Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada - CCAC

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Neil Crone’s Journal

Neil Crone’s Journal

Neil Crone is an actor and writer and a national spokesperson for the CCAC. A Second City veteran improvisor, host and stand up comic, Neil also loves to write poems and stories for "big and little kids".

Neil has written a journal of his experience with colorectal cancer.

Handing in My ’Man Card’

I think I am dangerously close to having to hand in my ’Man Card’. I’ll admit that I’ve never exactly been the poster boy for testosterone. I don’t like fighting, I don’t drink hard and in all of my relationships, try as I might, I always had the feeling it was me who was being de-flowered. To top it all off I became an actor. Not exactly Papa Hemmingway.

But in spite of all that, I think I’ve managed to hang onto my maleness, if only tenuously. Lately though, with the advent of my adventures in Cancer-ville, I’m afraid I’m really treading on thin man-ice.

For starters I hug everybody now. I just do. Like the newly re-born Ebeneezer Scrooge I simply can’t help myself. If I liked you before, I love you now. Male friends of mine have started wearing extra layers of clothing as a buffer to my affections. But it won’t stop me.

I’ve also developed a fondness for bath crystals and long soaks in the tub. This might not be so offensive to the members of the Man Guild if there was a person of the opposite gender in said tub with me. But I assure you, I’m in there alone. I like it that way. It’s quiet, relaxing and it helps me sleep. Lately I’ve even started lighting candles. That, I know, is in direct contravention of Article 14 Subsection 12 of the Man Code, which specifically states that "no man shall light candles, perfumed or otherwise, in a room of bathing unless the aforementioned candles are to be used solely for either a) establishment and proof of a ’blue angel’ or b) the transparent but effective pandering to a female partner/spouse with the aim of getting lucky. The book is very clear on that.

I’ve also being doing Yoga for over a year now and I admit to knowing the lyrics to at least a couple of Barry Manilow songs by heart and when I get stressed, I don’t kick-box or work on my car, I bake. It’s true. If you happen to drop in some time and the house smells deliciously of cookies, chances are I’m having a bad day.

Anyway I know they’re onto me. I’m on their ’To be watched’ list. I’ve seen the non-descript black SUV parked near my house. I know it’s full of surveillance equipment and guys named Chuck who smoke Marlboros and make it a point not to sit too close to each other. I’m on the bubble. If I so much as set foot in a Body Shop or watch a Judy Garland movie they’re gonna bust my chops. I’ll be out. And I don’t want to be out. I like being a man. So far I think I’ve been able to buy myself a little time by watching some Steven Segal movies and swearing at the Leafs, but I don’t know if it’s going to be enough. And frankly, I’m tired of running.

Tired of buying my shampoo in a brown paper bag, tired of sending the kids to the store to pick up some incense sticks and a tub of Avocado facial scrub for the old man. Surely there have to be other men like me out there. If there are, we need to band together, to talk and share our feelings. We could meet at my place. I’ve just bought the most fantastic ginseng tea…Oh God.

next  Learning to Say No

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