Sunday, October 04, 2009

Vigilance and other v words

You can never be too careful. I've been a victim of two scams in two hours. On Thursday some moaning old sow hacked into my blog and wrote some boring shite about feeling miserable. She sounds a bit like some of the breast cancer experts who are parading their views through the media to raise awareness for their various charitable trusts. I'm on the band wagon too but more on that later.

All of the advice is no doubt well intentioned but it so often treats women as though they are fragile glass ornaments for whom the news of a cancer diagnosis and the rigours of treatment might just cause them to break into a million tiny pieces. And this for a disease which most women, the vast majority in fact, survive. "Don't tell them about other people who have cancer, don't ask if it's in the family, don't this, don't that...she might faint and need a lie down." Here's what I think. If a woman can't cope with one of her well meaning friends saying the 'wrong' thing she's certainly not going to cope with the surgery, and other treatments that are ahead. Women, and men for that matter, need strengthening from the inside out so that it doesn't matter what they face, they'll have the internal courage to continue.

Continuing is constant theme in life. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Key word? Walk. Not stop. Not get stuck. Not wallow or collapse. Walk. One foot in front of the other, moving towards a better place, never, ever giving in. Changing course? Sure. Knowing when to quit? Absolutely. But even changing your mind requires an altering of your direction and the ability to keep walking, one lousy step at a time towards your new destination.

It didn't take me long to rise above the quagmire of self-pity that enveloped me the other day. Giving myself permission to go soft is an important part of my experience but jeepers it must be draining to live like that every day.

The second scam was not quite as close and personal and I'm sure I got the last laugh. Visa International contacted me to let me know that my card had been potentially compromised and that I ought to cancel it and order a new one. Poor thieves. I have a strict policy of always being just over my credit limit. That way if my card gets stolen, the unlucky crooks can't use it. Clever eh? Visa only charge about 19% interest for this service and I reckon that's not bad value for money. Of course, I can't use it either but that saves me money too doesn't it?

I rang the 28-digit number provided by Visa and was helped by really friendly ASB call centre staff who would not, absolutely not, definitely not, give me a clue about my password that would enable them to order my new card. "Yes, it is your grandmother's maiden name, but that's not all." I begged them to tell me how many more letters, or numbers I needed but nup, they gave me nothing. Which if you think about it, is a good thing. Fortunately, because C and I are building a house right now, we owe the bank the GDP of a small African nation and thus, several of their high-ranking loan sharks take my personal calls. It's who you know isn't it? H recognised the cancer in my voice and spilled the password faster than I could say 'chemo brain'... and hey presto, a new card is on the way.

Vigilance, victim, Visa....very well spotted v words. If you were hoping for something more tantalising you've forgotten that I'm half the titillator I used to be. Boom boom.

1 comment:

tommydeee said...

Two days before we were going on holiday our CC was compromised too, the only way to safeguard our account was to close it and reopen it....amazingly BNZ did that in 48 hrs and got us new cards to use on holiday!!!

Love the comments on the secrecy. My mother, seems to be cocooned by the CIA, The Cancer (mis)Information Authority, "ooh you dont want to do that", "you dont need to do that", "thats not necessary", "of course you will experience pain!!!" and thats the Medical profession who seem to keep the patients in the dark when all she really wants is facts and practical information.

Most recently the doctors said "why would you expect to be able to lift your arm above your head" and "no physiotherapy would not help!!!" As you say she is not glass but a person who wants to lead as normal a life as possible.

Take care I will watch the TV on Friday, one of the rare occassions I can.