4 February 2018: World Cancer Day

As many of you know, my name is Carl. I’m the owner of Offensive Living and a tattoo artist. What most people don’t know is that I’m a cancer survivor.

I was diagnosed in 2010, a couple of weeks before Christmas. Instead of celebrating the silly season with my friends and family, I spent most of my time in a hospital bed. My cancer diagnosis is something I rarely discuss, even with close family and friends, and certainly not on social media, until now.

While I still wish to keep the details private, what I will say is: cancer is not something I would ever wish on anyone. The feeling of trying to come to terms with the fact you might be dead before you’re 30. All the things I wanted to do with my life, that I may never have the opportunity to do. So many countries yet to explore. Getting married. So many goals I might never fulfill.

But without a doubt, the worst thing was the feeling that I put everyone through so much pain, stress and fear. I felt like I let everyone down. You don’t choose to have cancer, but that doesn’t make you feel less guilty about what you put people through. Your family and friends go through hell.

But also in truth, when you hate hospitals and you’re in a pretty shitty situation like having cancer, it can make you a bit pissed off. From time to time, the people you love most are the ones you take it out on. On top of this, it almost bankrupted us. Yeah, cancer is fucking shit. 

I was lucky enough that the cancer was detected in the early stages, and the amazing team at Sydney’s RPA Hospital were able to rush me in for emergency surgery only a day or so before Christmas. Thank fuck they were able to accommodate me. However even though the operation was considered successful, due to the time of year, we still needed to wait several weeks for the pathology results letting us know the cancer had not spread.

Several years later, I’m so thankful to be cancer-free. I’m still here, thanks to the many doctors and nurses who have looked after me to this day. I’m one of the lucky ones. But about 44,000 people a year in this country aren’t so lucky. Cancer is indiscriminate. Men, women, young and old, it affects us all. And even if you’re lucky enough to never be diagnosed, chances are you know someone who has. 

To acknowledge World Cancer Day on 4 February, I wanted to open up about my experience with you in the hope that it might do some good. Over the next four weeks, we will be donating 20% of ALL PRODUCT SALES  to Without a Ribbon (WaR), an Australian charity dedicated to raising awareness for rare cancers that are currently seriously underrepresented by research and funding. WaR’s vision is to provide much needed support to Rare Cancer Warriors, by giving them access to a network that is not otherwise available to them in Australia.

We'll announce our final donation amount on 4 February.

For any questions or further information regarding our campaign, please contact carl@offensiveliving.com

Thank you for your generosity and support, it means a lot to me.

Cheers,
Carl

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