Thanks for all the Messages of Support
It was quite touching to read all the positive messages in response to my previous post, both on my blog and on Facebook. They made me feel warmly cared for. I’m writing this here as I don’t think I would have the energy to reply individually to everyone. Thank you to everyone.
What I hadn’t realised, until today, was that there isn’t a definitive diagnosis of cancer until a biopsy has been done.
A week ago today was my appointment to have a camera passed down my windpipe into my lung to get a closeup of the tumour; at the same time a swab would be taken to enable the biopsy.
I was taken into a room in Endoscopy where there were, as far as I could tell, two consultants and several nurses, plus a few thousand pounds worth of sophisticated electronic equipment. A nurse carefully explained what was going to happen then one of the consultants inserted a needle into the back of my hand, taped it in place, and injected me with a sedative. I didn’t feel any drowsiness or loss of consciousness but, looking back, after having some sort of anaesthetic sprayed into the back of my throat and a sort of gag fastened in my mouth, all I can remember about the following hour (I think they said that’s how long it took), is every so often feeling I was choking and a nurse using a suction device in my mouth to get rid of whatever was there. I don’t remember the camera being inserted or anything anyone said.
Afterwards I was wheeled into another room and left to recover for about an hour and a half before being offered a drink and something to eat.
The staff were great; in fact the staff at the RLI have been fantastic right through, clearly describing what was going to happen and making me feel as though they were there to help me as much as possible.
Then Ric came to drive me home.
The Follow Up
Today was the follow up meeting to get the results of the biopsy and to find out what would happen next. I had arranged for Matthew to take me and he took some time off work to do so.
The doctor I saw was one of those who had been there the week before, in fact the one who had given me the sedative. He started by saying that the news was not that good; in fact what he meant was that the biopsy had confirmed it was cancer, something I thought had already been confirmed. It was then that he explained that a final diagnosis couldn’t be made until an actual biopsy had been performed. He told me that the type of cancer I had was ‘non-small cell lung cancer’ (NSCLC) which is by far the most common type of lung cancer and is slower spreading than small cell lung cancer, and that the treatment which would be offered would be chemotherapy (surgery was out because of the secondary cancer in my liver). I am not unhappy about this as surgery is something that scares me. He had made an appointment for me to see a doctor in oncology who would explain what chemotherapy entailed and offer it to me. I will, of course, accept.
Matthew was great, calm and supportive and helping me feel I wasn’t on my own. Thanks Matthew.
Will write more tomorrow.