I found out, a week or so ago, that I have lung cancer, and also some problem with my liver.
This all started a few weeks ago when I was feeling unwell and made an appointment to see the doctor. I was a bit nervous about this as I have a tendency to try to ignore problems in the hope that they will go away. For example I have very shaky hands, something that has got worse over the last few years, and I worried about what the cause could be.
Anyway, I went to the appointment and the doctor reassured me that the shakiness was not due to Parkinson’s but was more connected with my ageing body, a ‘normal’ part of growing older. I left the surgery feeling somewhat more optimistic about my health.
A day or so later I had a phone call from my GP asking me to go in and see him. This I did and he carried out a number of tests – checking my weight, listening to my lungs, feeling around my abdomen for anything unusual. He then made an appointment at the RLI (Royal Lancaster Infirmary) for me to have a chest x-ray. I also had blood taken.
So I had blood taken (definitely less than an armful) and went off to the RLI for my chest x-ray. It turned out that I was anaemic, had some sort of inflammation in my abdomen and there was a suspicious patch on my upper right lung. The doctor explained that, as the x-ray was all in one plane, he wasn’t able to see if there other things going on in the lung and that he was going to arrange for a CT scan which would show up the different layers. He also prescribed antibiotics to get rid of any infection in the lung.
A few days later I had the scan, I had to lie on the table which then slid in and out of the ring, the machine telling me when to breathe in, when to hold my breath, and when to breath out. The whole thing took about 10 minutes.
This showed that there was definitely some cancerous cells in my lung as well as in my liver.
I’m a bit tired now but I’ll write a bit next about the emotional effects of this news on my family and how we are dealing with it. Actually, apart from having very little energy and spending most of my time in bed, I feel fairly positive and intend to deal with things as they come along, rather that spending my time worrying about what might happen.
But it is definitely a new reality.