Tomorrow morning I have an appointment at the Maxillofacial department of Blackburn Hospital. They are going to investigate a possible remedy for my trismus (a form of lockjaw).
I can now only open my mouth as far as a centimetre or so. As you can imagine, this makes a lot of things very difficult: from trying to eat, to brushing my teeth (cue examining all the toothbrushes in Tesco to find the smallest. I ended up with a brush for toddlers, but it has Peppa Pig on, so I’m counting that as a win).
Tomorrow’s treatment options will range from inserting a small carjack-like device between my teeth and forcibly cranking my jaws apart, to looking at a date for potential surgery on my skull.
To say I’m not looking forward to being there is a vast understatement. I’ve been in tears just at the thought of it several times over the past few days.
I’m fighting it off now as I write this.
I’m telling you about tomorrow because I want to explain that cancer continues to be an utter bastard, even after it’s gone. You hear that you’re ‘in remission’ and suspect that’s the end of it. It isn’t. Not by a long shot.
I may be shitting myself, but I’m not writing this post for your sympathy. Not in the slightest. I don’t want you to feel pity. I want you to feel angry. I want you to be furious that this fonking disease is attacking people day after day, year after year.
And many of them lose their fight with it.
If you know someone who has or had cancer, or someone whose friend or family member has cancer – get in touch with them today. Right after you’ve finished reading this pile of pathetic piffle.
Call them, text them, email them, pop round unexpectedly – it doesn’t matter – just assure them that you’re in their corner, ready and willing to back them up in this war against cancer.
Because I have to tell you, it feels pretty damn lonely climbing into that ring, knowing that you’re a flyweight about to face off against a heavyweight, and that cancer probably has a horseshoe tucked away in its boxing glove.
Be there as a second for them, wet sponge in hand, ready to mop their brow at the end of each round. Just promise me you’ll never, ever throw in the towel.
Oh, and take them something nice as a present.
I recommend a Peppa Pig toothbrush.