancer card'

R: ...And of course, the very shallow cancer prizes.

L: Oh we love the prizes.

N: My friend actually had some credit cards made with the cancer ribbon on it.

R: I love it! I want one.

N: We’d be in a restaurant queuing up and my sister Maureen used to go “Get your cancer card out”.

R, D, L: *laughter*

N: Yeah, it was hysterical. Sometimes I’ll go to my nephews “Can I sit down there?” and they go “Auntie Lin, you're not throwing the cancer card in are you?” and I go “Well, y’know. Just putting it out there”.

If I invite them to anything I might go “Just putting it out there, might not be here next year”.

Oh yeah, you’ve got to use it. Honestly! *laughs*

5. 'You're looking well' (and not 'like a potato')

L: I’m going to say it…. When you have looked so sick, you forever look well!

I'm never going to get bored of people telling me how well I look, because I looked like a potato last year!

So I think that’s got to be a positive right?

R: Yeah absolutely. I will always take someone telling me I look well.

There are some people with cancer who are like “Oh, I don’t like to be told I look well”, I’m like “No” tell me I look well, I like to hear it, I will take it.

That's our top five good things from cancer, and there are loads more as well, so I hope that we’ve kind of, y’know…

L: Given you a positive take on things.

R: Yeah, because most people don’t think there are any positives to do with cancer, but there are a few. We’ve picked out a few there.

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