It’s strange, this cancer business.
I look and feel absolutely fine. In fact the next person who says I’ve never looked better is going to get a thick ear. But there’s no denying it. I do look pretty good. Even if I say so myself.
When I came out of hospital after The Britomart Incident, three weeks ago I looked and felt like death warmed up. My island friends did there best to hide it, but I could tell they were a little shocked by my appearance when they came to visit.
I’d lost a fair bit of blood, and I was pale and shaky, my skin looked waxy and translucent, and my arms were marbled with blue and ivory bruises from I.V. drips and endless blood tests. (The ladies who come around to take your “bloods” every morning approach the task of finding a suitable vein as a kind of sport. Like Eric Bristow playing Killer, if they don’t manage to hit the bulls-eye first time, they just keep stabbing you randomly untill till they score. “Oooh, sorry dear. Is that a bit sore?”)
It took a week or ten days to get my strength back after getting home. Taking it slowly at first, I slept a good deal, ate tentatively – fearful of over taxing my battered digestive system and starting the bleeding again – and tried to walk a little further each day. For the first week, I’d get a hundred yards up the road, fell exhausted and scuttle back to the house for a lie down. Now, two weeks later I’m getting up and walking seven or eight kilometers every morning without breaking a sweat.
Jo’s got me on a terrifyingly healthy diet regime of fresh fruit, vegetables, chicken and fish, augmented by every kind of nut, grain, seed and pulse known to man. A little often is the mantra. My insides have been flushed, scrubbed and scoured by more roughage and dietary fiber than even the most die-hard organic, hand knitted Waiheke tree-huger. Every day starts with a musli and natural yoghurt enema, and a handful of assorted vitamin supplements, colorful capsules and mysterious items of dried vegetation. Goaji berries anyone?
Oh, and obviously I’m off the booze. Well mostly. I’m not allowed by beloved Pinot Noir any more, and the 50/50 Gin & Tonics are but a distant memory. Even carbonated drinks are a libatious no-no. I am however permitted the odd pint of island brewer Alan’s excellent hand pumped real-ale, which makes life just about tolerable. (I don’t think it’s entirely out of the question, that Hanwell’s Green Bullet bitter might turn out to be a cure for cancer. This is an area in which I intend to do further personal research.)
And another thing. After a few long, dark-nights-of-the-soul after my diagnosis, I’m now sleeping like a baby. Eight or ten hours of dreamless slumber every night – a novel and welcome experience, having been an intermittent insomniac for years. Consequently the dark bags under my eyes have almost disappeared, my nervous eczema has cleared up, and it could be my imagination but I even fancy a few wrinkles might have gone.
Any way. The upshot of all this clean living is that apart from the small matter of the you-know-what, I’m in ridiculously good shape. I’ve shed ten kilos, lost my double chin, got a sun-tan, and my jobbies are bobbing around in the toilet bowl like happy little corks. Sorry. Too much information?
As I said. Funny business cancer.