Late yesterday two attractive female friends dropped by to check on my recovery. One said I looked “good”. The other, after only a brief pause, politely agreed.
Being shallow – it’s a lifestyle choice – I was so delighted by this I entirely forgot my scheduled painkiller intake for the rest of the night. In other news:
• Thanks to kind family and friends, I now own a stylish walking stick (note to self: conceal from physiotherapists), a small plastic male nurse figurine, a Lindt chocolate bear (cheers, Dan and Mrs Dan), a brilliant DVD player, and many excellent books (including two out-of-print classics and Amy Sedaris’s I Like You).
• My doctor asks that I direct readers here. Happy to oblige.
• Best floral gift from a straight male currently serving in Afghanistan:
• Overconfident, a few days ago I attempted to take a bath. Unable to haul myself out – no exit strategy – I was forced to call on the only other person in the house: my dear old mother. During an intensely awkward bath-extraction pas de deux, it was silently agreed that we must never speak of this again.
• The level of cancer with which I was diagnosed: T3. Not the worst.
• Weight before surgery: 82 kilograms (180 pounds). Present weight, after several days on solid food: 75 kilograms (165 pounds).
• I’m informally banned from driving lest sudden braking cause sudden breakage of slow-mending abdominal wounds and subsequent hilarious organ spillage. My mother – a former nurse – once saw this happen.
• Cards arrived today from an uncle and aunt in remote Douglas, Victoria (look it up on Google Earth) and from Rebecca H. in even remoter Ohio. Thank you very much.
• Most unusual gift: a pen fashioned from merged bullet cartridges.
• Best telephone greeting, from a News Ltd colleague in Darwin: “Hey, cancer boy!”
UPDATE. Nobody has given me a Mr Potato Head, but if they did, I would defend it with every tentacle I had.