“Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.”

– William Shakespeare, King Lear

Okay, that’s it for the supremely apt (with the corrupted blood and all) highbrow culture…

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, lowbrow, down-to-earth, graphic bit…

I have a boil on my back.

Below are some photos as evidence.

I’ve mostly taken photos so I can actually see it…

As it’s on my back, I can’t see it directly without the use of a mirror.

So, now that I have these photos, I thought it only fair to share them with you.

I’m writing these sentences as individual paragraphs, so those of you who don’t wish to see them can choose not to look.

Close your eyes if you’re at all squeamish!

IMG_0941 IMG_0951 IMG_0954

Mon 18 March Wed 21 March Sat 23 March

Don’t worry, I don’t have three boils, just the one, gradually progressing over the past week or so.

Some years ago, one of the cats I lived with caught me with a claw on the side of my back, just above my waist. At the time, nothing in particular happened, except that I got a slightly raised, normal-skin-coloured, bump. In the intervening years, it has remained a slightly raised, normal-skin-coloured, bump. It didn’t hurt, it wasn’t infected, it didn’t grow or shrink and it certainly didn’t look as livid as these photos do; it was just there – a bit like a birthmark.

For some strange reason, last week, it began to hurt, turn red, hot and painful and grew larger. Annoyingly, it sits there all angry-looking, just above my waistline, so whether I’m wearing jeans or leggings or tights, it’s just in the wrong place. To be honest, actually anywhere would be the wrong place, but this is a very uncomfortable place.

Clearly it is now infected. I put it down to my compromised immune system. As I’ve mentioned previously, despite taking prophylactic antibiotics every day, I am still at risk of infections.

I was going to see the doctor on Monday anyway, so I showed this to her at the same time. She prescribed co-amoxyclav, which is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, often used for skin and soft tissue infections. Despite taking it for almost a week, so far, as you can see from today’s photo, it is definitely NOT shrinking. However, joy of joys, I am experiencing other effects from the drugs, in my gastric system and bowels. 😦

I fear another visit to my doctor is required and I fear she will want to lance it. Ouch!!!!

If anyone is interested, I just found this video of a boil being lanced. It is not too gory, but please don’t feel you need to watch it. I will not think that you are an uncaring, unsupportive person if you don’t watch it. I think you may be quite a sensible person if you don’t watch it. I almost wish I hadn’t watched it. But at least I know what to expect now.

Having said that, it’s much less appealing than the video I posted in a blog post about head shaving because I wanted to see what to expect. I’m re-posting this here in honour of two of my myeloma blog buddies who’ve both just gone through the big head shave. Hats off (or should I say ‘hair off’?) to you, Deborah and Emma Jane – not that you really had a choice in the matter. I hope you both find peace with your new look and enjoy the lovely soft new growth when it comes.

Having survived eight bone marrow biopsies, I reckon I can handle this lancing malarkey… maybe not quite a walk in the park, but I’m a big (in spirit if not in body), strong, sometimes brave, myeloma patient, so I guess I’ll just have to face it… repeating my friend’s comforting phrase… “It’s all going to be fine.”

Even though on my List for Living, I said I want to create a short film or video, I promise not to film this. I can hear the sighs of relief from here. 🙂

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19 Responses to “Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood.”

  1. MakingSpace says:

    Your last line made me laugh loudly enough that I bet you can hear it from where you are. I’m still laughing as I type this.

    On a less laugh-track-y note, I wish you rapid healing, and if it comes to lancing, may that process bring quick relief as well.


  2. Jet Black says:

    Thanks Amy! I so appreciate your appreciation of my humour. Making people laugh is such a great thing to be able to do. And thanks for the good wishes.


  3. Years ago I got an infected lymph node, right under my arm…. the lancing was a full-on surgical procedure as I had just had my tonsils out and apparently all my infection that used to go to my throat centralized there. I won’t go into the nasty details, but it was several weeks before I could proclaim myself infection free and could lift my arm up and down close to my ribs. Sometimes infections go to one spot to ‘get out’ and perhaps this is one of those situations… in any event, intending you are infection free soon and feeling more comfortable!


  4. Morag says:

    Ewww! It’ll only take a second!


  5. Marvin says:

    As I get older I’m increasingly conscious of my mortality, and the fact that I don’t/can’t control my genes, which are making their presence felt a little more each year. Given that and how it makes me feel sometimes I’m in awe of the way you are dealing with this. I will keep tracking you and my thoughts are with you.


    • Jet Black says:

      Thanks Marvin. I always feel a bit awkward when people say they admire how I’m dealing with this, as I don’t make a particular effort to behave in a certain way or do anything amazing. I just deal with it… probably the way I deal with everything else in life. But thanks anyway for your appreciative comments. Good to have you on board.


  6. Deborah says:

    Thank you Jet for the dedication. You did look amazing with your bald head. I am not sure the same could be said for me. When my sister saw me she said “Oh.my god you look so aggressive all you need is a tattoo on your neck” Hmm not a great compliment but with a bit of make up applied there was some improvement and it does feel more comfortable although a little cold.

    I don’t like the look of your boil you poor thing I hope that soon gets cleared up. It seems like one thing after another with this myeloma malarkey. I must admit I didn’t dare look at the video, I know I am a nurse but this is why I chose mental health as I am a little squeamish.

    Take care my myeloma friend and thank you for your online support and honest posts.

    Deborah x


    • I know hair loss is less challenging for guys, but… Mine has fallen out and grown back so many times of late. Right now I have a thin, wispy, patchy covering that desperately needs shaving. Sadly, my platelets are so low, I’m not allowed near a razor. Respect to you shaven headed ladies.


      • Jet Black says:

        Bugger those damn platelets. They spoil all sorts of fun. When I was on Velcade, my low platelet count meant I couldn’t fly anywhere for fear of DVT. Hope you too find peace with your wispy locks.


    • Jet Black says:

      Thank you too for your support. A tattoo… now there’s a thought. What do you reckon? Love and Hate above each ear? Or maybe like Helen Fawkes, a henna crown? 😇 LOL! x


  7. Ouch! How strange that such an old wound would open up in this way. Does put me in mind of those suffering from scurvy…when its advanced is causes old scars open up….cant imagine you are lacking in vit C though!


  8. What a beauty! I had one like that on the side of my face once. Had to draw it with hot water. I reckon I got about an egg cup full of puss out. It stank to high heaven, but I didn’t half feel better afterwards. I won’t watch the video. I’ve seen a video of an Australian vet lancing the abdomen of a chicken with yolk peritonitis. It wasn’t pretty, but the chicken looked very relieved. I hope you survive with your dignity intact. Pop!


  9. Joshua says:

    Well just curious of how you got rid of it? I have one right now that looks identical and the doc gave me antibiotics. Day 4 on them and no change.


    • Jet Black says:

      Hi Joshua. If you read on further, you’ll see another post, “Boiling down south”, which cintinues the story. The doctor lanced it as it didn’t really respond to the antibiotics. That may be what you need too. It hurt but it worked. Good luck!


  10. mvalikgpcu says:

    Muchas gracias. ?Como puedo iniciar sesion?


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