Friday, 28 February 2014

Gardening, Comedy, and God!

Rob and I went to B&Q, just before my last chemo. My white cells have been down meaning I can more easily pick up colds, so when Rob was looking around the outdoor area I kept warm and stayed indoors. I was walking down the aisle and was looking at the plants. I used to do a bit of gardening when I lived in the last flat, I wasn’t very good.

But with a bit of time, and patience, the plants started to grow and the balcony looked great, ivy was even climbing the wall, and the smell of the herb garden was full. Even more scary, I realised I had hit the grand age where you are happy to say, “I enjoy gardening”!

 I don't want to write about negative things, and also I don't want to upset anyone, but at times, you get down, and at that point, in the middle of B&Q, I felt a deep sadness. I wanted to grow plants again, but at that moment in time I felt I wouldn’t know if I would see the flowers bloom.

A friend in the past has said that I don't live enough in the now and I plan too much for tomorrow. I guess what they meant is, always planning something with my street food business etc.

Cancer violently throws you into a position where you suddenly live in the now, I don't really plan beyond next week. We should all live in the now as we do not know what is around the corner and cancer has made me appreciate this even more, and we should all take some time out of the day just to stop and just really be thankful for that day. But do you know what?

I can’t just live for the day any longer, I have a need, and that need is to try and put a bit of normality back into my life and that means put a bit of planning back into my life, we should all live for today, but also plan for tomorrow. Due to sickness from my chemo, the doctors and the hospital appointments, forward planning is limited, but not impossible. Suddenly with this new train of thought I feel very free - the freedom to plan.

Something has changed in me recently, as you may know yesterday I was in London having the RF ablation procedure, (not NanoKnife as I keep calling it)  which I will blog about later.

I’ve been quite passive in the fight of cancer - the doctors tell me to take this pill and have this bag of chemo injected into my system and Rob tells me to take this vitamin pill etc, and I do it. But I do what I get told to do, I’m not very active in finding out what I should be doing myself.

 A lady has contacted me via email this week (and I hope she doesn't mind me saying), called Annette, and Annette's family are going through the same stuff as Rob and our families are going through. Annette has said:

"Up until now we have all found it hard to smile but listening and reading things from you and Rob has lightened our spirit. We will continue to follow you both closely and thanks for being such great guys. Everything crossed for you and hope to keep in touch."

What a nice thing to say!

Annette also sent me a video of a gentleman who has pancreatic cancer and is trying all types of alternative medicine and he’s surviving.

This has made me think, and give myself a bit of a kick up the arse, stop feeling sorry for myself and just get on with the things I need to, things like planning to live for tomorrow.

Many years ago I used to perform stand-up comedy, this was when I lived in London when I was 19, so many many years ago. A couple of years ago I did try it again, and still enjoyed it, but holding down a full time job and then travelling to get to a gig and then staying ‘til late was exhausting, I started running the market stall and the gigs got less and less. But this week I saw that Matt Lucas had been tweeting and pushing awareness of pancreatic cancer. When I was in London, our paths crossed a few times as we were both were doing open mic nights. Matt was doing a character called "Sir Bernard Chumley" a very professional and polished act, and my act was more, I don't know, more panic attack! Sometimes it worked and then sometimes it involved 80 words a second, and my 10 minute act fitted into a sentence and the audience, well some of them gave me benefit of the doubt and thought it’s not quite comedy, but maybe it’s an art form when the others just thought it was just shit!

 I said hello to Matt and thanked him for the pancreatic cancer awareness tweets, he tweeted back and said “Wishing you all the best x”. I have started to think more about that time and like I said, some gigs it worked and some gigs it didn't. I celebrated the good ones and kicked myself on the bad, but I now realise by living in the now but planning for tomorrow - as long as there’s enjoyment what does it matter? And without the bad gigs you don’t know if the jokes work or not.

So it doesn’t really matter. I’ve decided to get one or two gigs and do it purely for fun so if there are any of my comedy friends reading this, I am writing some new material and if you know of any open mic spots or comedy nights, please give me a shout.

More importantly, I have changed my mind, and with this, I went back to B&Q, and bought some plants. I now understand that I will not only enjoy the flowers when they bloom but also when they’re growing.

Tomorrow is chemo day! I saw one of the doctors yesterday, due to not having a car, and I am leaning on everyone right now, so my Mum came with me, the doctor asked in an round about way, if I was relying too much on my Mum, and maybe I should get out of bed when sick and exorcise for half an hour.  I am not sure if they fully understand the state I get in when sick.  I am nervous about tomorrow.

My cleaner, who is a really nice person, asked if I had ever turned to God, and even if I did just invite him in, I would be surprised.

Now, i am very opened minded about this kind of thing, and when I was young, I did go to Sunday School every week, until one week when cycling back I was hit by a car and decided that it was a sign of God and never went back after that. So I took my cleaners advice and I have invited him in!

I was NOT stud in the rain outside, naked, in a field, with thunder and lighting at the time, I think the invite happened half way though Judge Judy. Now this was about 4 weeks ago now, and so far a God like person as not knocked at the door, may be I should of done it in a field.


  1. Lol, that was a moving AND entertaining read Carl!

    Funny you should mention Matt Lucas. I have been tweeting the rich and famous in an effort to get more signatures on the epetition and Matt is one of the VERY few who replied - I was shocked!

    I agree with you about doctor's (or anyone) not knowing what it actually feels like after chemotherapy. I mean, I don't either but I could see how ill my husband was. My sons used to say 'he needs to get up and exercise a bit', bless them they had no clue until they came to visit after a chemo session and they were all 'I seeeeee!'

    As for God, who's that? I don't know anyone of that name. That's how I feel and I'm not sorry about it.

    I posted that comment here but not on PCUK, thought it best not to!

    Anyway keep on blogging!

    Julia x

  2. Crikey! I don't know when I gave myself that name - Proud Slattern? wtf? lol

    1. Lol, I want to be called Proud Slattern! Thanks Julia, lovley to get your feedback xxx

    2. As always lovely blogging Carl, you write with such feeling for others too, you are making a difference to my family and we are very grateful. We will get to meet hopefully sooner than later. Love to you and Rob Annette & Co xxxxx