The torturing of Joss – “just to be sure”

Joss is one of my neighbours. A friendly man with a good sense of humour.

He retired young and all was fine for him until he received a bizarre mail from a government health agency.

The envelope he received (I know, because I received one too) contained a bag and precise instructions. In a nutshell he was invited to send (free of charge) a fresh sample of his pooh to the agency’s lab. They would analyse it to see if his intestines were all right, i.e. free of colon cancer.

Thank goodness, he threw away the lot.

But “they” are persistent.images  Symbol of Medicine

Some time later he received a second envelope, with a more insistent message. Somehow he got worried and followed the suggested procedure. You never know, he thought.

Indeed, you don’t.

And guess what, they found suspicious “polyps” in his intestines. So he’d better come round to the university hospital to see to that. Through a non surgical (but nevertheless pretty intrusive) procedure they managed to remove some of these polyps.

Some, but not all.

So he had to have surgery. Again he followed the suggestion, and ended up with 30 cm of his intestines removed. Mind you, he recovered well from the operation and was riding his bike soon afterwards.

But “they” don’t let you off the hook so easily.

What if these polyps were cancerous?

They recommended six month chemo-therapy, “just to be sure”.

He had no choice, he thought. Doctors know about these things better than him. So he started the chemo over a month ago.

We see much less of him in the street these days.

I met his wife this afternoon. She put on a brave face. He’s not feeling too bad yet, she said. He gets the treatment once a fortnight, and he’s better the second week, when the effects diminish. But, she added, they‘ve warned that he would feel worse as the treatment goes on.

Three months ago, Joss felt on top of the world, had no complaint, no symptom.

He hadn’t received the second envelope.

But “they” had  him on their radar screen.

Fear not, trust your inner voice.

Love,

Leo

Copyright © Leo Foresta 2014

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