No, we don’t have a ceiling mirror over the bed (and nor, these days at any rate, do we have the slightest reason to install one… 🙂). It’s simply that ‘on my back’ is about the only position I can comfortably maintain for more than a few minutes.

Sitting down is out, unless absolutely necessary and preferably supported on a special cushion. (Long car journeys have become a sophisticated form of torture.) Standing up is possible, but the combination of lack of exercise and an overplus of medication have left me a little unsteady on my pins.

The fun began after our trip to Denmark, when the irritation from my main tumour was driving me to the loo every 30 minutes or so. In discussion with my oncologist we agreed that a course of radiotherapy on the main tumour might help reduce the irritation (though she did warn us it’d get worse before it got better).

It has. So for the moment I need to be patient, manage the pain more effectively, and fight back against boredom and depression. Not the world’s most heroic fight, but I’m definitely up for it.

The drug regime I’m on occasionally sends me away with the fairies – unsurprisingly. Yesterday evening I was lying alone contemplating life, the universe and everything when I heard my favourite voice in the whole world right next to me – where she would normally be at night. And she simply said ‘I love you’. Weird, wonderful, and I’ll be happy for an action replay any time.

And boy, do I need those drugs. My GP has recently doubled the dose of slow-release morphine I take morning and night, and upped my allowance of the oral morphine I take during the day (mostly). Because when the mucus buildup in my back passage reaches a certain point, it lets me know. Agonisingly if I don’t respond reasonably promptly. And releasing that buildup can often be the prelude to more agony as my body tries to release faecal material that it only thinks is there.

We’re still experimenting, though I’m managing a little better now. But here’s hoping that the radiotherapy did its job – so that some time soon I can sit down for more than five minutes without ending up (if you’ll pardon the expression) howling in agony.

Fortunately, as Spike Milligan might have said, I speak it fluently…