The Pathway

22. October 2014

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The Pathway

One minute I was slumped, bored, in the waiting room. The next I was bolt upright, shocked, with the doctor and nurse, being told I was now on a cancer pathway. There would be a multi-disciplinary team handling my care, at this hospital, and at the other hospital I was being referred to. It sounded comforting, until the nurse got to the last bit.

‘And you can ring or email me any time if you’re worried about something. Well, email is better. Yes, email me any time, day or night, and I pick up all my emails on Tuesdays so I’ll get back to you then.’ So all my myriad, middle-of-the-night, every day of the week crises will be carefully and sympathetically dealt with – on Tuesdays? ‘Yes, I only come in on Tuesdays.’

It’s not the lovely nurse’s fault. It’s not the hard-working, creaking, good old NHS’s fault. But it was at that moment that I decided to step off the pathway. I was going to be Little Red Riding Hood, not Dorothy. I was going to try to take the shortest route through the forest, and I was going to do my best to outwit the big, bad wolf. The plan, I was told, was that an appointment would be made, in two or three weeks, for me to see a specialist at the other hospital. Then I’d wait for a bit longer for various checks and tests to determine the other treatments I’d need and whether the second operation would go ahead. Then the position would be analysed. Then they’d discuss it all with me ….. and then, and then, and then. We could all be in our graves by the end of it, let alone me.

Given that 18 months had been wasted, between my first visit to my old GP, who’d said categorically that the mole wasn’t cancerous, and the appointment with my new GP, who’d referred me straight to a dermatologist, I just didn’t feel I had the time to hang around while we all skipped along the effing pathway. As soon as I got home, I rang the second hospital, and got a cancellation for the next day with the consultant. She told me I’d have to have a brain scan and a PET body scan, which could take, of course, two weeks. So I got on the phone and tried my cancellation trick again. No luck. I started investigating private treatment, which would cost, gulp, £3600 for both scans. I was staring at my chequebook in dismay when the phone rang. It was the MRI unit. I could come in on Sunday for a brain scan. Yes!! I was thrilled.

Then I realised I was unfeasibly excited about sticking myself head-first into a terrifying machine with unknown consequences. Truly, a lot had happened in five days.

  ps if you are worried about melanoma and want to check your moles, try www.skincancer.org/melanoma or www.cancerhelp.uk

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21. October 2014

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Bad news

Bad news

As soon as the doctor called me in from the waiting room, I knew there was something wrong. She’d been quite smiley when she first examined me three weeks before. Now she was grim-faced. I’d been seeing this appointment as a routine chat, leading to my discharge with a clean bill of health. A bit […]

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15. October 2014

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It’s Review Time

It’s Review Time

Sponsored  And talking of cleaning and polishing …. another in my Beauty Bits series, this time on good ways to start the day. As October darkens and November prepares to drizzle in, I definitely need something with a bit of oomph to wake me up in the morning as I stare at the mirror in […]

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13. October 2014

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Chore Wars

Chore Wars

All last week, Radio 4 Woman’s Hour had a running (sore) topic on Chore Wars – who does what and why. I felt tempted to write about it then, but it’s taken me until now to sort out what I feel about it. Here at Remarried Towers we have a curiously 1950s arrangement. TL brings […]

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8. October 2014

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We have lift off!

We have lift off!

Ok, you know me, I really really don’t want to be a helicopter parent. I’m happy for my children to go off and do their own thing, as long as I know exactly what that is they’re safe and happy. But against my will, this morning I felt the rush of rotor blades and, before I […]

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6. October 2014

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Monday!

Monday!

So far today (and it’s not even lunchtime yet) Child Two has missed the school bus and needed driving across town; TL lost his wallet and needed picking up from the station, bringing back home, help finding his wallet and then another lift back to the station, and the water filter man, after saying he’d […]

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3. October 2014

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Small world

Small world

Slightly more than a week ago I had a minor operation to remove a mole which had gone a bit odd. Well, it had been odd for a while, and then it seemed odder still, and I’d shown it to my GP in Dulwich, a nice, no-nonsense woman whom I liked and trusted. ‘The good […]

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2. October 2014

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GOSH Bake it Better

GOSH Bake it Better

I’ve always been a firm believer in the power of cake. Now I’m glad to see that Great Ormond Street hospital, too, has put its faith in cake’s miraculous ability not just to raise the spirits, but money too. £125,000, to be precise, for a new clinical building. Bake it Better week is taking place […]

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1. October 2014

6 Comments

Review time

Review time

Sponsored post  Ok, I admit it, I am consciously Keeping Busy in order to get over the strangeness of a house without Child One needing conversation and an endless supply of bananas. TL did say in the run-up to uni that we should let all the supermarkets near us know that Child One was leaving […]

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30. September 2014

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Up North

Up North

I’m so proud of my lovely Child One. She worked so hard and got brilliant A levels, and now she’s off to a fantastic university. How did the tiny girl who had such trouble reading ‘allosaurus’ in those Oxford Reading Tree Biff and Kipper books get so far? I sat pondering this miracle at the […]

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