Another trip to the hospital yesterday to see whether I was ready or not to start Chemo#2.

Short answer – no. Too much bleeding and raw wound in evidence. But rather than just make another appointment in a week’s time, the oncologist suggested that we fixed a date for chemo to start in two weeks (Oct 19) and that I would have a quick exam beforehand to make sure I was ready for it. Probably the same timetable as if I’d gone in next week for a check, but a nice bit of patient psychology on his part anyway.

I like the expression they use for adjuvant chemotherapy after surgery – an aggressive course of treatment, because it puts the patient through something else after the ordeal of surgery. For a lot of elderly patients it has to be a matter of judgement. Me? I want to be aggressive towards this motherf*cker.

This bleeding malarkey may be delaying the start of Chemo#2 but otherwise I’m trying to restore a normal schedule by working for a few hours (sometimes more – sue me!) a day. It isn’t a great time to just ignore work, if I am honest, so in one sense I have little choice and in another I want to get back to normality. Anyway, working from home means I can set the pace.

I think I’ve discovered a new hero – J.B.S. Haldane (‘Jack’ to his friends). He was a biologist who did work in population genetics. He was a Reader in Biochemistry at Trinity College in Cambridge from 1922 until 1932. Not long after taking up this post he was involved in a cause celebre involving her divorce / his marriage to a journalist of the day – would make a good period costume drama, if they haven’t already exhausted the quota. He was a socialist and supported the Republican side during the Spanish civil war, but became a member of the Communist Party from 1942 until 1950. He was a bit on/off where admiration of Stalin was concerned, but I’ll overlook that.

He went off to live in India after a spot of disillusionment with 1950s Britain. He lived there until he was diagnosed with Rectal Cancer. Before he died he borrowed a line from W.H. Auden’s “Miss Gee” and wrote a comic poem called “Cancer’s a Funny Thing”.

It begins:

I wish I had the voice of Homer
To sing of rectal carcinoma,
Which kills a lot more chaps, in fact,
Than were bumped off when Troy was sacked.

(For the benefit of younger readers, that’s Homer as in poet, not Simpson.)

But I like it best for the bit:

A third much smaller hole is meant
To function as a ventral vent:
So now I am like two-faced Janus
The only* god who sees his anus.