Thursday, 1 November 2018

The smell of the Bug of Death

I have acquired a noticeable odour, that follows me like a sick fog. I noticed it a while ago, but now Ann has commented on it as well. Ann is a great researcher, so found that there really is a pungent chemical marker in cancer – a polyamide – and dogs can be trained to detect it. I am starting to spray regularly with an aftershave, and even spray rooms I have been in, but it makes me self-conscious. When the children come round, or I go to face-to-face meetings in London, I try not to stand too closely to the others, or breath over them. I am certainly much weaker and more tired now than even a few months ago. This is the smell of death and despair, of darkness and despondency.

Logo of the British Uro-oncology Group
Next week I meet the oncologists to determine the next step in this journey, an assessment of my suitability and fitness for chemotherapy. Dr Martin is a respected oncologist, on the Executive Committee of the British Uro-oncology Group, or BUG. Their logo is like something out of a science fiction horror movie. Clearly some wit with an unsympathetic sense of humour has added legs to the cancerous bladder/prostate image – but only six legs, so it is an insect not a spider – and looks more like an infestation than a treatment option. On reflection, perhaps it is appropriate. After all, bugs are undesirable things, in people or computers, and this disease and its treatments are certainly undesirable – like the very worst of all bugs.


Is cancer odour common? Please add your experience…