My problem, my fear, was that the only way out meant I had to submit psychologically and physically. Notice the word submit. In my heart I knew I was beaten by a disease that seemed perfectly formed to distress me by attacking the very areas in which I have always been vulnerable.
The medical institution as I saw it: monolithic soulless architecture, inhabited by people I could not relate to, and who had the power to punish, to humiliate, to violate me; all of this reminded me of going to boarding school at the age of 7.
My disease, as it seemed, making me disgusting and robbing me of dignity, centred on a social taboo, turning me back into a baby. Reducing me to a weak and repulsive middle-aged man with little future.
The only “cure” available involved, disfiguring and medieval brutality, usually reserved for the scaffold, thinly disguised by a word that hid the truth. Not a colectomy really, I was to be disembowelled. Literally.
My family, my doctors, my friends wondered why I didn’t just head for the operating theatre and get on with it. I was scared, lonely, angry, and, frankly, stroking the cat of death.
That was a year ago. A year ago to this very day I posted a video on you tube to try and laugh in the face of death.
What I did not know was that I could get through it all, and that even at the bottom of the shittiest bucket there is something good if you are prepared to look for it.
I’m coming up to the year mark since the operation. I have learned a lot about myself and about others who have kindly and with insight commented on this blog. I've also grown through the life experiences of others that I have followed. Take a gander at the blog roll and read how people have strength and humour and intelligence, and how they deal with the problems they have.
I also found out how much my life impacted on my family and started to understand how difficult it has been for them as well.
And . . .if you too have to face the operation, I can only say that my experience taught me that the fear and loathing was worse than the reality. There is a future and it is full of possibility and colour.
Ahem . . . I thank you
(Steps down from soap box and packs up; heads away across the park)