Me and IT by Trevor Plumbly
For BH a dear friend and TH a brother outside law
From top to bottom
It’s not been the best year healthwise: back surgery in December, a Giardia infection in March, followed by an ear infection in July and now ‘IT’ in August. Cancer, I’ve discovered, is a cunning bugger; it doesn’t announce its presence, it just sneaks in to any body part willing to house it. With me it’s the colon. Like most, I’ve never paid that much attention to that particular part of my body; it’s worked as a waste disposal unit for the last 75 years so why should I bother with a regular Warrant of Fitness? I prefer pies and chips to sushi, the stuff’s only passing through, so where’s the harm I say, but ‘IT’ obviously differs. I would have liked advanced warning, but out of sight out of mind and it’s such an undignified part of the anatomy that God decided to isolate it from personal inspection.
It helps to talk?
I’m new at this game so bear with me: my problem is when you find you’ve got ‘IT’ there are immediate conversational boundaries, you can’t just bowl up to people and say ‘I’ve got ‘IT’ you know!’ As a new initiate, I’ve discovered the topic is best limited to specialists, close associates and the inner circle (us). First up there are the tests, followed by the chat with the specialists. Specialists all seem to have a reassuring blandness about them; to be fair it must be tough to get excited about a lump in someone’s anal passage, I don’t expect them to point and scream ‘unclean!’ but a bit more emotion wouldn’t go astray.
After the verdict was delivered, I was cautioned to check for excess blood loss following the tests which is a bit of a tough call for a ‘blindy’ and, despite over 45 years of married life, expecting Pam to inspect the results of last night’s meal is surely above and beyond any partner’s duty. She and the family have got it tough enough so I’ve confined that one to the pending tray. I haven’t mastered the lingua franca yet but I’m working on it and in a week or so I expect to be chatting away about lymph nodes, tumours and polyps with the best of them. It’s been a strange few days; the next stop is another specialist with more news and I will of course keep you posted, so stay tuned for the next instalment of this thrilling medical saga. Meantime, I shall sit on the porch and rehearse my stoic ad libs, aided by a can of Pilsner and later a glass or two of Shiraz. Cheers All! T.