One of the standard works for secondary school students in my time was the Dutch book ‘Kees de Jongen’ written by Theo Thijssen1. I have vivid memories of Kees strolling through the streets with his self-developed Swimming Pool Pass-walk, hoping that everyone would see what a special boy he really was. Although I do not share that last hope, I can talk about a self-developed walk. As a result of the Dexamethasone, my walking could most adequately be described as ‘walking through soft snow with cold, numb feet’. I have to watch where I put my feet and keep lifting them consciously. Because this is not always accompanied by a neat straight line and I sometimes seem to wobble a bit, a good friend, who like me is a Citrophil (a Citroën-car enthusiast), soon christened it the much nicer sounding ‘2CV-walk’.

I get by with it, because although the cancer is in my head, it currently seems to be the body part that cooperates best and comes up with creative solutions every day. As a result of the required Dexamethasone (not the cancer), the rest clearly require a different control than I was used to. Sometimes it takes some getting used to, for instance although I no longer feel my buttocks (I do feel my knees), thanks to the same brain I can still cycle just fine. Although my brain suddenly finds it very important to keep a good distance from other road users. Rightly so.

While I compliment my brain for its adaptability and ingenuity, it’s already having to come up with solutions for the next challenge the Dexamethasone presents. My fingers are now getting stiffer and sometimes cramp. I find that disturbing because I’m quite hands-on. The functionality of my hands is worth a lot to me, for the pleasure of making music, of course, and certainly also for being able to type. It remains to be seen how this will develop.

1) The book ‘Kees de Jongen’ appeared in 1923. I probably read it when I was thirteen, in 1984. In 2022, almost a century later, not only his Swimming Pool Pass-walk is vivid memory in my mind, but it has become a well known name in Dutch literature, and we even have had a Dutch Swimming Pool Pass Championship. In short, I admit: Kees was just right. Perhaps some readers of this blog will be standing on the sidelines in a few decades, encouraging the 2cv-walk champions…