I’ll make this a quick post. I’ll write more later.
I was due to see my specialist at 4.30pm. However, I got a call from the hospital at about 12.15 asking if I could come in earlier. What time? Could I be there by 1.30?
I packed up and got on the train, full of trepidation. I figured getting an early call like this wouldn’t be good news. I sat on the train trying to listen to music, my mind full of possibilities. I just wanted to know.
I walked into the hospital a few minutes before 1.30. I then sat for nearly 90 minutes, waiting for them to call me in. It was the same Doc as last week. On the screen of her computer was an MRI image of my skull from above. She pointed to a big white patch, saying this was the problem – but they still didn’t know exactly what it was.
This was frustrating, though clearly, it was something of concern to them. I asked what could be done. She said they would need to take a biopsy of it. Can we do that now? I asked.
The issue was that I’m on blood-thinners, and I need to be off them for a little while before they can safely cut me. The good news is that she had warned me of that last week, and I’d stopped taking the tablets then. That meant the biopsy could be done straight away.
Long story short, I was ushered into a procedure room. Swabs soaked in cocaine solution were stuffed up my nose to numb the tissue. I was left for about 10 minutes, and then about half a dozen people crowded in, half as observers.
I’m sitting there in the middle of them. There’s only ever one way I’m going to conduct myself in those circumstances. Bit silly, really, and very old fashioned, but the stiff upper lip is very much in play – with a bit of laconic Aussie humour. They asked how I was, and, with a smile, I answered I’d been better. Is it okay if people watch? The more, the merrier!
No matter what I feel inside, I’m going to be strong on the outside. Dignity counts. Later, when they told me not to worry too much, I waved them off – there’s nothing I can do about it, I’ll deal with it.
But back to the biopsy, which wasn’t nearly as unpleasant as I feared. The doctor doing it was very professional. At the end of it, I asked a few pointed questions.
I said the word no one had uttered – Cancer. The worst case scenario was that, right? He agreed. The best case scenario is that it’s something benign.
If it’s benign, I’ll probably be right by the end of the month after surgery. If it’s cancer, then I’ll still need surgery, but all bets are off otherwise.
He said it could be one of dozens of different things. They were in a hurry because the growth had been so aggressive, but it could be problem solved once they removed it.
I’m back there again 2 o’clock on Wednesday. The results of the biopsy should be available from about Monday.
It seems to me that every time I see the specialist, the odds narrow a little more for me. I didn’t ask them – it wouldn’t be fair – but my gut feel is that it’s now a 50/50 proposition. I suspect they think it is Cancer.
It’s a strange and frustrating position to be in. Definitely the not knowing is the worst. But it’s strange all round.
I probably shouldn’t have, but I went over to the Cheeses when I got home and shared a bottle of red with Cheeseboy. I needed friendly faces around me. I needed to open up.