Mr Bump

During all my chemotherapy sessions, I have had the Cold Cap treatment. Each time a bandage gets wrapped around my forehead under the edge of the cap (to avoid frostbite), then all over the top of the Velcro helmet as well (to minimise bubbles and baldness). Then for good measure, a strap is fixed firmly under my chin. Having two nurses do this ‘head-wrapping and head-strapping’ is like putting on a disguise for a fancy dress party. Only without the party, thankfully.

But I realise it’s for my own good and I do appreciate all this effort. Because this aspect of going to the Day Unit is still tolerable, if I tell myself that it’s not so different from going to a really old-fashioned hairdresser’s. There’s a sort of bag on my head, plus a thick tube of air attached to the back of it. And I get to sit in a comfortable chair and read whilst my hair is being sorted for me. Plus everyone is so perfectly kind and lovely, offering me cups of tea and reassuring me that the results will be worth it. (No pain, no gain.) Even the ‘brain freeze’ is pretty short-lived and bearable. No worse than sitting on a fast train in the direct, icy blast of an open window for a few minutes. (You just need to remind yourself that the ‘window’ will eventually be closed.)

Recently I got a Get Well Soon card from someone and the picture on the front was Mr Bump. Odd choice – or maybe not. Basically, if Mr Bump had a face mask on and was actually wearing clothes from the waist down, then that might sum up my appearance during the Cold Cap treatment. It’s not an ideal look, to be honest. Until recently, I was not aware of that a Mr Men Fan Club exists. This made me feel suddenly hopeful for Mr Bump, especially as I have already been in the process of identify with this character for months. Also I was curious to find out how super fans would describe him and I assumed it might be in really generous, uplifting terms.

Well, this is the list of adjectives officially attributed to Mr Bump then: “Happy, clumsy, unlucky, accident-prone, long-suffering, haphazard, poor, disorganized, liable, legally-responsible, easy-targeted, abused, injured, klutzy, failing, jinxed, bumpy, weak, in-pain, gawky, daffy, overwhelmed.” What?! Seriously?! Twenty-two adjectives and only one (‘happy’) or two (maybe ‘legally-responsible’) were remotely encouraging! And those are words from people who presumably love Mr Bump most in the whole world! In that case, I guess it’s time for me to move on from Mr Bump associations then. He’s not a positive role model, sorry. Not yet, anyway. Mr Bump needs a new story to be written for him, I think. A story where he gets to take those bandages off forever. And finally put on some trousers and shoes too.

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