Four years ago I did an interview with a local newspaper about my experience of cervical cancer. At the time I was recently engaged to the Funny Boy and the resulting article was titled:
’I BEAT CANCER TO MARRY WORLD’S BEST HUSBAND’
The Funny Boy cherished the article with pride and even printed a copy for every table at our wedding breakfast. Me? I found it quite entertaining. I don’t recall saying those exact words. Don’t get me wrong – he had proved to be a very loyal, patient and loving boyfriend – but world’s best? It was over-zealous and a title that needed proving.
So what behaviours? What gestures? What exactly is it that justifies the title of WORLD’S BEST HUSBAND? Surprise flowers? Last-minute romantic trips away? Taking me to my favourite restaurant? These are probably the answers I would have provided once upon a time but the reality is a very differently picture.
Allow me to provide you with some insight and please accept my apologies in advance – the following is not for the faint of heart!
A Lady in Distress
When going through cancer treatment my pelvis was subjected to aggressive chemo and radiation. The result of which made for some very badly behaved bowels. Bare in mind that the Funny Boy and I, at that point, had only known each other for 6 months and had not yet graduated from the ‘FART FREE ZONE’. Negotiating diarrhoea and constipation I found myself waddling around our flat with a rotund tummy full of trapped wind! Imagine Violet Beauregard and you’re not far wrong. Desperate to retain my feminine mystique I would excuse myself frequently and use a range of scented candles to mask my relief. The Funny Boy quickly understood what was going on. Opposed to simply ignoring the situation he decided to take matters into his own hands…
On day as I lay on the sofa armed with my hot water bottle and glass full of laxative he approached my spherical stomach. Like an expectant father talking to his unborn child, he began stroking my belly. ‘Out you come little one’ he whispered ‘time to let go!’
Mortified, yet desperate to cooperate with his coaxing I couldn’t bring myself to ‘let rip’. The Funny Boy then looked at me and said ‘Perhaps it will help if I go first…’
He stood up tall (all 5 foot 6 of him) took a deep breath and lifted his left leg off the ground. A loud rumble rippled through the room. It sounded like the horn of an Eddie Stobbart Lorry! Upon returning his foot to the floor the Funny Boy knelt next to the sofa and looked lovingly in to my eyes: ‘Your turn’ he insisted.
Now, this may not sound romantic but in actual fact – his ‘breaking of the ice’ was exactly what I needed. He could see I was in distress and did what needed to be done!
Non-Conventional Knight in Shining Armour
Over the years the Funny Boy has continued to prove himself as a non-conventional knight in shining armour. Countless appointments, the odd trips to AnE, even sitting outside our ensuite playing my favourite music as I prepare for Colongraphy, Colonoscopy or whatever procedure requires my bowels to be emptied. As a couple we have spent more than our fair share between the loo and NHS facilities!
Our most recent stay in hospital allowed the Funny Boy and I to reach a new level in our relationship. Thankfully, he managed to leave without stitches this time but he did have a nasty experience I am sure we would both rather forget…
The doctor suggested I have a Sigmoidoscopy. This is a so called minimally invasive procedure where a camera is used to examine the large intestine via the rectum. Basically a very thin and flexible camera goes up your butt hole. Did I say cancer was a glamorous game?!
In order for this to be done the bowels need to be clear and to help prepare the nurse provided an enema. For those of you who aren’t familiar – an enema is a simple injection of fluid into the lower bowel. Usually used to relieve constipation or in my case to evacuate the bowel for examination.
The nurse advised I could do the enema myself if I prefered. Having been in hospital for four days with various tests which echoed all major vowel noises ‘oooooh, eeeeeeeee, aaaaaa’ – I gladly accepted the offer of DIY!
This is the point where you assume the Funny Boy would make himself scarce. Nobody, least of all me, would judge him for vacating himself from the situation. But this is where he earns himself the title.
‘I’ll stay’ he offers ‘just in case…’
So here we are in a private room. The Funny Boy politely staring out the window (opposite direction of me) whilst I lie on my side and follow the ‘how to’ guide on putting the enema to work. Cue more extended vowel sounds and it appears to be working.
As previously highlighted this was my fourth day in hospital. I was tired, weak and still experiencing pain in my abdomen. I found myself struggling to empty the full bottle of liquid which was a basic requirement for the procedure. I changed grips, swapped hands, altered position – but nothing was working. As I moaned and groaned to the Funny Boy, whilst simultaneously threatening him about what I would do if he dare turn around – he maintained his cool, composed demeanour!
Once again, the Funny Boy decided to take matters into his own hands…
As I writhed and wriggled the Funny Boy approached the bed and in a seamless movement took hold of the bottle. With one final squeeze he managed to successfully empty it of its contents. The intended impact ensued and once again I found myself back on the loo.
I should have felt horrified, embarrassed, humiliated even, but once again the Funny Boy did exactly what needed to be done! The sense of relief overpowered any feeling of shame! My threats were unrealised and the only emotion I felt for him was in fact gratitude! He once again came to my rescue.
So, to answer my original question: What exactly is it that justifies the title of WORLD’S BEST HUSBAND?
Fancy Flowers? Fine Dining? Anyone can do that! But finding a man who is prepared to put up with all the crap I throw at him (quite literally) and still make me feel loved – well I’d say that definitely makes him worthy of the title.
It would be remiss of me to exclude a couple of other gestures the Funny Boy has done over the years. He proposed in spectacular fashion via a home made movie screening at our favourite cinema. He also earned major brownie points for bringing Parsnip into our family – literally the best birthday gift I could ever dream of having! So yes, I think that article was merely a premonition because to me he is the WORLD’S BEST but in turn that makes me the luckiest!