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I Will Survive
September 23, 2008
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Monday 22 September 2008
Attended at 6.30 p.m. a reception in The Fairways organised by the Irish Cancer Society. Ate some salad sandwiches and some ham and cheese sandwiches < two full rounds in total. Drank coffee. Conversation with Tony Lennon – from Dowdallshill a fluent talker on football; Meehan’s garage; Ardee; Dundalk Technical School and the old teachers. He remembered that I drove a white Volkswagen in those days – the early 70’s. Tony lives nowadays in Termonfeckin and works with CityJet. Dorothy, a stout girl, was the organizer. Phil Hartford of the Gary Kelly centre introduced herself to the audience and Sonya Collier, clinical psychologist, St. Vincent’s Hospital, gave a long and thorough lecture on the psychological effects of a cancer diagnosis. School girlish – a Louis girl – she is a native of Blackrock. The talk verged on being a little too long and Sonya, though a good enough speaker, was a little verbose. A stout cancer patient spoke at the end. From London she said she appeared to herself to be a third person where cancer was concerned except when it came to the surgery. I also spoke relating my experience of hearing the Cox girl sing "I Will Survive" at the wedding in Newbridge on Friday. "I don’t want to say anything inappropriate," I cajoled, but repeated in conclusion the statement, "The person is more important than the treatment." I was referring to mental illness as well as to cancer. I was inordinately pleased with myself and I hope I did not come across as smug. Although I spoke quietly through a wireless microphone I used a selection of clever rhetorical devices and I noticed that Sonya listened very intently. A good listener – or was she only throwing shapes? I think she is sincere. Rosanna left Eamonn in to DkIT in the morning and played 18 holes with Seamus McBrearty and Vincent Tuite. She scored 31 points and roundly defeated them both. I think I took a siesta in the afternoon. Passed at St. Nicholas’ Church the funeral of Ann Clarke (Alan Ratcliffe’s niece) as I returned from Long Walk Shopping Centre where I left the "wedding" film with Louisa in Fuji 1 hour. "She was 58," Alan told me tomorrow. She died of cancer. Eamonn and I stayed up to watch Questions & Answers. Everything being overshadowed by the slump in world stock markets and uncertainty about the future viability of major banks in Ireland and all round the globe. Eamonn returned from DkIT on the 6.00 p.m. bus. The single ticket cost ~ €3, he told me when I asked him.