Oh Gord

They’re recommending chemo.

They found ‘traces’ of the cancer in one of the seven lymph nodes. The chemo is just in case it’s spread further.

The conversation went like this:

Consultant: “We will put you on a course of chemo”,

Me: “Do I have a choice?”

Consultant: “We want you to live to be an old lady. We want you to live to 90.”

(What’s it to you? Who wants to live to 90?)

Consultant: “Why don’t you want chemo?”

(Why ever? Who wouldn’t? What’s not to want about six months of looking and feeling crap, flushing out your body with poison, knackering your immune system, and in all likelihood increasing your risk of getting other primary cancers).

Me: “Because it’s a poison and a carcinogen.”


The nurse says it’s a ‘belt and braces’ approach.

“It’s like Domestos.”


Perhaps I am too negative. Perhaps I am being a wimp. True, I don’t want to lose my hair and feel debilitated. True, I don’t want to be out of action for yet more months. True, I don’t want to give my body, which is still recovering from a major trauma, yet more battering. But it isn’t that.

It’s just that every fibre of my being is recoiling from it. Treating poison with poison. Treating poison that may or may not be there. Just in case. Belt and braces.

I see the oncologist a week from now. I need more information. I know. This is not a rational, thought out response. I know two women for whom chemo caused more cancer. One died of leukaemia. The other one went on to have another primary.Her own consultant told her the chemo probably caused it. Two women. I know there are plenty of others who had chemo with no recurrence. This is not a scientific sample. I know.

They found traces in one out of seven lymph nodes. The other six were clear. The blood supply was clear. The cancer is Grade 2 – not the most invasive type. They will treat it with radiotherapy and hormone drugs anyway. I’m fine with both of those. It’s just the chemo shit.

The good news is my critical illness insurance might now pay off my mortgage.

It’s an ill wind.

And as JP says Gordon probably feels worse than me right now…


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