Monday, 4 May 2009

21st April: Diagnosis

On Tuesday 21st April I sailed blithely along to an appointment with the gastroenterology consultant at Medway hospital expecting to be told that the pains in my side and shoulder for the past four months originated in my gall-bladder.

Instead he had to tell me that it was metastatic cancer.

Now, I've had two cancer diagnoses in the past, both breast cancer (nicely balanced, one each side, 21 and 8 years ago.) Despite that, I was stunned with shock, not expecting this twist of events.

When the pains began in late December 2008 my first thought was of course, liver metastases from my breast cancer. But I had an ultrasound within two days which showed no abnormalities in my liver, and so my mind was set at rest, though the pains continued. The ultrasound did, however, raise some questions so over the following months I had a series of diagnostic tests to the kidney area, and I did wonder what was going on.

But I still didn't expect to find out it was metastatic cancer, with a lesion on my liver and possible bone cancer in my shoulder.

Now I await a bone scan and a CT needle-biopsy of the mass in my pelvis. Whether it's the old breast cancer that's spread or a new ovarian cancer that's spread, I'll have to have chemotherapy, but the type of chemo depends on which cancer.

I've decided to make a treatment bracelet of trollbeads - one for each stage in my journey. Here is the first bead - of many, I sadly expect.

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