Cycle 1 – Day 15 ‘Sweet as the moment the pod went pop!’

Whoop whoop! That’s cycle 1 in the bag, yes indeed.

14 days on the trot of eating porridge at exactly 08:00 and taking 5 500mg chemo tablets ceased (for a week at least) this morning. As a treat I had a lay in… until ten past eight. Come on, I’m a busy man there’s lots to do when you’re not taking chemo.

Side effects are , well , beginning to kick in but that’s to be expected. Within 45 minutes of taking the tablets I’m ‘zonko’ on the settee. Facial flushing, headache, and blocked nose. All very strange really, as after an hour of this it passes and I’m back to my usual self.

Of course it’s too early for fatigue to set in, but my guess is that this will hit with a vengeance around cycle 4. It’s a weird sort of tiredness with chemotherapy , you are not tired per se, but have this unquenching fatigue that drains you in the day and keeps you awake at night. But let’s not worry about that yet Mr C.

Little Simon has been very well behaved throughout the treatment thus far.

We’ve got mutual respect for each other, basic ground rules that we both live by, with the understanding that ‘you don’t tread on my manor, and I don’t tread on yours’ its something of a symbiotic relationship between us, a bit like the tick on the back of the rhinoceros. Not that I’m overweight like a rhinoceros, no, more of a hippo.

As if to remind me of the ‘rules’ little ‘S’ gave me a stark reminder this week of what happens when you stray from the agreed guidelines.

For some reason this week I really fancied thick cut ham off the bone, with chunky chips and a lovely free range egg (and for me a large serving of petit pois). This latter addition was to have dire consequences.

Half way through dinner I suddenly realised that unlike the rest of the meal I was ‘hoovering’ up the peas on my fork and commuting them to my oesophagus almost bypassing my mouth completely. Not even a passing attempt of any form of chewing. Oh shit’ I thought, ‘that’s not good’ .

The perils of this flagrant act are well publicised and taught. ‘Thou shalt chew thine food” is engrained into every ostomates head. It’s bad enough running the gauntlet of peas let alone non chewed peas.

There was nothing I could do about it that night, I would sleep on it and ‘see what happened’

The next day was bag change day, with nothing untoward I laid out the requisite paraphernalia ready for the task:

  • Stoma bag
  • Waste bag
  • 3 wipes (cleaning)
  • 3 wipes (drying)
  • Stoma talk

Taking up

My position at the sink commenced to remove the old bag, so far so good. At the point I was ‘unfettered’ a strange sensation began to emanate from Little Simon. You see when he misbehaves it, well, tickles . As I looked down at the little blighter all of a sudden (and with a brief retraction of him) out popped a perfectly formed petit pois. Gracefully dropping in the sink it was followed by another, and another, and another.

By now I was panicking, not just because the sink was beginning to fill with partially digested petit pois but what else was lurking behind, backed up so to speak?.

This now called for emergency measures. Covering Little Simon with one of the ‘cleaning’ cloths I moved across the room to the toilet…

“Emergency procedure in the event of a blockage. With both handseither side of the stoma gently depress the abdomen”

Not knowing what exactly to expect I did as I was taught, both hands surrounding Little Simon gently pressing in a softer version of the Heinrich manoeuvre I squeezed…

Like popping some abdominal ‘zit’ there was instant relief of pressure and ‘Pop” followed by a steady stream of petit pois.

After 5 minutes of attendance I was sure that all remaining peas had been exhumed, I fitted the new bag and begrudgingly apologised to Little Simon

‘Sorry mate, I…. um.. didn’t mean to upset you’

We are best buddies again. 😎


Cycle 1 – Day 11 “The Singing Detective’


Cycle 2 Day 2 – ‘Im Dreaming of a White Christmas’


  1. Alison John

    Very funny. Obviously not funny for you but you manage to write a brilliant picture with your words. I won’t eat peas again without thinking of that story. I’m sure I’m not the only one that looks forward to your daily anecdotes and will buy the book when it’s published! Big hugs. Yellow Alison

  2. Steve Boot

    Simon, great to see you emerge from the first cycle in such good form. I concur with everything AJ said in her post. I can see that even for a veteran hand like yourself, every day is still a school day. Just make sure you don’t repeat this “faux pois” again. We are wishing for you the best possible “week off”. Steve and Marie xx

  3. Steve Boot

    Hi you two, we hope you are having a good week and we are sending our best wishes as you steel yourselves for cycle 2.
    We are thinking about you and we are here if there is anything we can do.
    Steve and Marie xx

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