So you have cancer. Now what?

C is for…

So, turns out I have prostate cancer. I wrote about it first here…

There is so much reading you can do on the matter once you find out you have the big C. Stuff on diet, treatment, research, oh the list goes on and on. Websites, forums, books, articles, pod casts. Its never ending.

I’m just saying you can. I’m not saying that I did. Fuck that.

I really don’t want to dwell too much on it really if I am honest, it isn’t going to get me any time soon, and I don’t need treatment yet and people live with it for decades so why fill my head with thoughts on the matter. That is my way of looking at it anyway.

Oh, I saw this nice specialist for a follow up a while ago, he had a tie on and an office and certificates on the wall, and things are settled and no worse than they were and Ill go get checked out every 6 months and maybe have another MRI or a biopsy. So it all seems very much in hand. My head isn’t in the sand, I just feel like it’s best left alone for now, you know?

The only thing that bothers me from time to time is the thought that it can spread or maybe I’m open to some sort of secondary cancer, but I mean what’s the chance of that. Hmm, you know there is probably a statistic for that. is the chance of that is probably well understood. Well, I still don’t want to know.

Probably more chance of me dying from eating too much cake or not getting enough exercise to be honest…

Until Tomorrow #FFC

Another flash fiction quickie.

In response to Fandango’s flash fiction challenge.

Will try keep these to no more than 200 words. Today the photo below was posted by Fandango as a prompt. Head over to see him, hes a thoroughtly decent chap.

After all of these years, she is still the beautiful girl I fell in love with. Though time has taken its inevitable toll, on both head and heart, there is still that same sparkle in her eyes which so ensnared me what is now a lifetime ago.

Lines paint a picture of a life well lived across her face, and even if now frail, everyone assembled in the room knows she remains a force of such joy and ferocious endeavour, and that she carries still more fervently a love quite fierce and unquenchable for those she calls friends or family, of which assembled now are as many as the days she has lived.

Tears hide that glint now though, and as I stretch out my hand to comfort her she turns slowly to where we spent those many nights, sat quietly, listening to the crackle and hiss of the ‘soundies’ she loved so dearly, and which she taught me to adore nearly as much as I adored her.

I hear my name across the hubbub of the busy room, and somewhere there is an open door as I feel the cold air of December blow through me. It will be Christmas soon. One more reason to celebrate, one more year to look back on. One more year with her.

Children’s voices drift in and out of earshot as I watch her, still light on her feet as she embraces old friends, her silver hair pulled in a tight bun on top of her head. I prefer it when she lets it hang loose, the way it cascades around her face and onto her shoulders, and oh the hours I have spent watching her in front of the mirror brushing it. She would laugh and tell me not to stare so much, but these were some of my happiest moments. Just us. Together.

I feel a tug, pulling me away. Probably one of the grand children I suspect. Cheeks red from the cold and hair tousled, eyes bright and filled with mischief. I allow myself to be led away, and the room becomes quiet. And then, in that moment, a sadness and an understanding descends up on me I look down and I am alone, there is no small hand in mine. I smile as I finger the ring that has sat on my finger these fifty years.

In the distant now I see her turn towards me, my favourite dress of pale blue contrasted against the dark backdrop of the room. She brushes the hair from her face and smiles as I mouth my last goodbye.

Well that’s just super…

C is for…

So, turns out I have cancer. How fucking great is that.

As I keep telling people though, it’s the good type though, so not to worry. It’s a bit like the good type of Aids, you know., the sort you get from a blood transfusion and not from a prison gang bang. The sort that you die with, and not from, the sort that you don’t even get your life insurance to pay out on so you can go to Vegas, because your cancer isn’t cancerous enough. The sort that you get to tell fun stories about apparently, because apparently, cancer is a laughing matter.

You know the sort.

I found out a few months ago. I’d just had my annual medical, and that includes the usual rummage around in my arse to check my prostate, and having recently hit 50 they throw in a PSA blood test to check the same. I remember coming home and telling Mrs Afterwards about how the Doc had said that should there be any issues with the PSA test I may need further tests and procedures, and then – with the sort of pleasure that made me think some chap may have recently wronged her romantically, perhaps with her sister or best friend – she explained in great detail how awful these procedures were and how they could ultimately lead to sepsis of the arse and that would be a truly awful experience.

About a week later I was out walking the dog in the snow and she left me a voicemail explaining that I needed to call back. Well you can imagine the thoughts running through my head, most of which involved her slapping my exposed ass as I was bent over a table and telling me, “Yup, you have arse sepsis sir, and all men are pigs!”

Anyway, I don’t have arse sepsis and most men are pigs, but after an MRI scan, loads more curious rummaging in my bottom (by a specialist rummager this time though) and being put into a medieval torture device – of which I will likely write about another time – and having the aforementioned specialist take a shit ton of samples from my prostate, it turns out I have a mild case of cancer.

I’m mostly ok about it I think. Told the kids, and as my wife and I predicted, the youngest worried and the eldest started to laugh. Eldest has this weird nervous laughter thing when it comes to death and misery. At least I think its that. He might just be a monster. He did recently ask if it was contagious, though it turns out he meant hereditary. This was realised too late to avoid a conversation about me shooting cancer jizz. Mrs Afterwards was horrified and then forced to introduce a rule that forbids anyone in the household from using the phrase ‘cancer jizz’. Especially over dinner.

I will be having more bloods this week to see how things are looking as the prognosis is really good and there are no plans to treat it yet, with the side effects of the treatment being wholly worse than the disease right now. So that’s a good thing.

Then again, what’s worse than arse sepsis and cancer jizz, right. Actually they sound like really shit superheroes don’t they.

Anyway, so that’s what’s been happening here. Life eh.

A carnivore’s forbidden desire

The follow up from the archives…

You should read this first.  I did so enjoy writing it.  Below is quite the opposite and not a single word of it is true.  Ok maybe the frog pasty bit but only that.

 

After much consideration it appears I would perhaps

like to try Koala glazed with cranberries and schnapps

and I’m now perhaps quite tempted by a plate of hamster fillet

just as long as it’s deboned and someone took good care to skin it

 

These days I’m rather ready for a broth made out of Turtle

I would even eat a pokemon, say Pikachu or Squirtle

and I’d not say no pasties filled with vegetables and frog

and my mouth sure starts to slaver at the thought of slow roast dog

 

Ooh a seventies style fondue with small chunks of cat and monkey

and a creamy sauce of gruyere cheese would be ever so funky

and then wash it down with beaver juice fresh squeezed, soda and lime

or a thick stew made with Panda bits would hit the spot each time

 

Then at lunch time there’d be squirrel cakes and sauces thick and tasty

and a wellington with mushrooms and a parrot wrapped in pastry

there’d be volauvents with gold fish tails and budgie infused cider

and a lion steak and hippo cheek and tender side of tiger

 

Oh the banquet of the carnivore holds such delicious treats

mouth watering and quite sublime with most forbidden meats

they care not now for beef or lamb or chicken, goose or pork

to the extreme their pallet’s crave such dark things on their fork.

 

 

The place where silence had a voice

Another from the drafts that I continue to clear out…

Here’s another from my drafts. This one is apparently from October 2019. I don’t remember it at all really. It was one of M’s prompts that I never quite finished (obviosly right). I liked the beginning but never really planned it out, and the end is a bit of a cop out. It’s hardly an original idea, I think it was just s stream of consciousness kind of thing. Oh well, it’s something I guess.  Meh. *Presses ‘Publish’.

________________________

With what should have been his hands, Walter quite unsuccessfully reached for what ought to have been his head and found nothing.

After further exploration he quickly determined that neither his head, nor his hands were in the general vicinity of where one would expect to find them. In fact, without too much effort at all he was able to ascertain that he seemed to be missing rather a lot of assorted appendages and parts. And by a lot, he meant precisely everything.

His leg bone was not connected to his foot bone. And his neck bone was not connected to his back bone. In fact, none of his bones seemed to be connected to any other of his bones in any sort of way that would allow him to sing the song with the measure of confidence he was pretty certain he would have been able to earlier that morning.

In addition, and to compound his growing consternation, Walter also noted that he couldn’t see anything.  Not his non existent hands, or his curiously absent feet. Nor any of his other absent body parts.  Whether it was a deficiency of eyes that was causing the lack of everything else, or whether he indeed possessed eyes but there was simply nothing for them to see he could not tell, and the whole thing really left him feeling rather unwell.

“What the devil is going on?” He said mustering as best a sense of authority as he could, calling upon all he had learned during a two day seminar on ‘Meaningful Management’ in Brighton more years ago now than he could quite recall.  “Is anybody there?  Hello. HELLO!”

“Oh, good day,” replied a voice in the darkness. “I wasn’t expecting anybody, I am sorry.”  The voice was warm and calm, not quite a man’s or a woman’s, just somewhere comfortingly in-between the two.  “Did you have an appointment?”

“Appointment?” Replied Walter, confused. 

“Yes, an appointment, everyone who comes here tends to have an appointment,” replied the voice. “However would we maintain order if we didn’t have appointments.  It would be chaos and that really would not do.  No, it would not do one jot.”

As far as he was aware, Walter didn’t have an appointment and he confirmed as much. He knew he needed to be somewhere, though doubted it was here. It was far more likely he needed to pop to the shops for milk or tea bags. That said, it was was all a little fuzzy and he couldn’t be absolutely certain.

Walter noted that he couldn’t feel his tongue or lips, and that made him wonder how he was managing to speak.

“It’s your consciousness” said the voice.

“What is?”

“You were wondering about where the words were coming from weren’t you.”

Walter managed little more than a mumble in response. 

“I…well you see it is just that….” Walter’s voice trailed away and once more only darkness remained as he waited.

And Waited.

“Ahem,” Walter coughed politely.

“Oh yes yes, so sorry, now about that appointment.  You say you don’t have one right?  Most unusual I must say.”

“Sorry no, I don’t really know what is going on to be honest with you.”

“Best policy that” Replied the voice enthusiastically, “Can’t go wrong with a bit of honesty.  Now let’s clear up this appointment business shall we.”

Walter would have shuffled on the spot had there been a spot to shuffle on. Or feet to shuffle.

“Yes, there’s definitely no appointment.” The voice said. “The book is never wrong and there is nobody due for another one point eight seconds.”

Walter mouthed a silent nothing. He would very much have liked to have something constructive to say, anything, but he had precisely nothing. 

“Well,” continued the voice, “this really is a pickle isn’t it. What are we going to do with you. It’s not like we can just send you back now, is it.” 

It wasn’t as much a question as a statement, Walter thought. 

“Are you sure?” He mustered. “I am pretty sure there is somewhere that I need to be.”

“Oh no, no chance of that. You’re here now. We can’t just stuff you back in now can we. Whatever would those upstairs say if we just went stuffing things where they ought not to be stuffed. It would be chaos. No, no, you’re here now.” 

“You can’t?” Said Walter, remembering where it was that he was supposed to be. “I was supposed to have a job interview this afternoon. In Wimbledon.  Could you maybe not just drop me off there?”

Whether he was being ignored, or the voice had drifted off somewhere to do whatever it is disembodied voices do when people don’t have appointments, Walter did not know, but for what seemed an immeasurable length of time, he waited. And paced. In as much as you can pace without anywhere to pace to or anything to pace with. 

“Good news,” came the voice in the darkness. “We have an opening. I had a word with the boys in lost property and we think we have something that might fit. “It’s not exactly your size but should do the trick.”

Walter did an about turn and then faced back to where he had been originally. “What do you mean by ‘fit’, he asked. “I need to be in Wimbledon. I have an interview. I really cannot be late.”

“Oh no, terribly sorry, but you won’t be going to Wimbledon,” the voice said. “That ship has sailed. Afraid you’re just going to have to settle for whatever we have. Clerical cock up I’m afraid.”

“Sailed? You mean I missed it?” Walter asked. “But it had wonderful benefits and a parking space and….”

“Just step back a little will you,” said the voice. 

Without thinking, Walter shuffled backwards.

“That’s it, just there. Now hold still.”

“But I…now listen here, what do you mean by cock up,” Walter protested, “I want to speak to someone in charge. I have right s you know. This is all very…”

Walter never finished explaining what exactly it was, and he never got to speak to whoever was in charge. The quiet darkness was replaced by a roaring gush of sound and there was an ear piercing scream. All about him he felt a warm wetness, and his chest was tight as his lungs burned.

“Just a little more,” came a voice as the darkness gave way to soft warm light. It was a woman’s voice. “Her head is nearly out…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOVE

Another from the drafts that I cant really remember writing…I should refine it and make it rhyme properly…but I cannot be arsed.

I would kiss your lips a thousand times

But god, just imagine the chafing

and they’d get really scabby

and you’d get quite crabby

And you’d need lip creams and balm and look awful

___

So I’ll shout your name from the roof tops 

But not late, we have neighbours you know

Though I could likely fall

So perhaps I’ll just call

Out your name from the top bedroom window

___

Hey I could climb the worlds highest mountain

Swim deep oceans to declare our passion

But heights scare me to bits

And cold water is shit

Is there anything else that’s in fashion?

___

Ooh a poem would show my devotion

And some flowers and choccies and wine

But you’re quite fat already

And drink lots, take it steady

And your reading age is not much more than nine

___

Oh how I love thee, let me count the ways

Let me woo, swoon and bask in your beauty

(once you’ve put on your make up)

Then perhaps we can make up

Cos I quite like your tits and round booty

 

 

Inevitable

Found this in my drafts. Don’t have a clue what the devil it’s about. Random words mostly I think…

Do your think of him those days

Where dark thoughts senses suffocate

That joy I watched drain from your face

As life and lies cruel whispers told

Your many secrets slow, unfold

Fools promises and could have been’s

you would not keep them from your door

Instead with smile forced on your face

Arms wide you beckoned them inside

Embraced as they to you heart lied

Promises, so sickly sweet

Coarse noose of lies, soft velvet hopes

’till dangling feet dance all alone

Blinded, stumbling, on and on

And hope, and faith, bright eyes now gone

This Great Field

words. mostly…

I remember it quite clearly

Pale sun painting frosted fields

And you at peace, to sadness yields

So many, loved so dearly

Butterscotch sweets in kilner jars

Full house, late nights, your Sunday roast

Full ashtrays I recall the most

What was, now framed like painted flowers

And years go by, the memories stronger

Each twisted branch still skyward growing

The things you handed down not knowing

That they would linger, loving, longer

And so the sequels spring to life

A library of stories new

And every one because of you

Mother, grandma, sister, wife

When time runs short

words. mostly…

When silver threads creak with first frost

And summer thought in mists are lost

I wonder if you’ll count the cost

Or blindly hide from reason

When nights bleed into shortened days

And stars no longer light your way

So willingly you choose to stray

and blindly protest treason

No one to watch, no one to keep

Your candle burning while you sleep

And memories sink into the deep

Lost in the cold, dark freezing

Your stories ink washed from the page

And meekly without pain or rage

The curtain falls on empty stage

At closing of your season

Forever

Dirty. But if you read it out loud in a posh english voice it could almost be poetic I guess…

What once were endless summer days, and tender nights not counted

Sweetest whispers, love unbridled, days drift by embraced

And 69 more ways your soft pink flesh was nightly mounted

And your skin glowed with the blush of love’s seed spilled upon your face

The heart quickened, loins wet, thickened, hair pulled, lost souls intertwined

Gimp mask, red room, 12 inch pseudo love meat, I am yours and you are mine.

So spent, we lay in sheets soiled with the remnants of our love

we fit like trains into a tunnel, like large hand into small glove

And when no lube can dampen, when blue pills can not revive

Will we shuffle from this mortal coil, our passions still alive

Somewhere far beyond these night time stars that we once watched together,

Shall our memories drift slowly into inky black forever

________________________

Oh come on, it’s saturday, why not do something a little different.

The first 2 lines and the last two are kind of sweet I think.

Happy weekend you cheeky monkeys!

Passing

All a bit rhymey but meh, it’ll do

He watches from his window, rain like tears runs down it’s face

Petals fall as summer fades, once golden face now stark and bare

To this cold earth, beneath the sun, they seep into the earth

Beauty lost, like memories, life’s end to once bright birth

From green to gold and amber his life turns with passing seasons

All alone, he waits for something lost, his mind forgets the reasons

Of what was and is no more, faces blur as time slips by

And in a blink like flowers turn to dust, and skies do cry

They mourn for him, the things he once held dear, like him are lost

Like petals, cold, beneath the earth, embraced by winter’s frost

He slips away and fades from thought like breath in winter’s air

When flowers bloom once more nobody knows he is not there.

Stars

A kinda poem thingy but not about anything wholly inappropriate

I made for you a garden

From the stars I stole from cloudless skies

And deep within earth’s warm embrace

Sprung forth as tears streamed down your face

And quiet you sat in this place

And waited patiently

Each passing day under the skies

With hope, new shoots turned into bloom

And brightly shine when sunset falls

Until the light like beacon calls

These shards of nightfall, heart enthrals

From shadows setting free

And with the seasons turning, living

Pass full circle, gold to green

Hearts warmed by light unwavering

And beauty bright, sweet savouring

Sweet tears of heaven favouring

Forever comforts thee

Each day

Think this could have been better but I need to get the eldest out of bed and go to the tip…Happy Monday!

I tore the pages from the book

that holds the story of our lives

of darker times that might have been

and in their place I wrote these words

my promises to you.

Not to forget each day to live

and love and laugh and treasures mine

to hold most dear and know their worth

and thanks with grateful heart I give

all that I have to you.

When sunset paints with flames of red

the words we wrote on pristine page

We loved though time will pass us by

as stories gather dust upon

life’s shelf where now we lay.

Time and time again, no more

Words and more words and more words still…

Silver wisps of memories

The things that once so brightly shone

Now gone but one alone remains

Which fight the pull of time, refrains

From slipping through soft fingers

Clasped in prayer, in silence lingers

On that vision of her beauty, sweet

Her countenance so kind and meek

And one last time her forehead kisses

Always misses all they were and sunset burns

Like furnace flames

He smiles

And says goodbye