April 2014

The sound of an ending

Day 2 of the last round of the 6 chemo treatments:

The combo of chemo and anxiety is a lethal one. Not drop dead lethal. Mini-lethal. Cry-just-because lethal. I was never going to OD with one extra Ondansetron anti-nausea pill, but things can go wrong when you get all worked up.


I spent the week hiding in a corner of northern England, in the early 20th century.

Worry doesn't pay

My permanent part time job is to worry. I’ve held this position for over 30 years. On my resumé, I describe it as progressively responsible. I’ve moved up to management, and have an ever-growing number of people to be concerned about – two of whom I built myself, with worry in mind. Even people for whom I have no direct accountability have made it onto my roster.

Fear of an ending

I started. I started again. But I still don’t know where to begin. Now it’s ending, and I don’t know how to conclude.

The treatment, at least, is ending. Kind of. There’ll be maintenance chemo for two years.

The thing with cancer, with the cancer I have, I am told, is that it never really ends. People who’ve had it tell me to be prepared for it to come back. And even if it does end, you don’t know for sure that it has ended. The prospect of its return continues to weigh.