Monday, 11 August 2008

8. Vitamins can kill

Who says vitamins can’t kill you? Mary ordered up a bucketload from some place in Bristol and when they arrived they were the size of horsepills. Even chopping them in half nearly choked me to death. And it turns out I’m supposed to swallow four of these gobstoppers a day. Heaven knows what size mouth you need to benefit from alternative medicine.

The vitamins are, of course, a substitute for chemotherapy which I realised, more or less from the start, wasn’t going to significantly prolong my life. They’ll be combined with food supplements, body builders, tubes of Smarties, and anything else I can get down my neck to keep me going. At 12 stone something, I’m still at fighting weight.

I’m also fighting mad about what’s happening at QPR. Sue me if you like, but I think the new owners represent everything second-rate about modern sport. Saturday’s opening game was a display of the worst kind of commercialism. So crass. So naff. First we had the pyrotechnics. Not exactly Beijing standard. More like two sparklers and a rocket. Then, the introduction of the new sponsors, Gulf Air. A big screen revealed sterile pictures of so-called airline employees - all looking so impossibly smug, you’d want to shoot down their planes, not fly on them. And these pictures are played while the game is going on. Yes, during the game. The only reassuring thing about the whole event was the participation of four cheerleaders, so low rent they had to be from the White City estate. And therefore the only authentic part of the proceedings. QPR won 2-1 by the way.

Tomorrow I’m seeing my Macmillan nurse and then visiting a hospice in Hampstead. I’ve learned to look for what I call the Kindness of the Eyes. Most doctors and nurses are objective and professional and keep their distance. But occasionally some reach out to you, saying silently with their eyes that although they don’t know you, they’re really sorry. This is not sad at all.

Thanks for all your emails – and please keep them coming, if only to say hello. Thanks too for the compliments about the writing. Quite a few said I should have been a journalist. Now you tell me.