Friday, 19 August 2011

Bones and scans

Ady was relieved to be told that none of these tests had anything to do with his arse, well, only in an indirect way...
The first scan to happen was the bone scan on 11th July. We had to travel to the hospital for 10.30 and report to the Nuclear dept, hmmm. That sounded pretty ominous but nevertheless, we duly arrived.
The nurse then injected some nuclear stuff into his arm and told us to go off and come back at 1.30 ready for the scan. This allowed the , what I assume was nuclear material, to travel around his body and attach itself to any dodgy bony bits and that would show up in the scan as dark spots, or ‘hot spots’. So off we went and settled down in the hospital cafe.
There is only so much you can do in a hospital and talk about in 3 hours, so my mind started wandering onto the house and all the plans I had had for downstairs the year previously.
I then thought to myself, feck it, we should get downstairs done before we are in such dire straits that we won’t be able to afford to do it for another year or so, and if he needs further treatment, then it will be even longer!
I told Ady my thoughts, pretended I was listening to his protests and promptly shot out of the door to the smoking area and phoned Andy, who was only too happy to oblige !!
So that was that, a date was set for work to begin and all I had to do was pick the flooring and paint. I REALLY wanted a new fridge freezer with a drinks dispenser on the front and a new cooker and hob, but, as they are both still in working order, just very old, they will have to wait until they blow up I spose.
Ady is one of those people who is simply not materialistic, and as long as he has a chair to sit in and dinner on the table, he couldn’t care less what the colour scheme is (well, apart from the day I painted the dining room walls and he complained that it looked like calf shit), so although he didn’t see the point in new flooring and a coat of paint, he let me get on with it.
The whole house is looking great now and suitable for visitors, doctors and district nurses if and when we need.
Time was ticking on, and it so we wandered back to where the scan thingy is.
The nuclear dept, MRI and oncology dept is all in the same place. The waiting room is big, and full of comfy chairs, pot plants and a big TV with BBC news24  playing all day. There is also a lovely outside bit with more plants and benches..oh, and a fish pond.
As we were a little early for the scan, we thought we would sit outside in the sun. I noticed a sign saying Macmillan this way, so I wandered off and got myself a load of booklets on prostate cancer, all different stages, financial help and a how to talk to people with cancer booklet .
I came back to where we were sitting and looked around at all the people sitting and waiting.
Some people were waiting to see a consultant, some people were having tests and some people were waiting for their chemo drugs. People were at different stages of their disease. Some were at the beginning of treatment and some were at the end. I couldn’t help but wonder what cancer the lady in the pink skirt had, and how the man in the yellow top was. As I looked around, I thought, there but for the grace of God, go I.
 There was a very calm atmosphere, it was very surreal. They all had one thing in common and that was that they had cancer, or they were accompanying a loved one with cancer. Something that always happens to someone else, not us. And then it hit me, that it wasn’t someone else now, it was actually happening to us !!! My husband HAS cancer and I am sat here with him, waiting for a bone scan to see if his cancer has spread to his bones, making him stage 4...there is no stage 5...fucking hell !!!

The scan itself took about 20 minutes and we were back home in time to pick the girls up from school.
I will write about the MRI scan in the next blog because I am a bit stuck thinking about the people in oncology that day. I wonder how many were told that treatment is working, and I also wonder how many were told that there is nothing more that can be done. How does a consultant tell someone that? How does that person feel? What is that person thinking? How do they deal with it?

I think it is only when you have to ride on this cancer bus, that you really give cancer any sort of deep thought. It is only then, that you realise that they didn’t just pop to the doctors and the doctor said “Oh dear, you have cancer”...the person would have had symptoms and gone to the GP. The GP would have done basic tests for infections and such like. The person would have gone back to the GP as they are no better..this could go on for weeks, until more tests are done, and then waiting to see consultants, and more tests and more waiting and worrying, and THEN the final blow of a cancer diagnosis.
So, here’s a tip. The next time someone tells you they have cancer, spare a thought of the agony they have been through to get to that diagnosis. The worry, waiting, hospital visits, and tests that have gone on for weeks, possibly months before they get to tell you. And then the worry of what treatment they will have, can they have treatment, how horrible is it going to be, how are they going to manage, will they die, what is dying like, has the cancer spread, is it spreading now, will it be painful, how will their loved ones cope, who is going to look after them...the list is endless and they are daily worries that go around and around in that persons is all consuming. Cancer has come into that person and that family’s life, completely uninvited....

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