Enough Adulting Already: Cancer & Me

What do you do with some drunken Cybermen?

What do you do with some drunken Cybermen?

Another day, another check up: per usual, at the hospital where I spent my first few stays on psych ward. The ward relocated years ago to a separate, purpose built location, but a shiver still goes down my bipolar spine whenever I walk through those hospital halls.

Doctor (no, not Who, not yet): “Has your nipple always been inverted?” Me: “Oddly enough, for someone with breast cancer, I haven’t thought about my nipples a great deal. Except for when it turned turquoise, that is.”

A beautiful blue sky: York, Sept 2016

A beautiful blue sky: York, Sept 2016

Good news: no appointments for three months, unless I get called in for the bone scan results which should have been ready, but weren’t. Bad news: well, there’s that debatable nipple, and something which – based on the pamphlet which came with the Spockin’ medication, for Spock’s sake – we thought was a side effect, but wasn’t. Or maybe it was. Either way, it looks like I may be seeing a gynecologist, something I rate slightly above touring an abattoir, or a shooting range.

I do realise things could be so much worse. I had radiotherapy, not chemo, and day surgery, not a mastectomy. Still, this year has included a stay on the ward; early stage breast cancer; death of a friend, and job uncertainty.

And there’s still three and a bit months left to go. Yippee!

When did “adult” become a verb? Normally I’m a right fogy when it comes to rewriting the English language: eg, I still insist on “all right”, because “alright” just isn’t right, right?

I’m making an exception here, though. Because, enough with the adulting, already.

Why has 2016 decided that it must always rain on me? Well, me and Travis. Unlike him, I’m pretty sure My Shite Year has nothing to do with a touch of mendacity when I was 17.

So I’m sprinkling my adulting with a generous peppering of sheer childishness. Such as semi-regular purchases of The Doctor Who Adventures Magazine, complete with free toys, such as an unnaturally thin Dalek, a couple of drunken Cybermen, and a set of “Rory’s Story Cubes” (1).

And then, there’s the writing. I recently finished my latest Sherlock Jones story, “The Geek Interventionist”, featuring the return of one of my favourite characters, the Hound of the Basingstokes. (2) A week or so earlier, I finished another long short story, “When Stoats Go Wrong”. Writing is a great way of not adulting whilst adulting at the same time. Because, if you’re lucky / persistent / talented / all the above, writing fiction is the best way ever to be paid for playing.

Sooner or later, this cancer is going to get me. I can feel it in my relatively recently scanned bones. I think it will be much later, rather than sooner. Even if my bones are wrong, death is certain, whilst what I do with my remaining time is comparatively optional.

I may as well enjoy my playtime whilst and how I can.

Memorial, St Martin's Church, York

Memorial, St Martin’s Church, York

(1) I don’t remember Rory was particularly given to tale telling. I imagine he’s copped for the cubes due to rhyme, rather than any particular reason.
(2) “Sherlock Jones and the Hound of the Basingstokes” is one of the stories in my short story collection, “Koi Carpe Diem“. “Sherlock Jones & the Geek Interventionist” is in the forthcoming sequel, “A Yorkshireman in Ohio”.

Tagged: adulting, bipolar, breast cancer, Cancer, Cybermen, Daleks, Doctor Who, Doctor Who Adventures, fiction, mental health, Sherlock Jones, short story collection, Travis

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