Less of the judgement please - no prizes for being a 'Trooper'


Cancer patients and survivors have enough to deal with already. What we really don’t need is some hack telling us we need to show up. 

Much controversy here in the UK this week, after Catherine, Princess of Wales attended the Trooping of the Colour parade (no I’m not sure what that’s all about either, lots of horses, Royal family and soldiers in the rain) in London.

After months of chemotherapy, and being away from the public eye, her appearance as always was scrutinised.

Whatever you think of the Royal family, my heart goes out to her as a mother trying to deal with cancer, chemotherapy and be there for her young family.

While she looked stunning in a fabulous outfit, her public appearance came with one big caveat.

In an Instagram post announcing she’d be at the event, she wrote: ‘As anyone going through chemotherapy will know, there are good days and bad days.’

The message was simple: there should be no obligation to ‘show up’ when you’re dealing with cancer.

Well said that woman!

It was a sentiment echoed by cancer charities. Dame Laura Lee, chief executive of Maggie’s, said: ‘Her statement echoes precisely what we hear in our centres every day… Her comment that it is important to go with how you feel each day is absolutely true.’

However, amid the well-wishes for the Princess, Telegraph columnist Alison Pearson went a step further in her praise.

‘Thank you Princess of Wales for being an absolute trouper and attending Trooping the Colour on a cold, grey day when lesser mortals with your illness would have stayed home, tucked up in their jim-jams.’

Lesser mortals????? Good grief!

I am appalled by this – what cancer patients need is better care, better treatments, shorter waiting lists for diagnosis and treatment, more understanding, less judgement, and less guilt about staying in their jim-jams or whatever the hell they want to wear – because if there was ever a time when more compassion and kindness was needed – this is it Alison Pearson!

And if you are a ‘lesser mortal’ who cannot face the world, I’m sending you so much love and hope that this will pass soon. Until it does, know that better days are coming. x


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