“I feel it in my fingers/I feel it in my toes/Love is all around me/And so the feeling grows . . .” So have crooned a succession of pop stars, from the Troggs, who first coined the expression, to Bill Nighy and Wet Wet Wet. But from where I’m sitting a more plausible candidate for omnipresence would be cancer. Let’s make the substitution and see how it sounds: “I feel it in my fingers/I feel it in my toes/Cancer is all around me/And so the feeling grows . . .” Ye-es, much better, I’m sure you’ll agree.
“Both of my parents died of cancer; my wife is receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer; the sister of one of my closest friends is in a hospice dying of lung cancer; I was on the phone recently to another friend whose breast cancer – treated a decade ago with a mastectomy and chemotherapy – has recurred and metastasised into her bones; another good friend is suffering from throat cancer; indeed, cancer is so much all around me that two people I know well are being treated for leukaemia in the same ward of the same hospital.”
Read the rest of Self’s New Statesman piece here.