What a week – Last Monday started badly with me missing an appointment with my work- Chris came out to visit and she got me some Cod Liver oil and an interesting book about Bill Shankly from a charity shop, I forget which One – Cancer probably. If she had come out today she’d have noticed a big difference with my hair. It hasny half gone mad in the last week- I’ve been worried about going bald since I was about Five and to see it fall out and get whiter and drier every day is F-ckin’ shite, to be honest. I look like a cross between Boo Radley and Tin Tin – all I need is a wee white Dug and I’ll have my own cartoon series. Last week was my ‘middle week’ – the week after the Chemo therapy when I’m more liable to infections and I have felt a bit buggered. I had the Tom Hanks thing again – when he was in ‘The Green Mile’ and was in agony when he pee’d – and One or Two aches and pains but it wasn’t too bad a week. I miss walking, though, and this time of year is a great time of the year for walking – when the leaves look as if they are on fire. I was looking last night at some old family photos of my Grandfathers, Brown and Jenkinson and ‘Bunty and the bald man’. Photos are great things – a direct link to the past and I love looking through old family photos and old photos of Pumphy. I always look at photos of my Grand dads, Jinky and Scud with a certain amount of pride. James Hutton Brown and William Jenkinson who, like everyone else of their generation and class, were born into late 19th Century poverty and asked, as young men, to fight in an unnecessary, unimaginable and unforgivable war. They were both lucky – they came back with their limbs and their senses and their sanity. Jimmy ‘Scud’ Broon married Jean Thomson, from Tarbrax and Bill Jenkinson, officer in the British Navy, married Janet Ritchie from Tranent. Jimmy and Jean had Three bairns – my dad was the oldest and he married Jessie who was the only child of Bill and Janet and the rest is History – Broon memory lane. Jimmy Broon, who worked down a mine, fought at Galipoli and was in Damascus at the same time as Peter o’ Toole- or Lawrence of Arabia- One or the other. Bill Jenkinson, who grew up in unimaginable poverty in Leith, along with his brother, and who, as an officer in the British Navy, rubbed shoulders with Royalty, in the form of the future Edward the 8th, or ‘That abdicating C–t’ as Bunty, my mother, called him. My Grandad Broon and my Grandad Jinky, who lived through the ‘Great war’ over a Hundred years ago. We also had another Scottish Fitba’ disappointment last week. Our failure to beat Poland and Irelands shock win against world champions, Germany, meant that for the Ninth time in a row we missed out on qualifying for a major tournament – every Two years since the World cup in France, in 1998, we’ve missed out on being on the same stage as the best teams in Europe and the World – and it’s shite. Next June sees the start of Euro 16, which will be the Ninth Euro – What started off as the European cup of nations and became the European Championship has, since 1984, been known as the Euro’s. Davy Broon and I were at the opening ceremony and match of Euro 84 in France and we both hoped that Thirty Two years later we would be there again with our kilts on supporting Scotland. England will be there, Northern Ireland will be there, Wales will be there, the Republic of Ireland could be there, Albania could be there, Iceland will be there – Countries which, Forty years ago were shite, or didny even exist are now better than Scotland. What are Iceland, with a population of about the same as Edinburgh and Slovakia- and Albania, for F–k sake, doing right that we are quite obviously making an awfy C–t of. Iceland qualifying is a great story and the powers that be in Scottish Fitba’ should be ashamed of themselves that we had a Hundred years start on Iceland in the International Fitba’ arena and now we’re lagging behind them.
Today started off with the Twenty One pill salute to Chemotherapy, then a lift to the hospital from Paty to get my CT scan. Originally they were just going to scan my head but it turned out that they had to scan my chest and arms to see what the arteries looked like. I will find out soon enough what the results of the scan reveal. I have to see an eye specialist, too and after that, who knows. Paty had to leave St Jocks early – I’d been telling him on the way up how quick we’d be at the X-Ray department – my appointment was for Twelve o’ clock and I didn’t get out till half one. Luckily, Yorkshires finest, in the shape of my ex B and Q colleague and Leeds Utd fan, big Stuart was there to pick me up. He was wearing a Scotland ’74 world cup fitba’ top, which threw me a bit, then I saw the number on the back- 4 – Scotland and Leeds legend Billy Bremners number. Anyway, Stuart was treating me to my lunch today . He mentioned a place in Linlithgow and I thought he obviously hadn’t heard of ‘stoviegate’, but he decided on Tony Macaroni’s instead. The mussels in the white wine sauce were the business. I had them for a starter and if I could have had them for my main dish and my Dessert, I would’ve. I’ve had ‘Moules’ in Paris, Bordeaux, and Nice and Tony Macaroni’s were as good as any. I was running a bit late for B and Q by then but managed to catch Liz before she left. I explained that Dr Hannah would send my sick line to B and Q and Liz asked if I could attend a meeting tomorrow, which I can. By the time Stuart dropped me off I had missed Jim and Jimmy and it was time to go to matt and Hazels for more dinner – I’ll be turning into an awfy fatso. If I can keep eating like this and stop smoking, I have a good fighting chance to beat this C–t of a thing. It was great seeing the ‘big fella’ today- he’s as clever as a chap with Three heads and designs filtration systems for stuff used in the oil industry – he loves Leeds utd and if he was prime minister, I’d vote for him. Anyway no more chemo for nearly a month – thank F–k. I was getting a bit worn out with jags and injections and constant visits to the hospital – on Monday Davy B and I spent Eight hours in the hospital. He sat in with me when I had to see the heart specialist, Dr Jacobs. The Doctor asked me if I smoked and when I told him that I did he asked me to stop smoking. He also asked me if there was anything that ran in the family and I told him that Davy had done the London and Wellington marathons- Davy laughed and the Doctor showed his skill by outwardly laughing and inwardly thinking, ‘F–k off’.
I don’t know how I’m going to manage to stop smoking – that’s a bit like going back in time and telling Hitler to stop being a C–t – or going back farther in time and telling Jesus to start being a C–t. I could say it would be easier to forgive Linlithgow Rose for ‘Stoviegate’ – but I’d be tellin’ fibs – I will definitely stop smoking before ‘The Unforgiven’ are forgiven. For those who might be reading this and have never heard of ‘Stoviegate’- I’ll enlighten you. It’s a tradition in Scottish Junior Fitba’ that after a cup match the home team will lay on the stovies for the visitors – I remember travelling up to Aberdeen with Pumphy Juniors to play Glentannar in the ‘Scottish’ and having Skirly – which is, more or less, stovies wi’ a mask on- but awfy tasty nevertheless. Anyway, a few years back, Linlithgow Rose, as they were known then, in Pumphy, played in a sectional league cup tie at ‘The Theatre of Bings’ as Recreation park is often called and we beat them and they took the hump and didny come back to the Cawburn for their stovies. So, as a result, ‘The Unforgiven’ will remain unforgiven until the Lord Provost, Burgo meister, leader of the council or whatever they’ve got out that way, publicly apologizes for their despicable, and, lets be honest, reprehensible behaviour. The stovie recipe at the Cawburn is guarded by Two SAS men and a scary looking woman from Pumphy who lost a testicle in a fight with a Grizzly Bear, but fought on and won via a Ninth round knockout- that’s how tough she was. All the top chefs have tried to steal it – Rick Stein, That Cunt Ramsay, Snail porridge boy, the Pissed guy, Willie Craddock – the lot. —- Anyway it is now 11.40 and it has been a long day. After signing off with Willie Craddock at half one in the morning I went off to bed and really struggled to sleep. At Five in the morning I thought about getting up and having a cup of tea and a roll up but thought that as I was up at half seven I’d better try to get some sleep. I dozed off and woke just before the alarm at Twenty past Seven and tried to get through to the chemo bit at the hospital just after Eight, but got the answering machine and thought ‘Bugger it – I’ll just go to the hospital, explain my sleeping in for my blood samples on Friday, feel like a fanny, and see what happens. Luckily, I was able to give the blood, have it tested, nip out for a fag, nip back in, and start the chemo. I saw Dr Jacobs, the Heart boy, just after Ten and by the time I got my last injection and left the hospital it was Five o’ Clock. If it was a long day for me it must have been a Baw buster for Davy. He had his journey to Aberdeen by train interrupted by an earlier derailment and ended up getting home after Ten o’ clock and a bus from Dundee. Well done Dave – on the go for Fifteen hours – half spent in the hospital, with me – what a trooper- it was great to have him sitting there chatting away. It’s now after One o’ clock and I’m signing off for the day. Steroid City for the next Four days- Seventeen a day, plus the other tablets – and more Chemo tomorrow at 11.45.
Well, tomorrow I go into the Second round of my Chemo therapy. Already, after the first round, the Three Frankenstein lumps on the right side of my neck have all but gone and I have to think that this is good news, although I am still dogged with, at times, quite overwhelming tiredness and fatigue. Being a natural lazy Bastard this isn’t a problem but I hope, during my treatment, that this will lessen. Also, for a naturally lazy C–t, being told by my chemo Doc that I’ll need a six month sick line is like winning the lottery. Yesterday was a great wee day – Chris came through from Auld reekie and Ann T brought a home baked Lemon sponge cake- wee Benji got a wee bit. Chris and I had a bottle of wine each and nearly finished off a bottle of Glayva- then it was off to Witherspoons and the Newyearfield for more Glayva and Cider with some work mates. I did ok considering I only had a couple of chips and some cake to eat all day. So, tomorrow it’s a visit to the heart specialist before the Chemo- hopefully sleeping in on Friday for the doctors for blood samples wont delay the treatment – I’ll have to wait and see. That’s that for today.
Woke up in a shitey mood – I missed my Doctor appointment to give blood for my chemo on Monday. Didny get up till half One and I’d missed a glorious day by the look of it. If One of those ‘live life to the max and cherish every moment’ shiny faced happy C–ts were to come up to me at this moment in time wi’ that pish I’d stab them in the neck until they were deid and I felt better. I was thinking about my visit to the Western general – thankfully not for treatment [ my heart scan] and how depressing it was. I think the anthem for that Hospital must be, or should be, ‘People get ready’ or ‘Feel like I’m fixin’ to die’. I would O’D if I had to spend my final days there. The fags and joints will eventually kill me, anyway. I’ve got the stop smoking class every week now- what a waste of time. I wish I could just be honest and say look Mrs I like a joint and when I’ve no’ got a joint I like a fag – that’s how it’s ‘aye been’ and , unfortunately, non Hodgkins Lymphoma or not, that’s probably how it always will be- whether I die before Christmas or live till I’m that old I don’t know if I’ve shit my self. Chris is coming through tomorrow and later on there is a wee night out for my work colleagues which I’d like to go to. Anyway that’s me till next time.
What a fantastic, wonderful, carefree week I’ve just spent in Hawick with Linda and Nick. If I’ve no’ put on weight there’s something seriously wrong. I’ve never eaten and drank as much for a long, long time and I believe that, after Six Months of staying at Linda’s to recuperate and rest, my cancer would be cured but I’d be a fat alcoholic C–t. It was a really chilled oot great few days- meeting Nicks cousin and Linda’s friends and neighbours, and last but not least, Andrew and Jo. I was awfy tired, though-I’ve never felt as tired in all my life. It was great, though, just chilling oot with a Glayva and testing Linda’s knowledge of 60’s pop tunes and having nice wine and nice food. I weighed myself before coming back up the road and was disappointed to be Nine and a half stone. I was plagued all week with an awfy C–t of a urinary infection of some sort, so Linda thinks. I don’t know what to think but I do know that it’s agony pissin’ a tea spoonful worth. Hamo came down from Livi with big Stevie to take me back up the road and he drove up the Peebles way via Selkirk – it was a glorious day on Friday and the Tweed valley is beautiful – a day and journey the opening theme to ‘Steel Magnolias’ could’ve been written for. I’ve been writing this for, I don’t know – Twenty minutes maybe and I now have to go to the toilet for the Fourth time. Anyway I arrived back to a Fistful of letters from the hospital – next week I’m at the western Generals Nuclear medicine dept for a scan thing and I’m at St Jocks for a stop smoking thing. The following week I’ve to see a heart specialist before I start my chemo scuddy and the day after the chemo I’ve got a CT scan of my head- happy days.
Well, my last day of ‘Schemey Therapy’ until the end of the month and a good day all in all. Started off with Tracey D coming round for a cup of Tea before giving me a lift round to the Hospital. She brought me round a great wee bag of ‘Cancer shopping’- scones, Jam, Chocolate biscuits and a Scotsman- in return for which she will get ‘Cancer parking’ the next time she very kindly offers to give me a lift to St Jocks. Tracey sat in chatting while I was getting the Chemo and we had a laugh in the wiggy waity room when I pointed out the Bon Jovi wig. I was told, however, that the last minute change to my Chemo means that as well as having non Hodgkins Lymphona I am also getting ‘non Baldy Chemo’ – which is nice. So, a huge thanks to Tracey for kicking off a great wee day. The Steroids are definitely helping – as I write this I am over half way through doing Five Hundred One arm press ups – that’ll be F ing right- but I do seem to have a wee bit more get up and go and energy and feel good about this despite the fact that I am quite ill. It was another beautiful day today- so glorious for September and One that certainly made me appreciate how great it is to be alive – a notion that I’ve been very guilty of ignoring in the past. I suppose it takes something like Cancer to make you think.
Well, I started my ‘Schemey Therapy’ today- but not the treatment I was expecting. My heart scan thing found some problem which the chemo might not have been too good for. So, now, instead of a one day visit to St Jocks I have to go Three days in a row, once a month, until Christmas eve – or possibly beyond. No work for me for a few months- what a pisser that is. The actual treatment is quite straightforward – stuff fed into a vein for a couple of hours – then different stuff fed into the same vein. Like a right fanny I offered my left hand for the drip thing and Five minutes later I was thinking ‘ bang goes the Scotsman crossword and sudoku’ on account of me being left handed. Still, I could read the paper – about how Scotland put up a good show against Germany at the Fitba’. There is no shame in losing by a goal at home to the world champions – conceding an equaliser against Gibraltar and losing to Georgia said more about Scotland than drawing in Poland and taking Four points out of Six against Ireland – the Two countries who, along with Germans, are above us in the group. We still have a Dugs chance of the play offs, but we are talking about Scotland. Anyway, along with the paper I had a copy of VIZ but couldny read Biffa Bacon because I didny have my specs. The wee MP3 player Davy B got me saved the day, though, as a wee listen to Nolwenn Leroy and the Rolling Stone magazines best songs of 1968, 69, 70,and 71 made for a great listen . It’s quite mind boggling, really, all those great songs from the mid to late Sixties through to the early Seventies. The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Motown, flower power, Simon and Garfunkel, Tom Jones, Petula Clark, The Small Faces, Led Zeppelin, Santana- and the hundreds I’ve not mentioned and should have – Bacharach and David.- I have looked for Fleetwood Lymphs classic album ‘Tumours’ – but I think I’ve got that. Anyway, more Schemey Therapy tomorrow but not before I have to take the equivalent of Lance Armstrongs Tour De France winning stash of steroids – Seventeen and Three different kinds of other tablets.
Well, I got the news I was expecting on Wednesday- F–kin’ Cancer -no’ even Lung Cancer, in which case I would’ve thought ‘aye, nae shock there’ – but, naw -I’ve got one that I didn’t see coming. The last Two weeks have been shite- I feel as if I’ve never been away from the Hospital- bits of tissue cut out of me, bone marrow painfully extracted, blood samples, low blood pressure, heart scans. I’m a bit sick of it all – and all that before the real fun begins at mid day on Tuesday with the Chemo F–kin’ therapy. I thought about asking the Doctor how long I’d have without the Chemo. I was thinking that if he said a couple of years I’d have taken that- The European championship in France next year wi’ Davy – Thirty Two years after we were in France for the 1984 tournament – what a nice way to go full circle. They seem to think its important that I begin the treatment as soon as possible- without it I wouldn’t have long. I don’t know if it’s really sunk in yet- I expect reality will hit home big time on Tuesday. A good and long time friend has told me ‘soup, soup and more soup with nice healthy bread – so, it’s onwards and soupwards for me.