Charlie T
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All the worlds a stage, or is it just my cancer

Charlie T
Posted by
17 Sep 2015

Just when you think D- Day has arrived and you’re going to get an answer another D-Day presents itself. For me D-Day one was a couple of weeks ago when I finally had enough results from all my tests to get a diagnosis; Classical Hodgkin lymphoma. Then came D- Day two yesterday when the results of my very boring PET scan were finally revealed.

I walked into my consultant’s office after being called for a blood test and then being told ‘mmm we don’t have any labels for your bottles, take a seat back in the waiting area and we’ll call you in a minute when we’ve printed them off’. Boy did a lot happen in that minute. Bridgette the lovely Irish nurse called me through to do the obligatory height, weight, temperature and blood pressure checks, then into see my consultant to get the all-important stage results and of course answer my questions which I have ready and waiting in my journal.

There on the screen is me, well I guess it’s me, it’s not a picture of my face rather a full body x-ray. I instantly notice a few area’s ‘glowing’, my neck, brain and well down there and straight away I can feel the panic rising. ‘So do you have any questions?’ I realise my consultant is talking to me and I tear myself away from me. Yes just a few; I rattle off my list; can I still wear false nails (may seem a bit superficial, but it’s important to me), how many people can come to chemo with me, do I need a flu jab, to what extent do I need to avoid crowed places (quite a bit apparently), can I still eat out (yes, but no salad bars, that’s future trips to Harvester ruined!) etc, etc. Questions over and it’s back to me. We all turn to the scan.

‘We’ve looked at your PET scan and it shows activity in the left supraclavicular lymph node, which we knew and it also shows a slight spread to your chest cavity so you’re a stage 2.’ Stage 2 I feel the relief wash over me, I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It turns out that your brain and down there and also your heart (I’d not noticed that earlier) naturally glow brightly. For some reason my consultant doesn’t want to give me radiotherapy, I’m sure he did say why but I can’t remember, I was still thinking yes stage 2! So I’ll have 6 rounds of ABVD. I’ll have another PET in 2 months to see how well I’ve responded to treatment and my consultant is confident it’ll be vastly reduced if not gone with 2 months!

I come out and finally get called for my blood test – see I told you a lot happened in that minute. After my blood test, I’m slightly disappointed that the nurse didn’t say sharpe scratch, I go through to see one of the lovely Macmillan nurses to run through my treatment plan. Thankfully she’s put the kettle on as there is a lot to go through. About an hour later I’m free to go. I’ve filled in forms, gone through checklists, asked more questions, been given more leaflets and information and most importantly been given my time, date and location for my first treatment. So at 9.30am on Wednesday 9th September 2015 at the sister hospital to the one I’ve been going to for consultations (the sister hospital that is only 5 mins from my house) I’ll be having 1a of ABVD. The first treatment that is going to make me better and help me kick cancers butt!

I spent the best part of two hours at the hospital but I left feeling really positive and almost excited to start my treatment, I feel like a know exactly what I’m facing now. Roll on Wednesday let’s get this road trip moving!