Karma’s Perversity

Monday 14th May – There’s an old adage that ‘No good deed goes unpunished’. Yesterday afternoon it was a folklore teaching I was rudely reminded of by my ‘good’ buddy karma, in cahoots with his rancid sidekick cancer.

Following undertaking five hours voluntary work for MacMillan Cancer Support, I returned home to witness the ‘reward’ for my magnanimousness a sight of my spouse in severe pain from her long standing tumours.

The extent of her discomfort rendering over the counter medicine impotent. Subsequently, we both currently reside in a Leeds hospital’s oncological assessment room. Here Karen’s undergoing a series of tests in an attempt to locate the source of her malaise. Along with receipt of much needed pain management.

Recently my missus was subject to a raft of questions about her medical history. On completion of these personal enquiries, I made a misguided attempt to cheer her up by commenting “Blimey, this is the worst pub quiz we’ve ever been to, Karen!”

Initially, my diminutive wife laughed. However, I then foolishly added “Never mind….. At you got all the answers right for once!” rendering my attempt at cajoling the pained Durham lass dead in the water.


As I write this element of the narrative, I’m sitting next to Karen who’s laid resting on an assessment bed. She anxiously awaits her test results, along with details of her prize for winning the pub quiz – I haven’t the heart to inform the wee lass she’s unlikely to receive her coveted reward of vouchers for Zam Zam’s kebab shop.

Some may opine making light of the family’s current plight is unforgiveable. However, I do so with the blessing of my wife, who fully understands there’s a place for dark humour in these challenging scenarios. Consequently, she herself can often be heard laughing at whimsical offerings from medical staff during numerous visits to this hospital wing.

I suppose it’s Karen and me thumbing our nose at karma’s perversity, in addition to the carcinomas that have blighted our lives for seven and a half years.

As they can’t be evicted from their unwanted tenancy in Karen’s anatomy, the tumours will eventually prevail. Squatter’s rights allowing the indiscriminate disease residency until they’ve completed their dark and evil objective.

Indestructibility of my spouse’s odious nemesis allowing it to sneer at Karen and her distressed family. Unapologetically bestowing great pain physically upon the girl I married 30 years ago; along with enduring emotional suffering for the whole brood.

A wheelchair wielding porter has just moved the wee Geordie lass from the assessment ward where I remain in situ. I’m told the plan of action is for her to undergo a scan. I’m assuming it’s a computerised tomography (CT) scan and not a M&S Food checkout scan of her recently inked barcode tattoo.

Intrigued as I am as to learn if the tattoo returns as a product on M&S’ consumables database, fundamentally the root cause of Karen’s pain won’t be identified by that form of scan.

It’s 11.42am and as Karen has recently returned from a scan, I’m going to conclude this narrative to engage in conversation with Mrs S. Before I go, Karen has just given me the result of her scan……. Apparently she was a 2kg bag of Maris Piper potatoes, at a cost of £1.99.

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