Month: April 2020

2-Let the examinations begin…

It’s April Fool’s Day, but I’m not ready for any jokes this morning. Spent some of the past 24 hours googling all sorts of stuff relating to Throat cancer – and the most it taught me is to ignore 95% of what’s online!

I’m on time for my 11.00am appointment with the ENT doctor. He and his nurse apologise for being in full NHS protective equipment – complete with visors. They assure me it’s not because of me personally. The doctor has a very personable manner as he takes notes.

‘Now this isn’t as bad as it looks’ he says – holding a long thin flexible tube with a light on it. Oh really, says I who has a pain threshold of zero. And really it didn’t hurt as he fed the instrument up my nostril. Just needed to contain the feeling of sneezing!

Nasendoscopy Procedure
Image courtesy of Macmillan Cancer Support

The procedure is delightfully named Nasendoscopy and it really is quite painless. Actually it’s pretty cool to see up the inside of one’s nostril and all around the throat. Everything is seen on a full-colour monitor. All looked fine to me!

The doctor wasn’t so sure though. ‘There’s something on your tonsil bed that I don’t like the look of. You’ll need a CT scan and a Biopsy asap’, he says. We look at each other – I don’t want to say it and nor does he. But I need to know and ask the question that no one ever wants to ask.

Do I have cancer?

The doctor’s very professional – he won’t commit 100%, but he’s knowledgable enough – and we’re both grown up, for him to say that it’s likely, but of course lets be sure with some results.

I’m given an appointment for the following week for both the biopsy and CT scan. I decide that I discuss the possibility with Samros, my wife – but no one else until we’re sure.

Again there’s no hospital delay for me, even with the ever growing virus problem, so we wait a week without really discussing this in depth.

But one just gets that feeling…

3-Days of waiting

6th April 2020
It’s only a few minutes walk for me to the May Hill Unit at GRH. I’m there early (as ever) for my 7.30am appointment.

It’s Biopsy day and I’m in for a simple procedure to extract a piece of tonsil mass for analysis. It might be simple, but it’s carried out under a general anaesthetic. Maybe 30 minutes in the operating theatre, another 30 minutes in recovery area and then taken back to May Hill Unit to be cared for by the delightful staff.

Vital signs are monitored for pulse, oxygen level and blood pressure. I’m a but low on all, so they’re keeping me a few more hours until things pick up. At one point my pulse was 48 beats per minute.

‘That’s about the BPM as Linford Christie’, says nurse Vikki. ‘Yeah, we’re much the same’, says I.
That got a laugh – dunno why 😉

Horizontal selfie

I was much improved after a few cups of tea and biscuits and walked home mid-afternoon.

 

7th April 2020
I’m at GRH again, but this time for my scan. I’ve been booked for a full-body computerised tomography CT Scan (or CAT scan). It combines x-rays and computing power to create quite detailed images of the inside of one’s body.

The machine has the look of a huge doughnut and I lay on a sliding bed passing through it a few times, backwards and forwards, for around 15 minutes.

That’s it, no noise, no feeling and ready to go home.

Just got to wait for the results…