Blog: The Big J vs The Big C

Making the breast of a bad situation ...
On 4 October 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This blog will chart my progress through treatment, and continued enjoyment of life, love and friendship.
​Expect humour, irreverance, occasional sadness, and staunch defence of the National Health Service.
​Btw, that picture is not me. :-)

WordSpace Leeds

04/09/2019 - 19:30

Venue: WordSpace, 135 New Road Side, Leeds LS18 4RJ 

As WordSpace launches its writers' anthology, Janine interrupts with a slot warming up for her The Big J (and the NHS) vs The Big C tour.

Roadside Breakdown

Broken down car

She has to pull up
as she's overheating
Her engine sputters
the dashboard's beeping

She's burning up and burning out
worn and way past her best
Struggled to get through
her last annual test

She's found it more arduous
as she gets older
She's ground to a halt
on the hard shoulder

Oophorectomy

uterus

Ovaries
Out
Plus
Hysterectomy, hopeful
Outcome: odds
Radically reduced
Ensuring
Cancer can't
Touch, take
Obstruct or obliviate
My many more 
Years

Lucky Me

four-leafed clover

What a lucky fucker am I
that when that firework hit my eye
I didn't die

And who even knew
that although you're better off with two
that just one eye will do
just fine, you see
Lucky, lucky me

And when I got a killer disease
I got the sort they can cure with ease
if you please

Surgery
Urgently
Blackcurrant jam on toast with tea
Lucky, lucky me

Homage to Hospitals

All hail to public hospitals
Which treat us at no cost at all
Come forth and heed the homage call
Give thanks and praise

Admire their shiny corridors
The wonder drugs in well-stocked stores
And colour-coded wings and floors
And curtained bays

Where patients' injuries are healed
By specialists in every field
Equipment-laden trolleys wheeled
In urgency

That Looks Suspicious

Two weeks ago, I posted that I had my second annual post-surgery mammogram and that the medics had found no signs of cancer. That was the truth, but a slightly economical version of it.

A Warm Hand

I wanted to clap at the funeral today
But I think that is seen as poor taste
I longed to applaud such a brilliant speech
But I feared it would seem out of place

I wanted to shout 'Hear! Hear!' when you said
Deceased was a wonderful chap
The whole of me knew this was so very true
I was craving to let out a clap

No 'Arm in Getting it Checked Out

When they released me from A&E last week, they pressed into my hand a letter telling me to come back to the hospital this morning to visit the HAMU.

HAMU? Wtf? It turns out that this is the Homerton Ambulatory Medicine Unit. This means a clinic that you walk in to. Is it just me, or is this an excessively wordy name - with an accompanying weird acronym - for what could just as easily be called 'Outpatients' or 'Walk-in Clinic'?

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