The second thing I did after discovering I had metastasis in my liver [the first thing I did was assume I was a goner] was attempt to send positive vibes to it. You know, ruminate in a cod-spiritual manner, imagining positivity beaming into the large-lobed glandular organ, healing it with cheery vibrations, or something along those lines. Or at least I was going to try and send positive vibes to it, until I realised I didn't know where the fuck it was. In the back? At the side? I know it's not in my legs. The liver is the Kazakhstan of internal organs, a huge landmass that you never really think about and have little idea where it is geographically, but once you consider it, you realise there's probably plenty of stuff going on there that you don't know about. Mine might have an amazing band in there playing Bedouin drone rock, you never know. I'm not really very hot on this stuff, you can probably tell. I asked my partner Claire the other day why they call it a "livery section", which sounds a bit vague for my liking. "You mean a liver resection?" she replied. If the Two Ronnies were still around then there'd be a sketch in that.
To be honest, I don't want to know anything about the procedure if I can help it. It's my highly effective way of dealing with it. Keep your statistics, unless they're going to make me feel upbeat, but do tell me things I might like to hear, like about derring-do warbler Bruce Dickinson singing all 92 minutes of Iron Maiden's excellent The Book of Souls in discomfort and then getting himself checked out, zapping the tumour with radiotherapy, and now getting ready to fly Ed Force One around the world again, the tenacious sod. Or how about my old workmate at Playlouder, Melissa Fehr, becoming a world record holding transplant athlete after competing at the World Transplant Games in Argentina last week. Go Melissa! She had her bone marrow transplanted which sounds really involved; I'm just having part of my liver sliced out, which means I get another cool scar. My torso is beginning to resemble the Helmand Province, but you won't catch me grumbling too loudly, or at all if I can help it.
I realised recently that the French medical staff at the Pitié-Salpêtrière have become my higher power in many ways. I don't pray to them, though I do inwardly implore them to do a decent job. I have trust that my surgeon will do the business for me with the resection, and the nurses will pump me with enough drugs that I won't feel it too badly when it's done. Dr Siksik has a good firm handshake, which is important for instilling confidence I think. According to the Serenity Prayer - which I usually say without uttering the word God (though sometimes I do say it) - this is something I have to accept I cannot change myself, and the courage merely involves me turning up. The rest is out of my hands and in the hands of experts, though that doesn't make it any less frightening the nearer it approaches. I'm booked in for next week, and we're off to Dublin this weekend to have fun and maybe take our minds off it a bit. I've been to Dublin twice before though I only ever really saw the inside of a pub. This time we'll get some fresh air and I'm sure we'll appreciate every moment.