Lymphoma Action

(This is a sticky post for the month of July. Please look below it for new content during July)

(Click on the image to download the ebook for free)

Are you here because of the article in Lymphoma Matters? I’m very pleased to see you.

The story you’re looking for is in this PDF, free for you to download: Roger & Hercule.

I don’t know your circumstances, but I hope the book gives you encouragement and lifts you.

Cartoon, Environment, Sustainability

Gargoyle & Spite on: Greta Thunberg

Someone said to me we shouldn’t take environmental advice from teenagers. I wondered, “Why not?” After all, given the environmental record of my generation so far, it makes more sense not to listen to 40- and 50-year-olds. Nor to 60-year-olds and older.

Cancer, Health

Off Topic: My Fat Left Leg

The nurse ran her hand very high up the inside of my thigh.

But that’s jumping ahead in the story.

This is the story of my left calf. Since my cancer treatment, it has been vastly bigger than my right calf. Or so it looks. In reality, there is only a centimetre difference in their circumference. Standing in front of a mirror, though, it looks more like 10.

A swollen left calf can mean a blood clot. A blood clot can mean death, if it dislodges and ends up somewhere it shouldn’t be. Your lungs, for instance.

My oncologist and I agreed it wasn’t a blood clot. She based her judgment on decades of medical experience; I had spent 10 minutes with Dr Google. Nevertheless, she ordered an ultrasound, just to be on the safe side. I concurred.

At the hospital, the sonographers told me to take my trousers off (they weren’t nurses at all, but it worked better for the opening line) and hop up on to a bed. One of them produced a tube of gel. I was surprised at how cold the gel was. But not nearly as surprised as where she started applying it. Right in my groin region. Having studied Dr Google for 10 minutes, I know for a fact that this isn’t where the calf muscle starts. It’s somewhere below the knee.

She covered my entire leg in gel. I wondered whether she didn’t know where the calf was and was hedging her bets. Perhaps I should tell her?

Before I could instruct her, she dug the ultrasound sensor (a knobbly thing) deep into my inner thigh tissue. Another shock. My previous experience with an ultrasound had been very gentle—when they checked my heart as part of the rake of tests they did before I was diagnosed with cancer.

The sonographer’s colleague watched a screen intently for any signs of a clot. I couldn’t fathom what she was seeing at all. It looked like a mass of mess.

They were quite chatty at the beginning of the ultrasound. But halfway through, their tone became more serious and they started speaking medical speak beyond what Dr Google had taught me.

They stopped as abruptly as they’d started and told me I could put my trousers back on. They gave me a bulk of tissue with which to clean the gel off my leg. I needed quite a bit.

The sonographers didn’t tell me the results. By now they were all professionalism and no chat.

Clearly, I was going to die.

An hour later, I was told I wasn’t.

That was five months ago. My left calf is still as fat as before. I dislike the asymmetry of my legs. It doesn’t stop me from wearing shorts when I run. Though I wonder how long it will be before someone starts a petition to have them covered up.

Cartoon, Environment, Sustainability, Things You Can Do

Documentally’s 5 Things You Can Do to Cut Single-use Plastics

Documentally said he was working on a post for his newsletter. It contained five suggestions to help people cut back on single-use plastics. I replied that if he sent me the draft, I’d illustrate it. Instead of a simple list, he sent me complete cartoon ideas—all of which were better than I could have come up with.

Here are two of his tips. (The rest, along with the cartoons are at: A quiver of stories [165]. (I think his newsletter is so good, I pay for the additional content.)

1. Use reusable shopping bags

5. Drink wine with a natural cork stopper


Off Topic: How to Dig a Shallow Grave

The corpse’s head slipped off my shovel into the long grass.

I panicked. “Fukkityfukkity,” I said, rooting around to recover it. Nowhere to be seen. Here I am digging a shallow grave in the dusk light and I’ve only gone and lost the victim’s head.

Pull yourself together man. Get rid of the big stuff. Bury the torso and limbs. Worry about the head later. If I can’t see it, random passersby won’t either. Probably.

The pickaxe and shovel might draw their eye, though. Cross that bridge when we get to it.

The pickaxe hit a stone. A big one. Only a few centimetres under surface. The impact of the steel on rock echoed around the garden. Just my luck. A third of an acre in which to dispose of the corpse and I hit some builder’s rubble straightaway. I looked about to see whether I’d been discovered. Nothing stirred.

Using the pickaxe, I leveraged the slab up out of the ground. Bingo! The hole was big enough for the headless rabbit. I slid its body into the earth using the shovel and lowered the stone down.

Still no sign of the head. I mean, how the bloody hell does a cat take the head clean off a rabbit? Does she have a chainsaw? God, I hope not. Now we’ve discovered she’s a raging psychotic murderer, the last thing we need is for her to have access to power tools.

Don’t be stupid, man. How could a cat operate a chainsaw? Just accept that she ripped the head off with her bare teeth. Jaysus, she’s terrifying.

Where the fukkity is the head? If one of the kids discovers it, we’ll be paying psychologists’ bills for a decade.

There it is!

Most of it, anyway.

I levered up the slab again and kicked the head into the hole.

A quick look about. All good. My complicity in covering up the murder had gone unnoticed. The things we do for love.

Kitten is going to wear a collar with a bell from now on. Possibly a cowbell.

Getting it on her is going to require stealth and guile.

Make sure all the power tools are locked away first, though.