Tuesday, 19 August 2008

12. No news is good news

I have nothing to report – and this is a good place to report it. No news is good news as far as I’m concerned and if I can, I’d like to have many more weeks of nothing much happening.

My workload has eased considerably since I decided against treatment. I rang the nurses at the hospice offering to track down all my medical records and they said not to worry, they’d do it. That’s amazing. It’s such a relief to escape the battery of administrators and secretaries who make you feel such a pest, causing them a lot of extra work just because you want to live a bit longer.

All this spare capacity has given me lots more time for socialising and answering emails. All sorts of voices have emerged from the past and it’s a real pleasure hearing them again. It’s surprising what an interesting life I had.
You'll be pleased to know that, following intense pressure from you lot, I have finally sent the letter to Prof Cunningham. And I promise to publish the reply. I have also tried again to find out from George Hanna, the surgeon who took out my gallbladder, how I picked up a nasty pseudomonas virus in the Harley Street Clinic. I first asked him about this on July 10 but all I’ve received so far is an invoice for £190. That’s private medicine for you.

The in-laws, Pat and Kevin and Veronica and Dave, came to stay for the weekend and we hardly mentioned cancer at all. This is because cancer is less interesting than sailing (Dave) or Mary’s new watch (everyone else). With reassuring normality, we went out for a curry on Friday and steak and chips on Saturday. Susie and Victor, Dan and Katy, and my parents, all joined us for lunch on Sunday, providing the kind of mass family occasion we rarely had when I was well.

Pain control is still a bit of an issue (although watching beach volleyball in the middle of the night is a help). The Fentanyl patches don’t seem to have kicked in so I’m continuing to take industrial quantities of co-dydramol, my painkiller of choice. Not many people can do this because, with so much codeine, it makes them constipated. But not me. I don’t have a large bowel. A rare plus side to my diminished physiology.

In fact, I’m missing a few other bits as well. Investigating my prostate a few years ago, my GP said she needed to check my rectum. Fine if you can find it, I said. The last time I saw it was under a bell jar at the London Clinic.