Good morning welcome to Friday the 23rd of October. I am not sure if the butterflies in my stomach are due to the fact that I haven’t had my porridge, or because I have had to starve myself for the PET scan. Or I am just bloody nervous about it. Anyway the day has finally arrived and here I am waiting. I suppose one thing that this cancer has taught me is that you just need to learn to get good at waiting for things to happen and this is just another step. Everything is a circle because I now realise that I am parked in the very same spot that I parked in nearly five months ago when I got my first diagnosis. I now look at how my life has changed since that day and I don’t mean the meaningless stuff. I mean the ripple effects that this cancer has caused all around me. The impact that it’s had on my family and on me, some would you believe positive. I think that this chapter will wait a while longer as to attempt to write it now may be a bit premature and as the weeks go on it will change anyway……
Ok I am now radioactive, so please small children and pregnant women need to avoid me like the plague, for at least two hours anyway. Plus I am now seriously hungry. At this stage I would have had a huge bowl of porridge and seeds plus a banana and perhaps a slice of toast and a coffee or two. After all the times I have had a face to face with NHS people I am still amazed and blown away with just how professional and understanding they actually are.
So one week on and no results. Radiology did not get the chance to review my scan and to load it on the system. Feeling deflated to say the least but, nothing can be done about this so no point in getting annoyed as it’s no one’s fault and we just need to wait until Wednesday the 4th of November for an update.
In the meantime life continues to take some strange turns. Here I am now it’s 18.29 on Monday the 2nd of November. I am in A&E at the Royal Berkshire hospital. I haven’t collapsed or had a heart attack or anything so dramatic (been there done that) but I have turned into the chap from the singing detective. My skin would make a very large scaled snake proud. I had a chat with my lymphoma specialist nurse which you should do if you are out of sorts and let’s be honest having the skin texture of a large snake kind of ticks that box. So I have had to have bloods taken again and now I wait to see what delight my inners have served up this time.
So cancer teaches you not only patience but also that everyday has the ability to throw up some other hidden delight. I suppose that’s what makes every cancer patients experience so different and unique, and why no one person’s treatment path will be the same as the next. It also teaches you that to get through this you need to listen to the signals your body gives out and to act on them.
So all that’s left right now is to wait for my bloods to come back and then see what if anything they show. Shit happens and I suppose it’s a case of never a dull moment with mr Hodgkin’s and his merry band of rogue cells.
The bloods came back and all is well, no infections so that’s it I go home it’s now 22:00 and tomorrow I wait for an appointment with a dermatologist
Today is Wednesday the 4th. As the A&E doctor said they are very good at what they do, which is accident and emergency none of which I am.
I am in Henley where I have just finished an appointment with a dermatologist. Because they cannot figure out what’s wrong with my skin I have been bumped up the line and joy of joy I am having a biopsy. Funnily the thought of a biopsy doesn’t even make my blood pressure rise. I guess that’s simply because after the last few medical months something as small as a skin biopsy reminds me of the knights scene from monty python and it’s only a flesh wound. Incidentally I still have no results on my PET scan.
That’s the only thing that is causing me anxiety. I can honestly say that today is the first day since my initial diagnosis that my well of positive thoughts has actually gone dry. I do feel like screaming which is not advisable in the reception area of a small regional hospital and would probably lead to me being tasered by the local constabulary. More to follow as I get it. I do need to say I thank my lucky stars for the NHS, we are in the middle of a pandemic and I still got an appointment with a dermatologist in less than 48 hours that is unheard of anywhere else in the world with paying through the nose for it.
So late Wednesday afternoon Happy days I got my results.
The mass has been reduced. All that showed on the scan was a little glimmer of light which means that my unwanted friend is basically dead and gone but to make sure I am going to get a few shots of radiotherapy. This I can deal with.
I honestly feel like the luckiest man in the world and perhaps in the future I will expand on this more. But for tonight I am going to sign off but before I do I want to thank Rachel for getting me through this crap. I will never be able to thank our NHS enough for what they have done for me and all the individual NHS teams who through their love, care and professionalism have gotten me to where I am today.
Also a thank you to Dom and all the team at the BDC, who have supported me through this. To anyone who has ever read one of these blogs I hope they have helped. Our local friends who have supported us. I will leave my mind settle and as I start my radiotherapy I shall report back. Take care and stay safe and look out for each other and for anyone U.K. based, please think about our NHS the next time a politician talks about changing it.