Thursday, November 1, 2012

Innocent or Sinister

Yesterday was clinic day.  It was supposed to be somewhat of a milestone with, assuming a clean bill of health resulted, me moving to six monthly check-ups going forward.

Over the last few clinics I have become more relaxed about it all.  not complacent by any means, but certainly not getting stressed about it like I used to.  The "shrinkage" down to a Gang of One helped as well.

An early good sign was things were running slightly ahead of schedule for a change - I got called in 5 minutes early.  It was however with an Oncology Registrar I'd never met before.  No probs, does it really matter who asks the questions and has the obligatory feel around my neck?  Of course note.  The danger signs however came when she was still poking and prodding after 5 minutes.  That doesn't normally happen.  Then she decided to consult her PC and dragged up images of the human neck that she looked at intently for a while, before coming back and feeling my neck some more.  Then a quick read through my file and she decides she needs to consult with Mr Hamilton.  I've now been in there for some 20 minutes, which easily surpasses the normal 5-10 I've become accustomed to, and I've not had any "scares" for a damn long time.

What seemed like an eternity, but was in fact 3-4 minutes passed before they came back in the room.  It's amazing how your mind can develop the worst possible scenarios in a short space of time, and believe me, I was already thinking about chemo again.

Mr Hamilton proceeds to have his little poke and prod and declares there is nothing abnormal.  It seems my hyoid bone on the left side of my neck has scar tissue around it from the treatment, so it appears abnormal when compared to the other side.  Mr Hamilton walked the registrar through how to feel the difference (and it actually involves being gentle - as opposed to her quite firm previous efforts), and my hear rate is now back to normal and all is right with the world.

I was then asked if I was still being seen by Mr Morrissey - yes I am on a 4 monthly cycle.  Then the bolt from the blue.  Mr Hamilton decides that as I'm being seen by Mr Morrisey, he doesn't see the need for me to attend 2 clinics, so he is going to discharge me, effectively into Mr Morrissey's care.  If Mr Morrissey has any issues, he'll just enlist Mr Hamilton as required.

Blow me down with a feather.  I went hoping for a 6 monthly oncology clinic cycle, and instead came away with an oncology discharge.  I think you could safely say that I was mildly pleased with that outcome.

Yesterday ended up being not only a lovely day weather-wise, but also a damn good day on the path to that final confirmation I've beaten the bugger.