Flu jab

Posted January 7th, 2009 by Jane

I should have had it in October but what with my operation, and the taxol and the weariness I never got round to it. Prompted by the flurry of colds and flu which everyone I know seemed to have succumbed to over Xmas I took myself off to my local Sainsburys yesterday. My GP’s surgery has run out, so rather than taking advantage of a free vaccine being in an ‘at risk group’, I pays my £12.50 at Sainsburys..the sign of things to come in health prevention strategy?

There is a form to be filled and it takes me longer than usual, what with pondering on their list of drugs which are to be avoided with flu vaccine and reflecting on my own long (but different) list. A tickbox requires me to say that I am in good health. “Shall I? ” I ask the nice man pharmacist, ”put here that I’m on chemotherapy for advanced breast cancer?” Man looks shocked…not because he doesn’t know the answer but because my cheery declaration may require him to respond…to talk about cancer. ’”Yes put it down….pause…are you beating it OK then.?” I grin: “No well actually no I’m not. Its a recurrence and its incurable.” I grin again.

“Ah, but you can always beat it!” I grin for the third time and proffer my arm. Injection done. I roll down my jumper, put coat on. “Well you can beat it, I know you can..” I’m in a good mood so I simply grin again and mutter something about crossed fingers. PamelaP wrote in response to something I’ve written that the language of cancer is irrepairedly warped and damaged. And so it is. Often it is impossible to have ordinary truthful conversation about cancer…always always somebody else’s language of battles and positive thinking and fighting and beating ‘it’ gets in the way.