Letter from the North

Letter from Treliske Fri 27th October 2017

No, I’m not at The North. Yes, I am at Treliske (The Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro). This is just a short letter to explain my silence for the past two weeks and that changes are afoot.

On my way to work this morning I was on Long Rock roundabout and a Mercedes Sprinter, coming from my left, decided not to stop (not my fault).

Poor Blossom (my Landrover Defender) is a right-off. I wasn’t written off and whilst my injuries (broken collarbone and four broken ribs) are unpleasant and painful, they will heal.  All on the right hand side so I am reduced to doing everything with the left hand and dosed to the eyeballs with pain killers. They say collar bones and ribs hurt, we are way beyond hurt :-).

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your point of view, the X-rays they took for the broken bones revealed there was much more going on in my body. Subsequent CT scans and a biopsy indicate cancer in my kidney, lungs and elsewhere. No symptoms and without the accident we’d never have known there was a problem. I’m due at the oncology unit on 22nd November to hear how bad the news is and what, if anything, they can do. I’d love the idea of “they caught it early”, but that doesn’t seem to be the case as it’s spread about somewhat.

I suspect Treliske is going to be my new home but I hope I can make the odd return to the North.

These letters won’t stop and me being me, they will be open about everything that is happening to me, but their publication may be even more random than usual.

There is a MUCH longer version of this letter with a lot more detail, particularly about how hospitals deal with autistic, non binary gendered individuals, it has been and will continue to be, an interesting journey.

Some of what will follow in subsequent letters may well shock you, especial my reactions to what is happening to me. You’ll not get a better chance to understand just how different, as an autistic I process the world and especially emotion than sharing this journey with me.

This is is what it is and I will walk whatever road I find myself on, for as long as I am on it, until I run out of road.


The Bean, Treliske, Friday 27th October 2017


  • Hilary

    Hi David, so sorry to hear this, it sounds terrifying. I haven’t seen you for ages, but have been pleased to see Teresa at the folk club recently. I read your blog when she posts it on her Facebook page. I can’t think what to say – nothing seems comforting/helpful etc. enough in the face of such shocking news – but thanks for writing the blog. I wish these things had not happened to you. Love Hilary xxx

    • Bean

      Thank you Hilary. It is Teresa that carries the much greater burden of this, watching someone you love going through this is much harder than doing it. At least it has been so far and I expect it to stay that way. So, it is her that needs all the loving support going. I do what I can, but I’m not equipped with wiring that lets me do as much as I would like to, no matter how hard I try.

      I write these blogs because the day to day reality of life being wired the way I am is usually hidden behind closed doors, and as a result many people in my and Teresa’s situation feel isolated.

      I have already seen the hospital confused by how I dress and particularly how I respond to news like this, so I hope this new aspect to the letters will also help people not feel it’s just happening to them and that it IS good to talk (thank you BT 🙂 )

  • Joyce green

    Hi David,
    Words are hard for us all at times like this. Knowing how to react and the right thing to say is never easy , but I just wanted you to know that I will be thinking of you and following your progress. Although Phil and I have not seen much of you and Teresa recently we are very fond of you both and will try and help in any way we can, Please tell us .Sending love, Joyce xx

    • Bean

      Hi Joyce

      With me it’s easy, you can say (or not say) whatever you want. I won’t be hurt or upset either way. Being autistic has a number of disadvantages, but when faced with things like this it’s a good thing because autism separates my emotional reactions from my day to day experience. It means I can talk about this as easily as talking about having a cold. I do have very strong feelings, and I do burst into tears, but and it’s very important, you can meet me on the street or Facebook or anywhere else and it’s fine to say or ask whatever you want. If I am having a bad day and don’t want to say, I’ll say “I’m having a bad day and don’t want to say”. It really is that easy.

      The worst thing anyone can do with me is treat me as if anything has changed. That accident could have killed me, instead it meant we found out I had cancer sooner. I think that’s a good outcome as outcomes go 🙂

      You won’t have seen much of me of late, I have been trying to find out the right balance of being as social as I want to be and how difficult I find it being social on top of a full time job that starts with me leaving home at 6:15am and getting home at 4:45pm. I am usually in bed by 9:30pm!

      Oh, I almost forgot, thank you for your thoughts 🙂

      David, aka Bean

  • Denise

    Hi David…We have not seen you around for such a long time and often wondered how you and the lovely Teresa are getting on. Hope that the gang of cats are Ok.
    We are so shocked at the news of your accident but more so of the subsequent findings. Life likes to play it’s cruel jokes and sometimes I wonder about events in our life spans and destiny?
    I love your clarity and insight about what is going on and how down-to-earth you are about the problems people have dealing with your individuality_
    I hope you do not mind this missive from a comparative stranger but I have always admired you for being you and explaining how to be ourselves in this difficult world.
    I do hope that there is hope in the news you receive on the 22nd. Keep strong ….
    With fond regards and a virtual hug from both of us.

    • Bean

      Neither of you are strangers Denise, Teresa keeps me up to date with people in my life. I know I’m not around much, after working up country for so long, working full time down here has taken a lot of adjustment.

      Both of us hope for not appalling news on the 22nd, but prepare ourselves by expecting and accepting the worst and take it from there. One of my aunts had skin cancer, denied it, avoided treatment and it killed her. I (we) would rather stare the cancer in it’s face, it may still win, but it won’t win without a fight 🙂

      Thank you both for your thoughts, I am lucky, without the accident we would never have known as there were no symptoms and managing the pain from the collar bone and shoulders is such a full time job that it is quite distracting from the other thing!

      All the best

      David, aka Bean

  • Anthea Maybury

    Judith kindly updated me about your posts or I wouldn’t have known for ages more. Very choked by the news, not much comfort to offer but I am admiring your style and directness immensely. Straight from the shoulder stuff, metaphorically only right now! Massive good wishes to you both: another friend is having a triple bypass on the 22nd, so it is a day of much tension. Fingers etc. crossed hard!
    Love to both, Anthea

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