Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"it'll be summat or nothing"

Great words from Judith, she's kind of black and white but can be really supportive in a time of need. Judith is the lady who sorts out cover for teachers who are off ill or on courses. I had gone to see her on Monday to remind her about my absence for the Tuesday when I'd be going to the Northern again to find out the results of my CT scan. Setting work again for students who I want to be honest with but they don't need anymore stress than they're already under. Setting work again for students who need instruction that very few people can give. I don't want to have time off. I don't want to go to the hospital again. I feel fine maybe I dreamed I had a lump in my chest, maybe the GP's got the wrong person. Maybe......maybe........maybe......

Maybe not, "Ah Nicholas, yes i have your notes here." At any point when visiting the NHS the receptionist knows your name and has you notes to hand you know either of two things, it's a really good receptionist, or you've got something really interestingly wrong with you.

"Can I just check some of your details please? Date of birth, 05-11-1949?"
"Nope, I may feeling 60 some days but I'm not there yet!"
"You're under Dr. Bradfield at your GP's?"
"Nope, never heard of them!"

It's going well this, what with trying to find somewhere to park the car at the Northern during visiting hours (fat chance), the receptionist looking out for me and now my details being wrong my blood pressure was a little higher than normal.

Weight and measuring done we only have to wait a couple of minutes before Dr.Pizarda calls us through. A very softly spoken gentleman he makes pleasantries and then gets down to business. He walks us through the CT scan image which he has on his screen, showing us the lungs and the wind pipe, the spine and the ribcage. Then he shows us a large grey area just above my heart just to the left of centre. Some of this mass is normal but not much, this area here is the abnormality.

The conversation is a bit of a blur as I'm interested in the technicalities of the scan and the size and shape of my lungs. I was taking in some of the information but it was like being really drunk when you're young, you're trying to be cool but also trying really hard to get the bar order right. At no time was the word benign mentioned, I'm guessing from the size, the shape and the position of the mass it didn't present as a benign lump. B*gger, first option out the window then.

Clarification has come with time and talking the consultation through with Wend. Dr.Pizarda gave three basic options, a Lymphoma (his number one choice), a teratoma (left over from the embryotic stage and something to do with testicles, what it'd be doing in my chest I have no idea) or Lung cancer. Lung cancer was a long shot as my lungs were really clear but it was an option anyway.

I thanked him for talking us through the scan images and turned to Wend to see tears streaming down her face. My mind must have a self preservation society going on as it didn't upset me, it was just a fact. We left the doctors office and had an almighty hug, one of those where you just want to be one, where you just hold each other so tight that you may just melt into one.

Through to reception and Wendy went straight out to get some air while I tried to sort out getting some bloods taken. "Well you'll have to go across the road love, the nurse over there will take them for you. I'll just do your notes." The receptionist was very nice and that was what she'd been asked to do. The ladies behind her had noticed Wendy outside and there was some nudging going on, I thought it rude but then they came up trumps. "Hang on a minute, we can do the bloods here, save you going anywhere else love." One of the staff had used her head and her heart and found we could get the bloods done there and then in the quiet of the chest clinic surroundings. 

It was such a relief not have to go anywhere else, it's just the little things that help when you're head is spinning. For this reason I'll say a public thank you to the ladies who were working in chest clinic that day, they made a difficult day less difficult.

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