Billy // A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer


I’m Billy Riley and I’m a student right
now at UCL I study neuroscience. I’m in my first year and I’ve been in first
year three times because of the cancer. In 2012 I had Hodgkin Lymphoma and then
I was cured and then it came back in 2015 and then I was cured
and that cured again so I’m fine You don’t really have a choice and no
matter what you do no matter how much you scream kick shout that’s all fine
but you don’t have a choice in that you have it and so try not to fight it try
not to say oh like what why is it happening to me? Just go with the flow
that’s my advice just go with the flow allow everything to just happen,
whatever that is The media really good at pushing the
sort of hopeless edge to cancer the really horrific sad part of cancer and
my own in my own experience I actually got a lot of good out of the cancer I
learn a humongous amount about myself and I learned so much about life what
life has to offer that before cancer I had no idea about. So the media are
portraying betraying this idea that it’s a hopeless battle again with no sort of
good to it but actually there is a lot of good to it in my own experience
there’s a lot of good to it and life is a lot more colorful now. The way that I talk about cancer is it’s
sort of dependent on the person I’m talking to at the start I used to just
be as open as I wanted to which was an emotional requirement for me but now
that I’m cured I can sort of sense people I don’t know how, I can sort of
sense people that have experienced cancer and I almost have this sense
where I know if I start to talk about it they won’t really understand and so in
that with those kind of people I don’t really go the full way and I’m not
completely honest about it. I just say I’ve had an illness for a long time. The
only problem is I’ve got this vocal issue where my voice is
paralyzed because of the cancer and so my left vocal cord is paralyzed not the
right one and so people ask me like oh if you’ve got a sore throat and I’m like
no I don’t have a sore throat it’s my real voice and then they probe questions
like oh how did you get that I said my voice is paralyzed and I then have to
tell them home so now I can’t really sort of hold back from just telling
people the full extent but I like being open I don’t mind it. There isn’t much education in the school
system. There is no social education in that how people should socialize with
particular people of particular types or particularly people who are going
through experiences. I mean the closest thing I can think of is PSHE but that’s
not enough I feel like in the school system there should be a lesson
dedicated to people understanding people fully not just religion but people have
experienced illness how to talk to these people.