The answer from a banana

I am currently reading a brilliant book – A Line Made By Walking, by Sara Baume.

In the book a young woman, Frankie, retreats to her (dead) grandmother’s bungalow to reflect on life and death, and a lot more besides. One of Frankie’s memories of her childhood is of her mother telling her she could ask a banana to answer a question. You slice the banana and the remaining stump has a pattern that could be a “Y” or some other character or perhaps just an indecipherable smudge.

Yesterday I saw my cancer surgeon and asked him about my future prospects. My observation is that doctors don’t like to bear bad news and they tend to emphasize the most positive perspective, even if it only has a small chance of being the outcome. My doctor was no exception to this rule. He didn’t want to talk about the dark possibilities of widespread metastases.

When I got home I decided to follow Frankie’s example and I asked a banana if my cancer was going to kill me. Here’s what it said:


I ate the banana before it had a chance to shed any more light on my future. It was good.


About oldblack

ageing and decaying, misanthropic,
This entry was posted in books, death, depression, emotions, health, observations, pessimism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The answer from a banana

  1. Anonymous says:

    Have I missed something?! Have you got widespread metasteses??

    • oldblack says:

      Answer: Maybe. At this point you might as well ask a banana. But I reckon the answer is yes. I have had a blood test just recently which showed a small positive PSA value (should be zero). There are a number of possible explanations, of which distant metastases is the most likely. However the doctor says there’s no useful intervention now, and we re-do the PSA test in June. If it shows a significant increase, then I’m off to the oncologist. Life is never smooth & predictable, is it?

      • Anonymous says:

        Sheesh, I think I’d rather hear something like “You’ve got six months left” than “Well maybe we’ll know more in three months, in the meantime, enjoy yourself!” Otherwise, how are you feeilng (physically)?

  2. oldblack says:

    You’re right, this situation is not much fun. I’m physically OK right now, but I have strong suspicions that I won’t make it to the three-month mark that way. . . that I will develop convincing symptoms of the condition which will might bring the 3-month test forward leading to a somewhat more definitive evaluation of the extent of the spread of the cancer (but I think it’s probably hard to evaluate this very precisely).

  3. Pingback: Prophesy fulfilled? | darkness overcomes you . . .

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