The fact that I was trying to hold a normal, polite conversation with this man is deeply alarming to me now, but at that moment it felt like the only way to cover my naked embarrassment and vulnerability.
I was lying on my side studiously ignoring the draft that was wafting cool air between the flaps of my undersized hospital gown. He was nonchalantly lubricating a probe the size of golf club. Now you can understand my physical and emotional nakedness.
Talking about the cultural differences between London and Charlotte didn’t seem to be masking or delaying the inevitable indignity of having that probe shoved somewhere indelicate, and it certainly wasn’t going to stop the whole procedure being captured by a miniature camera on the tip of that four iron. But, like the string quartet that continued to play as the Titanic went down, carrying on the expected etiquette of everyday life somehow made this procedure a little less emotionally and physically excruciating. In some way it covered my nakedness with a blanket of decency that was woven together with the threads of familiar customs.
My nakedness started the day I was diagnosed. “You have cancer”. These three little words stripped me of all I knew to be safe and secure, changed my life forever and thrust me into a world that, up until that point, I’d only participated in as a spectator. Now it was my turn.
Today, my battle with the physical disease is over. But the war is not won. The emotional scars still need to heal, the anxiety of recurrence needs to be beaten and the world needs to know that this disease is 90% curable when caught early.
So I’ve decided to go back to where it all started. With me naked for a cause.
I’m going to share my naked vulnerability with as many people as possible so that others don’t have to see that four iron, with its ominous miniature camera, being lubricated in front of their eyes. Because maybe, just maybe, it will save one life.
Would you join me? Would you Go Butt Naked with me!
Go Butt Naked is a call to everyone everywhere to stand in solidarity with CRC cancer survivors like me, and allow yourself to feel naked and vulnerable and “go butt naked” – meaning give up and strip off something “extra” that makes you feel safe and secure. Something that clothes you in familiarity. And then donate the amount you would have spent on that thing to Chris4Life ( a colorectal cancer charity) to find a cure, raise awareness and help survivors. Then post funny pictures of what you’re not doing on the Go Butt Naked Facebook page.
To make it ridiculously easy, I’ve made a quick video (actually my amazing friend James Langteaux made it for me!) to explain it all.
What can you do?
* Start by NOT doing something!
* Find us on Facebook here , like us and post a funny picture of you “not” doing something!
* Click the link to Chris4Life and donate the money you saved or as much as you can.
* Spread the word!
As Neil Gaiman said.
“The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself…That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.”