Happy New Year! What do you mean that’s a bit late? The sentiment is still there and I’ve been a little busy, OK? So, first things first, I’m doing fine right now, thanks for asking. Weirdly, as I haven’t posted anything for a while, people have started getting in touch to check up on me as though I may have taken a downturn so I thought I should post something just to let you all know I’m alright. I suspected people were getting a little ‘cancered out’ so I thought I’d just give you all a break but it turns out you just can’t get enough of the stuff!
In terms of conditions and symptoms not much has changed. The one big development has been that I think I’ve finally sorted the stocking situation out and I genuinely couldn’t be happier to have sorted out a hosiery situation. The general, bog standard, NHG Nora Batty stocking just wasn’t cutting it and the daily pain of having my circulation cut off behind my knee, around my ankle and across my toes was putting me off from even wearing the thing. So, then, the fine people at St Luke’s Hospice went all special services on me and got me measured up for a unique-to-me, German designed, black stocking – shit was about to get real. You can imagine my excitement when I got the call that it had arrived from Germany so I drove straight to the Hospice before work to get the damn thing applied to my naked leg by a woman I haven’t even bought a drink for. Oh happy day.
The trouble was, by the time I arrived at work, the familiar ‘inch-inch-inch-roll-ping’ of the stocking working its way down my leg was back and I was no better off – Vorsprung durch Technik my arse! However, a little German engineering mixed with some good old fashioned British ingenuity goes a long way and, lo and behold, St Luke’s had a solution. Glue. Roll on glue to be precise. That’s right, in a dispenser not dissimilar to a deodorant, I was given strong ‘skin glue’ to hold up my hold up. Now, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t Pritt Stick or PVA, I know it’s a specialist type of glue, but you’ve got to wonder if there isn’t a better solution somewhere. Nevertheless, I have ever been one to turn down the chance at a solution so I dutifully rolled the glue liberally on to my thigh and rolled the stocking on. 11 hours later and it hadn’t budged – it felt great but then came the removal and, I have to admit, a certain amount of trepidation. The stocking came off without much fuss but I could feel the delicate tug of hairs being plucked from my leg all the way down and when I looked down, well, it was a bit odd. Imagine getting a child to liberally and hastily stick handfuls of other people’s pubes to your leg with disproportionate amounts of glue and you’re pretty much there. That’s right, form an orderly queue ladies – I now have a pubey leg to add to my groin fruit.
Stockings aside, I’ve been busy trying to get something positive out of the last 11 months and have been organising the first of what I hope to be an annual event – One Day Fest. Essentially, it’s one day of music in my local pub (the Inn On the Shore, Downderry) where all artists are performing for free and entry is free so we can collect as many donations as possible for those good folk at St Luke’s Hospice. Now, I know what you’re going to say, “why aren’t you running a marathon or cycling from Plymouth to Portsmouth dressed as Donald Trump? That’ what normal people do”. Well, I’m not in peak physical form for one thing and for another I wanted to make this a celebration as much as anything else. You see, the event will take place on March 25th which is one year and three days on from my diagnosis when I was told that I’d do well to make it to a year. So, two fingers up to cancer, some wonderful musicians and the chance to spend the day in the pub with my nearest and dearest – not a bad way to end a crappy 12 months, eh?
Now, to make the most of this as a fundraising effort, I want to get as many folk down to the day as possible which means flaunting my cancerous wares to as many local newspapers and websites as I can to raise awareness of the cause. I struggled with this, if I’m honest, as it felt a bit like those people who get £150 from Take A Break magazine for telling their story – ‘My step-dad’s hamster ate my arm’ or ‘Piers Morgan ruined my wedding’, that kind of thing. But, putting my own feelings to one side, this is all in aid of raising money for a charity that has helped people with worse types of cancer than I’ve had long before I got my diagnosis and will, with a little help, continue to do so long after I’m gone. So, my ugly mug and that of my ever patient sweetheart have graced inky newspaper pages and websites, I’ve raked over the whole thing with journalists and had my picture taken by a local photographer during my lunch hour at work. For everyone that donates (time, talent, money, whatever) I am extremely grateful but, more importantly, I hope beyond all hope that they never have to see first-hand that good work that money does. It’s a bit like a life-insurance policy or a spare tyre – you hope you never need to use it but it’s good to have it there.
Anyway, if you fancy popping down on the day or just donating to fine cause then all the details are at the link below. There’s a raffle too with some ace prizes including festival tickets, free meals out and a haircut.
Just Giving – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Gemma-Turner11