When I came to this town I was a letter with the seal unbroken, like those TV shows where no-one knows the word until it is spoken (the mutton birds)

And so my sixth anniversary of sobriety happened. And so the demons were dead crafty this time and played a practical joke on me. On this Wendysday just past, they had arranged for me to see a cancer consultant. Basically I had the same problems as had been my prostate cancer symptoms five and half years ago – going for a pee more often than I wanted or, indeed, needed and it wasn’t just not being able to pee at half time in the tip that is the away toilet (?) at Ayr United. 😦

And I wasn’t sleeping well…..and I was wakening too early.

But I wasn’t worried. Much. After all, that PSA blood test I do is fairly static at 0.9. Indeed after my treatment had finished, five years back, and e and I went to Maryhill Health Centre to get that result, it was 3.5 (Don’t worry about the figures. It’s going down and staying down)

So I went and the first thing you do is a flow-test which is kinda like peeing into a bucket – exactly like half-time at Ayr United with a similar result……. And then a bladder scan which showed nothing worrying and then, of course, in the hands of the lady registrar came the moment I’d been expecting. Now I can’t do the odd awareness talk and describe the finger up the bum (Digital Rectal Examination) as ‘twenty seconds of discomfort but it can save your life’ and then flinch, can I? I had prepared. And preparation is vital in this form of anal-ysis. In fact I remember discussing…anyway…..

The moment arrived. Now what does it say about me that I am told by a good looking lady doctor to take down my trousers and pants, lie on my side and assume the foetal position cos she’s already pulling on the marigolds and all I can think of is……..How’s my hair? On my head. There’s a mirror by the couch and I’m happy. A quick flick and I’m ready.

And twenty seconds later it’s done. ‘So how is my prostate?’ I ask. ‘Well’, she says, ‘it’s not enlarged but I can’t tell you how big it is cos my fingers are quite small.’  Reassuring. But now, dear listener, I want to take those words out of context as such:

‘Well, it’s not enlarged but I can’t tell you how big it is cos my fingers are quite small.’

And set you a wee competition. Many publications and entertainment shows, e.g., HIGNFY, have caption competitions where you see the picture and you have to come up with a caption. Here you already have the caption. You draw your own picture. 😉

So the consultant comes in and we talk. I explain my sobriety but we talk my caffeine levels. Oh, and the fact that I drink bout three cans of Red Bull a day…….something I didn’t use to do…but there’s the nun. Sorry. I mean nub………..I have to detox from caffeine for at least two weeks and see how I get on. ‘But’, I cry. ‘It’s my only fix these days. I need it.’ At which point he looked at me and said, ‘how long have you been off the drink?’ So I can do it and, hopefully, this time without the cold turkey but with the help of Red Bush (not Red Bull). We’ll see. 🙂

So my last ever (for a while) cup of coffee was in Costa on Thursday with the Vampire Slayer. We were discussing holiday cover for the festive period on the vampire front and I forgot you don’t get a cup of coffee in Costa – you get a soup bowl. It will last me for ever. Usually uneventful place, Costa, and we sat across from two women and then the drunk came up from downstairs, shouting about the red mist and how much there was of it and sat on the floor beside me, the VS and the two women, cried a wee bit and banged his head on the table a few times and walked away. He actually seemed fine. Uneventful place, Costa.

And finally, my thanks to Study Buddie Fi for her help with some editing stuff recently. One of the ‘clients’ was working out of China and I didn’t realise that, which explains the odd hours the work was being sent at and why it didn’t arrive at 1800 Summerston time but 1800 Shangai time; and another client wanted to pay me in cash which I don’t normally like but we arranged to meet in Starbucks, which allowed me the opportunity to say in a loud voice, ‘I will be declaring this’. Lol (as Carmen would say). Actually if you want to know the name of one of the worst tax avoiders just type Google into your  computer…….Eh, that’s it. Google.

Cya, Keep(ing) it fun and still wearing that badge? With renewed vigour.

Johnt850, fast running out of things to drink, eat or snort but still fun to go out with.

And so, on the day itself, I put up on Facebook a quick word about my six years of sobriety and substance-freeness and when I last looked I’d had 46 likes, 12 public comments (and no matter how often you posted Sharon, you only count as one) and several private messages by various means and where various stories were shared. 🙂

I am/was flabbergasted. I talk ‘bout my support team. But words just can’t hack it.  I once had a discussion with a man from AA who disagreed with me and said you do it for yourself not for other people. I agree with part of that but maybe if I had a Higher Power separate from the Twelve Steps, the support team would be it.

I didn’t plan it this way. When I left Gartnavel six years ago, bailed out (not for the last time) by my sis, I didn’t plan this. Being still full of jellies and drink I wasn’t aware of the self-help groups like AA which offer friendship as well as support; I was just aware that my family and neighbours knew so I just told people. It seemed a natural thing to do. And I’m so glad I did. My friends have chosen to be my friends.

Excuse me while I go and look in the mirror. Yup. That’s me. Despite everything I am still here. And still 42……The ego continues to land.  

A ‘seasoned’ broadcaster and good BBC friend, John Cavanagh, suggested this as appropriate……thanks everyone



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