Friday, 2 January 2009

Part 17 - New Year’s Peeve

December 31st marked the third consecutive New Year’s Eve that I’ve missed due to my body being the harmful micro-organism equivalent to Pat Sharpe’s Fun House. I’ve had flu for the previous two years, and the one year when I finally manage to combat that I only went and got ruddy cancer instead. Lord knows what will happen next year in my increasingly dire states of annual distress, perhaps my entire body will just explode as I bellow out first verse of Auld Lang Syne.

As I sat alone on New Year’s Eve with only Jackie Bird and one million malignant cancer cells for company, I found myself in a contemplative mood. Whilst most of you were probably vomiting in a gutter, deciding whether hugging a policeman would be the funniest thing you could possibly do or pretending that fireworks are ever remotely enjoyable I considered how my life had changed in the past year and what the year ahead may bring. Most likely constantly vomiting in a gutter, hugging policemen and gasping at underwhelming fireworks due to the imminent end of what will be a half year abstinence from heavy drinking, I’d imagine.

With a mere three weeks of chemotherapy left, my reintegration into normal health will soon begin and I’ll actually have to start doing and planning things for the new year rather than my calendar consisting exclusively of the two options of ‘get poisoned’ or ‘do fuck all’. There are so many things I need to do, I just don’t know how I’m going to cope:

1. Become a fitness machine. I’ll either do this by joining the local gym or, more likely, half-heartedly play Wii Sports once a week. In the unlikely event that this doesn’t work, I will consider installing a gastric band.

2. Reacquire the skill to communicate with people who aren’t either medically trained or one million years old. This includes practicing heavy drinking alone so, when I return to Glasgow, I don’t end up stomping around naked on top of a Sauchiehall Street bin or simulating lewd acts on a traffic cone.

3. Pray to every deity there is that my hair returns as it was and not, as I gravely fear, curly. Six months of intensive chemotherapy is punishment enough for whatever sins I’ve carried out, making me look like that fanny from The Kooks after it would be a gross overstep of the line.

4. Write a concept album about my battle with cancer, possibly faking my own death in a lunge for Jeff Buckleyesque publicity.

5. Get a summer job and drag myself off of benefits. Luckily, I can now lie in interviews and claim that the fact that I’ve never had a job is down to serious health issues and not because I just preferred to watch CBBC every single day of my embarrassing farce of a life.

The biggest decision I have to make, however, regards my future education. I think that I’ve decided to restart university in a desperate attempt to regain the year of youth that’s been stolen from me from the cancer fairy, but this throws up an entirely new set of problems. Firstly, in my reapplication for student halls, do I mention my illness? What if I get put into some invalid flat surrounded by eleven people with colostomy bags, breathing apparatus and awkward limps? Also, do I mention it to my new flatmates and risk becoming known as ‘you know, Jamie, the cancer one’? It’s surely enough of a stigma being a full three years older than the majority of the people who will be staying there, I’ll most likely be excluded from all sorts of youthful high-jinks and I’ll only be approached when some young roister-doister is in need of banking advice. If you place having the reputation of an ill person on top of being the creepy old person people will go for miles to avoid me, blindly assuming that I’m exactly like Robert the Bruce’s leprosy-ridden father from Braveheart.

Away from such futuristic musings, there’s nothing much to report on the current medical front apart from the fact that I can barely go within fifty meters of an actual breathing human without picking up whatever disgusting bacteria they’re harbouring. At the medical centre last week I had to move away from a woman and her three children because they all had slight coughs. She looked very hurt, and I did consider explaining my situation but I preferred to let her believe that I found her and her entire family literally unbearable as I scuttled off to the exact opposite side of the room.

Finally, I’ve written my second column for the Glasgow Guardian and it will be in the next issue whenever it comes out - probably in the next week or two. Make sure you go out of your way to pick it up and then be disappointed that it’s more-or-less exactly the same as my third blog, just with a bit less blasphemy so I’m not burned alive.

Happy new year, cancer fans.

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