You’d reckon a diagnosis of terminal cancer was enough to be getting on with, wouldn’t you? But life likes to makes things interesting for us these days, so now we have a couple of other little irons on the fire…

First is a condition I’ve been dealing with for quite some time now – certainly from long before my cancer diagnosis. It’s called a ‘hydrocele’, and mine is probably the result of the earlier surgery I had to remove my gall bladder and patch up my double hernia.

So what’s a hydrocele, you ask?

Fair question. Putting it as politely as I can, it means fluid has leaked down from above into my scrotum, and I now have a ball-sack the size of a large grapefruit. It’s annoying, uncomfortable, and worth its weight in comic gold (‘I’d say the benefits of having balls big enough to be carried in a wheelbarrow are greatly exaggerated’) but it’s less fun to live with.

Luckily I took the very wise decision to marry a historical costume maker. And that’s good, because I have to tell you that medieval underwear is hugely more comfortable than its modern equivalent. 

My lovely wife has made me a complete set of braies – medieval knickers which actually have a pouch to carry my over-extended scrotum, comfortably and safely, in its own goulière. (Well, that’s what we call it though we have no idea whether or not it’s a real French word…)

As it happens I’m on the list for an operation to correct this anomaly, and was called in for a pre-operative check this week. I had a very pleasant conversation with the team and we all agreed that an operation at this point wasn’t appropriate. For one thing it would be happening about a week after my last chemo session – too soon – and for another I’m currently anaemic.

So that’s fun, isn’t it? 

For the anaemia, I’ve been taking iron tablets – which clearly haven’t worked. So I’m down for an iron infusion next week, which will hopefully put things right (as well as steeling my courage, perhaps?)

And – later the same day – I’m down for a consultation about Fun Thing #3. This one is a nasty-looking black mole on my back that’s been through an initial check and is now getting followed up. My back looks a little bit like a minefield anyway (I’ve developed an enviable capacity for producing brown blobs there) but this one is darker and more sinister. Frankly, given everything else that’s going on, it doesn’t worry me that much, but it would be just too damn ironic to die of skin cancer when Boris and his mates are working so hard to kill me.

At this stage, clearly, we know nothing – so I’ll report on it when I know more. In the meantime I’ve plenty of other things to do (like writing more blog posts…!)