Wake me up before you Go-Gojam!

by Anna Raccoon on April 5, 2014

 gollumGojam, the ever present, malodorous, spiteful, demanding, unreasonable, illogical, presence in my life, who had no other function in life than to spout bile, has been given his marching orders. From Tuesday afternoon he will be consigned to the dustbin.

He has been by my side for six months; demanding that my every waking moment – and his chief pleasure has been waking me at 3am and then again at 6am – is devoted to attending to his needs. I couldn’t walk out the door without thinking of him first – what might he need during my absence from home base? Food? Nappy change? I carried a bag of tricks to amuse him, cajole him, coax him into allowing me a few hours of freedom.

He left me dependant on others, but fearful of the germs they might harbour. Tired, dispirited – and permanently hungry, for Gojam resolutely refused all food except fish and rice – with a glass of water to go with it. I can count the days on which he grumpily agreed that I might eat an egg. I dreamt at night of asparagus, lettuce, onions, garlic, a steak, perhaps a leg of lamb – and I have never been that interested in food, but my dreams became techni-coloured visions of gloriously elaborate recipes.

When I brought him home from the hospital, they said that he was to be my companion for a month, maybe six weeks; the six weeks became six months. He’s been poked and prodded and admired by strangers on a weekly basis – they love nothing more than telling me to get my clothes off so that they can have a ‘proper look’ at the foul Gojam. They love him, he is everything they could ask of a bag of sh*t.

I loathed every inch of him, despised everything about him. He was a walking reminder that I had become a ‘victim’. A ‘victim’ of cancer. Something out of my control, that sheer bloody mindedness and determination could do nothing about. It’s a terrible place to be for someone with my personality!

But he’s going. He’s going because Madame Raccoon, after a week of tests and indignities, has been pronounced en rémission! I have never heard those words before. In two and a half years, all I have ever heard is ‘perhaps’, ‘maybe’, ‘too soon to tell’, ‘we’ll see’, but late last night, after my final appointment, they said the magical words. En rémission, Madame! – and asked me when I would care to see the back of Gojam. I said ‘tonight’.

The surgeon flicked through his diary (this is France, none of that nonsense about you’ll get an appointment in the post!) and apologised that he couldn’t fit me in until Tuesday…would that be acceptable?

So it is with great joy that I write this post today. I am so happy I could burst. Finally, finally, en rémission. Keep this up for five years and they will declare that the bloody Scanner is no longer part and parcel of my life. I can practise going out somewhere and not taking my clothes off as soon as I get there….

I want to thank you all, particularly, and specifically, those of you who take the time and the trouble to comment on my ramblings. You have no idea how important you have been to my struggle to get through this. I have never been interested in the ‘stats’, that record of how many have read a post, it is immaterial. It is those of you who comment who have made this blog into a virtual pub.

You have given me the opportunity to be more than a ‘patient’. You gave me the motivation to climb outside of real life, go in search of interesting things every day, learn more of the world. You have argued with me, corrected me, disagreed with me, encouraged me, supported me – which is more like real life than life as an indulged, pitied, vulnerable, cosseted ‘patient’ ever could be. I could never put into words how grateful I am. Neither could Mr G, as it happens, his life would have been even more of a waking Hell over the past two years had you not been there to distract me.

Before you take this opportunity to correct me one more time – I know! I’ve just gone in search of an image of the bald headed, fish eating, bile belching Gojam – and discovered that he was called Gollum actually, not Gojam.

Makes no difference now, whatever the eejit is called – he’s go-go-going.

Ms Raccoon is happy to announce that she will be off-line for the next ten days, whilst the Bergonie restore me to God’s original design, and fashion some of the missing bits out of God knows what – I’m not going to ask!

I have to stay there until I have learnt to do more than just talk out of my backside…

Be seeing you – Bionic Raccoon will return. It has all cost about six million as it happens – old Francs.

{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

Helga April 5, 2014 at 10:10 am

I never knew you had been so ill. You have kept us entertained and informed and lived with this too. Kudos! Please take your time in your recovery. We need you here well and chipper!!

Warm regards



plantman April 5, 2014 at 10:22 am

Good News – for you of course, but for the rest of us too. We need your help with the revolution.


Don Cox April 5, 2014 at 10:28 am

This is very good news.

Hope all goes well on Tuesday.

Your great virtue is honesty, and honest people are (and have always been) rather scarce.


Wendi April 5, 2014 at 10:32 am

Brilliant news Anna – my heartfelt congratulations!
This will be a hospital stay where you’ll be entering with a positive mind-frame, will likely take some time adjusting to everything “back in place” but so what – hey – you kicked the bastard to kingdom come – excellent job girl!


Moor Larkin April 5, 2014 at 10:34 am

The world is a better place when there is good news….
The world is an even better place when there are good people in it….
Félicitations!…. 🙂


Magwitch April 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

Fantastic news. “En rémission, Madame!” I bet it was like winning the lottery. I’m so pleased for you.

Of course, now it means you can come back to the UK without fear of those NHS numpty, job-worths refusing you replacement parts.

Good luck with the re-build.


Eddy April 5, 2014 at 10:51 am

The six million franc woman! A super-heroine fighting fighting for life, liberty and a delicious steak. Good luck Anna!


Anna Raccoon April 5, 2014 at 10:57 am

Steak first, if you don’t mind!


Anne April 5, 2014 at 11:01 am

Great news – best of luck!


Backwoodsman April 5, 2014 at 11:02 am

Congratulations Anna !!! So pleased for you, you had us all worried a while back. Well done the French medical system .


JohnM April 5, 2014 at 11:11 am

I have been following your trials and tribulations for a while.
When your site disappeared I feared the worst.
Your good news has brightened this day. May your good luck continue.


jonseer April 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Add me to these feelings please.
Well fought Anna, welcome back to happiness.


Alan Gillett April 5, 2014 at 11:23 am

Brilliant news! We will soon be making our usual Springtime trip to la Belle France and your good news will make it even more pleasurable than usual.
Well done for sticking it out, Mr G also.
Look forward to hearing from you later.


macheath April 5, 2014 at 11:39 am

Congratulations – fantastic news!

We’ll be raising a glass (or two) to your health in the Tavern tonight; I hope you and Mr G have a bottle of something special lined up for the Bergonie’s wine fridge.


Ed P April 5, 2014 at 11:39 am

I’m very pleased for you – great news.

(And, “I’m so happy I could burst” – perhaps wait until after Tuesday?)


Helen April 5, 2014 at 11:40 am

Congratulations to a truly inspirational lady. Now go and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. x


sukili April 5, 2014 at 11:45 am

Best news I’ve heard for a long time Anna! Enjoy a good victory feast – long overdue.


Wigner's Friend April 5, 2014 at 11:52 am

Congratulations. Tell the barman to put a glass of the finest on my tab when you return.


Margaret Jervis April 5, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Another miracle with or without the rabbit’s foot.
Thanks are all ours.
do hope Gojam isn’t superstitious…


Joe Public April 5, 2014 at 12:10 pm

It’s good to learn that this Blog has been a component conduit for the sheer bloody-minded tenacity of distributing facts about which you have unique experience.

Long may you & it continue.


Mike Spilligan April 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm

I’ve no doubt that your very obvious strength of character has helped to “pull you through”. I hope that you’re allowed a glass of cognac – or two.


Christine April 5, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Fantastic news. I hope your op goes fantastically well
Hurry back, we’ll miss you x


Robert Edwards April 5, 2014 at 12:46 pm

That is wonderful news; it has made my day! most of us can only have nightmares about what you must have been undergoing. Now, to plan a proper meal, for which you are at least in the right place…

Well done.


Clarissa April 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Great news, Madame! All the best for the reconstruction and your return to full health x


Daedalus X. Parrot April 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm

God news indeed. Well done Anna.

Are you going to have Gojam framed on your wall as a reminder of the torrents of unmentionable effluvia that is dumped on us by our great and good masters?


JuliaM April 5, 2014 at 1:13 pm

Brilliant news! 😀


Michael J. McFadden April 5, 2014 at 1:25 pm





Ellen Coulson April 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Great news Anna. Hope all goes well on Tuesday. xxx


Rightwinggit April 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm


(MASSIVE Fistpump..)


Hysteria April 5, 2014 at 1:58 pm



expofunction April 5, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Merveilleux, Madame. Vive la France, vive la vie!


the moon is a balloon April 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Well done, Madame. Bon chance!


Sackerson April 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm



Fat Steve April 5, 2014 at 2:37 pm

Best of News Anna ….Best of News


acoustic village April 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm

This is lovely news for the weekend. Congrats, Anna, and enjoy your freedom!!


johnny howson April 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Terrific………..may good fortune stroll with you, arm in arm, evermore

xxx JH


patently April 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Fantastic news, Anna. Delighted to hear that.


johnd2008 April 5, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Well done. I have secondhand experience of Gojams as my father had the misfortune to have one. Even though it is 51 years ago I remember the struggle with it.


wh00ps April 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Wonderful news! So pleased to hear it. I never comment (sorry) but I had to this time.


Tigerrose April 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm

Thanks for the thanks, Anna, but it’s we who thank you. Keep up the good work – can’t wait to read your next post, when you’re up to it. T xx


Margaret Jervis April 5, 2014 at 4:00 pm

In celebration of winners – raise a glass of Pineau de Raccoon! Fortified.


acuriousyellow April 5, 2014 at 4:15 pm

Great news Anna!!! here’s to a full recovery now


Carol42 April 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Absolutely delighted for you Anna, your great news made my day. I hope all goes well on Tuesday and that you will soon be home, enjoying life to the full with Mr. G and keeping us all informed and amused. Maybe Jim did fix it for you with his crufix after all !


Michael April 5, 2014 at 4:56 pm

That’s really great news, congratulations.


Woman on a Raft April 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Excellent news. Best wishes for a speedy recuperation.


John Bull April 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Merde alors! I could not be more pleased for you and your tribe. All the very best to you all.


right-writes April 5, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Excellent news Anna…

Watch out for the old constipation though!


Ho Hum April 5, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Ah, the love and loathing of the Ring…. and how the most Precious thing in life right now must be to lose it 🙂

Trust all goes well.


Pogo April 5, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Wonderful news Ms Raccoon…

From a regular reader but (very) infrequent poster!


The Jannie April 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Congratulations on your divorce. GoGo is definitely the kind of partner you can do without.


The Filthy Engineer April 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Marvelous news Ms Raccoon. I’ve followed your illness and only can admire your courage. I feel ashamed at at not posting some encouragement.

Especially after your inspirational comments when my son had his cancer. One day he would like to meet you to say thanks.

My warmest regards to you.


InLikeFlint April 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

That is tremendous news. Wishing you all the best.


Mudplugger April 5, 2014 at 7:20 pm

Just spent all day cutting down, then chopping up, a very mature and very gnarled mulberry tree, successfully avoiding the phone-line which meanders its way through a small forest – after a full day of chainsaw, bush-saw and secateurs, I needed a lift. Just got it.

I’d never accuse La Raccoon of being very mature and very gnarled, so she’s certainly not ready to be cut down yet. Here’s hoping we can all now be confident of enjoying her luscious, if a little tart, fruits for many seasons to come.

I just opened a bottle of tasty red to celebrate – next time the bar’s open, have one on me, Mr G, you deserve one too.


JimmyGiro April 5, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Splendid show.


nicola April 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm

Such good news. Bon chance Anna!


Richard April 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm

Great news about your health. Wish you the very best and look forward to your return. You’re brilliant.


Peter April 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Good luck Anna.

And thanks for a fine website.


david morris April 5, 2014 at 7:56 pm

So very pleased for you.

Kind regards


Mike April 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Can I go naval? Well I’m going to anyway, BRAVO ZULU exclam

I’ll leave you to look it up idc (more navy)



Dioclese April 5, 2014 at 8:55 pm



Michael Massey April 5, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Good for you. Onwards and upwards.


Jim Bates April 6, 2014 at 12:03 am

Congratulations and sheer delight from me too.

The support you feel you have received from all posters is as nothing compared to the support and inspiration you have given to others by your integrity, honesty and just downright cussedness. Long may you continue.

Now how many bags of pork scratchings will I need to last me for 10 days?


Johnny Monroe April 6, 2014 at 12:31 am

There is justice in this world after all – and not just for VICTIMS! And the relationship between we and thee has been mutually beneficial, believe me. You’ve been both Woodward and Bernstein to me this past year, Anna, and no doubt to everyone else making their little contributions to the cause. Pop a few corks for me. You’ve earned every bottle!


Stilyaqi April 6, 2014 at 2:01 am

Wonderful!! How rare it is these days to receive good news.


Tom Mein April 6, 2014 at 5:24 am

Looking forward to many more of your ramblings 🙂


Mark in Mayenne April 6, 2014 at 6:42 am



Peter Whale April 6, 2014 at 6:49 am

Bon chance,Bon courage, vous et tres formidable. Pardon the bad French but you know what I mean. Inspirational you are.


SagaxSenex April 6, 2014 at 7:33 am

Great big thumbs up for you! Don’t ignore the effect your posts, your tilting at windmills, your scurrility and general bloody mindedness (coupled with flashes of humane tenderness) has had on us lesser mortals. You go get fit now, and return in even better fighting form.


Mummylonglegs April 6, 2014 at 7:33 am

My Oh My. It’s a horrible, dreary, wet Sunday morning, here in England but that little bit of news just burst through like a ray of spring sunshine 🙂 I very rarely comment anywhere these days, all though my daily blog read still numbers in the hundreds. For bloggers past (myself), present, and future you are nothing short of an inspiration. I wish you the swiftest of recoveries. Much love to you and the ever stoic Mr G, and a note of thanks for somehow managing to battle this horrible disease whilst also finding the strength and time to keep blogging and fighting the good fight.



Learned Lefty April 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

Learned Lefties, EU-Fine Frogs, and O’ Barmy CARE – for People.

Fraud Market raving-Right Wrong-uns CARE – for Profit.



Ms Mildred April 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

You are well worth 6 million old francs Anna. I hope all goes well for you too. My sister in law got her version of Gojam too, a few short weeks ago. I pray she has as much go in her as you have, to repell this nasty visitation.


David April 6, 2014 at 10:34 am

Such good news.
Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery and return to full health.
Thinking of you and looking forward to your return home.


rabbitaway April 6, 2014 at 10:36 am

I guess your Angel trumped your demon – he/she usually does !


The Blocked Dwarf April 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

Thank the Lord!…and for once, just once, I’m not being blasphemous! *E-hugs your knee caps*

” apologised that he couldn’t fit me in until Tuesday…would that be acceptable?”

Yeah the Secretary of German’s Finest Professor For Gastroenterology couldn’t understand why her apology that the Herr Doktor couldn’t see me for a fortnight and ‘did I mind?’ put me in an hysterical fit of laughter – the sort of laughter that only someone reared in the ‘envy of the rest of the world’ health care system can laugh.


You must be Joe King April 6, 2014 at 10:58 am

What wonderful news, Madame. Step by by step, and we’re right behind you.


Gloria Smudd April 6, 2014 at 11:07 am

This really is the most fantastic news!

How do you fancy your first Full English fry-up chez nous when you are next over?


Anna Raccoon April 6, 2014 at 11:11 am

Fancy it? I’ve been dreaming about it!


Gloria Smudd April 6, 2014 at 11:24 am

Excellent! Just name the day!


Brian April 6, 2014 at 12:57 pm
Chris April 6, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Excellent news – and very karmic indeed. Here’s to some good times in these strange days!


delcatto April 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm

Wonderful news. For some reason I kept picturing Bejams!


Frankie April 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm

Anna… this is the BEST news! As I have said before (and will, no doubt, say again) ‘…Raccoons is tough buggers, Raccoons is.’

You have thanked us for supporting you through this but… this is a two way street Madame, as your ‘ramblings’ are a very important source of comment and information, so ‘the equities are equal’ – to misuse a phrase that you will no doubt be familiar with.

I wish you the very best of health and a glorious future and will go right now and celebrate, by way of a fresh cup of Tea!



Sylvia Thomson April 6, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Dear Anna. I am the shy one, lurking at the back listening entranced to the lively informed and intelligent conversation, but emboldened by this to say how much I admire your concern for truth over lazy myth and the clarity with which you write. And I loved the man cave. Come back soon and I will try not only to fight my way to the bar and buy you a drink but even join the conversation one day


Lilith April 6, 2014 at 6:39 pm

FANTASTIC news, Anna.


Andrew April 6, 2014 at 10:53 pm

First I read a post explaining that there is a profound difference between great happiness and joy – and then the good news here on this blog provides a real life example. I am happy for you – and also sad since I have read your wonderful and uplifting posts so often and commented so little.


Leg-iron April 7, 2014 at 1:52 am

Remission – wonderful news.

So you are going for the factory reset in ten days and will be back to normal. Welcome home.


Overthehill April 7, 2014 at 9:07 am

Wonderful news, Anna! Fortune favours the brave indeed.


WJohn April 7, 2014 at 9:16 am

A bit of good news in this sorry world.
I have been following your amusing and informative essays for a long time now (well a few years) and always have worried about the hiatuses. All power to your elbow – may it always have a full glass to lift.
By the way, ‘n’ that, what has happened to Gildas?
Lang may yer lum reek.


Anna Raccoon April 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

Gildas will be back – as will I – he’s been working very hard recently.


Robert the Biker April 7, 2014 at 9:46 am

Hi Mrs ‘R’, hope all goes well and you enjoy your new part 🙂


Jack Savage April 7, 2014 at 1:44 pm

God Bless and Congratulations!


DtP April 7, 2014 at 3:13 pm

Awesome stuff. Yippee with a capital YIP.


FrankS April 7, 2014 at 8:15 pm

My Gojam be Gonejam – best of luck!


Dave April 11, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Congratulations! I’m on holiday and away from the internet so only just got the news. I’m so pleased for you. Sort out the plumbing, have a break and get back soon!


David Mcarthur April 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm

I am the legal representative of the owner of “Needleblog.” I urge you to desist from maligning, by implication, my client; any further transgression(s) will have a legal consequence.
Just came across your blog; too soon to say but I am impressed so far.


Ho Hum April 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm

The work of a Temporary Bartender (Unpaid) is never done, it seems…Is the Wisdom of Solomon written into the ‘Essential Requirements’ section of the job description?



Margaret Jervis April 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Gojam wished Anna well on Twitter. So he’s not beyond a joke.


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