I awoke with Heeby-Jeebies, and went for a gym-and-a-swim session to work it off. It is strange seeing the mark on my tummy indicating the site of my stoma to be. I got on the exercise bike and peddled fast.
Then I sat in the steam room and tried to use my head.
I have a comforting image that the Hypnotherapist has activated in my mind. I am a child, and it is early morning; about 5.30 am or something. It is a summer morning but the air is cold and stings my nose. I am with my Dad, and we are going to milk the cows. I am sitting on the mudguard of the tractor (never be allowed now) and we are chugging through the fields. The grass is fresh and green and Mary, a sleek black Labrador, runs along side the tractor. A pigeon flies over head and Dad makes his fingers into a pistol and pretends to be a cowboy shooting it out of the sky.
The image changes and he is standing next to me, he's wearing the green coat that I now have. He is my guide and will keep me safe in the dark. He tells me why it will be better after the operation:
"Well, at least you won't be goose-stepping to the loo every couple of hours, and you'll never get the big C up your B; you'll be able to eat any damned thing you want, and best of all you'll never have to have a camera up your backside again. So hold my hand - I'll come with you."
I hold his leathered and weathered hand which is rough with wear.
And it helps the Heeby-Jeebies subside.