Monsters – Breast Cancer Part 10

Print by Jan Irvine

‘Can I book you in for radiotherapy ?’

‘But I haven’t had my results yet, it’s on Friday?’

‘Oh, it’s just routine, just in case.’


I feel fine, I LOOK fine but who knows what’s lurking in there?

I saw it when I came back from the hospital after my operation. A small, black creature with a horny backbone and webbed wings. It was  shivering, wedged in-between the speakers on the book shelves in my bedroom. It looked at me over it’s hunched shoulder and used a skeletal finger to wipe the snot dripping from its nose. The ragged bandage, high on its right arm, was stained with fresh blood. When I was asked to draw my Dark Side on the Hoffmann Process, it looked just like that. Part of me that was sick, part of me that I had to leave behind.

When my husband was getting ill again during the long years of his cancer treatment, he told me knew it was happening because, when he closed his eyes, he saw a crazy, red, dancing figure. Our subconscious, our imaginations, our fears – play games with our hearts and perceptions

I feel fine but my cancer diagnosis, even the teeny-tiny, oh so insignificant one that I have had, sits like a pool of lead in my stomach.

‘Well, he went in for this and then they found that and had his leg off.’

‘They thought it was breast cancer but it was the black plague…’

Always the drama queen, always the over-exaggerator for comic effect, always wanting to be the centre of attention.

But my life is like someone has cleaned my windows, the world sparkles and I sit and stare. Colours are brighter, edges sharper, I’m waiting for Friday.




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