Had checkup with my consultant today and from what he saw on the camera and felt in my neck is of the opinion that the cancer has gone. Still need to confirm with scans next month so I’m not counting any poultry just yet. Even though this is good news it will take a little while to sink in. After the scans there are 6 weekly check ups until 18 months after the finish of treatment and if there’s no recurrence by then there’s very little chance of it’s return. So now it seems that my focus will be on recovering from the treatment, the consultant reiterated that the treatment I’ve had was very intensive and aggressive so recovery will take some time.
Kate has a big smile on her face and wants to do all she can to make sure I live ‘healthily’.
Right now I feel really drained. We hadn’t expected any sort of update on the state of the cancer so to be told it seemed to have gone came out of the blue. Means we won’t have another few weeks waiting for a result, scan results notwithstanding. On reflection I think I was quite nervous about going today, I certainly wasn’t looking forward to having the camera stuffed down my nasal cavity.
Certainly feels a little weird now, for the last 6 months my life has been put on hold and the cancer has taken centre stage. Now, suddenly, it would appear that it’s gone. This is good.
What is not so good is sex education in this country. Next to a rather frightening photo of paul nuttall, ukip’s deputy, he answers reader’s questions in the education section of the Grauniad. One of their education policies is to scrap sex and relationships education (SRE) for under-11s. nuttall and the ukippers simply demonstrate their ignorance, probably wilful to appeal to the ignorant, about what teachers are trying to teach children. There is another alternative article in today’s Grauniad online by Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett titled: “Sex education without porn is not sex education”, which has a rather different approach to the nuttall. the nuttall writes about how much young children are exposed to a whole range of sexualised imagery which he links with teenage pregnancy, not sure of the evidence for this, but when has that ever stopped a ukipper?
nuttall writes about children not being developmentally ready for much of the sexual imagery they are exposed to, this is probably true but to then simply not give them any apposite education to at least try and support them makes the situation worse. Cosslett writes about how ” young men and women have been telling researchers over the years: that porn is affecting their sexual relationships in myriad disturbing and distressing ways.”
I have been involved in SRE at various schools for many years and have despaired at how crap we are at teaching our children about relationships and sex, the same applies to many parents, and the cycle of ignorance continues and as a society we all suffer. I am still ashamed of showing a male student a video about masturbation; having special needs and learning difficulties he was having some fairly typical difficulties with masturbating. We discussed various ways we could help him and I came across a recommended video which involved a white coated female manipulating a young teenage boy sized wooden ‘puppet’ with wooden rods attached to the puppet’s arms. It was funny watching a wooden penis lift up as if erect but the whole thing was ridiculous and bizarre. Whilst I and another member of staff were showing him the video I stopped it half way through and apologised as best I could to the student. I could barely imagine what sense he was making of it, let alone apply anything to himself. I, and a few others, thought the best way would be to show a short clip of pornography with a solitary male maturbating but there was no way we would have tried without full support from parents, senior management and other agencies. It was a classic example of our crap SRE.
So, as Cosslett writes, the prospect of showing any pornography in British schools would “only catch on if the nation were to undergo a wholesale sexual shame transplant.” But our young folk need, and are probably wanting, to have ‘grown up’ and sensible lessons, debates or whatever about sex, sexuality, porn, sexism, exploitation, abuse and more. It need not be taught or led by the teachers in schools, too many would be too embarrassed, but by organisations like http://sexpression.org.uk/. To not do so could be construed as a safeguarding issue for our young folk. And if ukip get their way hello Victorian sexuality.
Many months ago now I wrote about how my cancer was sexually transmitted and at that time talking with my key nurse about how it then becomes embarrassing for many people, even doctors find it difficult to talk about with patients and others. Maybe its even more than a safeguarding issue to not do proper SRE, it can be a life and death issue. Well life is a sexually transmitted disease with a 100% mortality rate.
Not only was there the frightening photo of nuttall but also a large one of that smug klepto sorrell, both spoilt my reading.
- real, relevant and robust sex education for all our children ( maybe adults too).
Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.