Colonoscopy day

posted in: Cancer, Cancer and faith 0

Just black coffee for breakfast. Even though I haven’t had food for so long I really don’t feel bad.

The clinic is running late – an hour passes and I’m getting seriously in need of food but I can sit down so it doesn’t really matter if I faint. The glucose tablets suggested by a nurse are amazing. Why haven’t I used them before???

Finally it’s my turn. Nurse turns up to check me in and Husband heads off looking very worried. He doesn’t do worried but he’s pale with it at the moment.

So you’re here for an endoscopy’, the young nurse tells me cheerfully. ‘No, I’m here for a colonoscopy’. ‘Really? Let’s have a look at your notes.’ I tell her I’m here because the doc had thought the polyp he removed was probably cancerous. She does a rapid assessment of my age and risk factors and breezily says it is unlikely. I point at the report – ‘probable malignancy’. Her face falls. ‘Have you been given the numbers for cancer support and the specialist nurse?’ ‘Yes but it didn’t seem worth contacting them before I have a confirmed diagnosis. Anyway, we know how to get to the CU. My husband has lymphoma.’ Her face falls further as I explain that my main concern is that I might not live long enough to look after my husband and the dog. ‘I know it may not be cancer but the doc felt that that was the most likely explanation. I’m trying to plan the unplannable’, I explain apologetically, saying that we would appreciate any information we could be given, however incomplete – ‘the histology results should have come back by now?’ She takes everything I say on board, tells me that she understands that we want to know as much as possible and that she’ll ask the doc to check to see if my results are up on the system yet. I am so very grateful to her for taking the time to listen to what we really need.

The doc is going to log in now and see what’s there. Whoa. Great stuff.

Doc has checked and my results are back. He’s going to explain them to me before the colonoscopy. Nurse asks if I’d like sedation or not for the procedure. She seems surprised that I hadn’t had pain relief for the sigmoidoscopy – ‘I’ve had far worse period pain’. I tell her I’ll do whatever doc suggests.

Doc is ready to see me so I go to the appointment room to wait for him. In I trundle in in my hospital gown and husband’s dressing gown, dragging my little supermarket wheely bin with my clothes in. ‘Abandon all hope of dignity all ye who enter here’ 🙂 . I find it best to simply get on with things as pragmatically as possible and to laugh at myself but I don’t feel like laughing at the moment.

The nurse leaves a copy of my results on the table, goes out and returns when she knows I will have read it 🙂 . I don’t understand some key terms but to my untrained eye it’s looking better than the last report.

The doc arrives. I manage to smile; he’s wearing the same reassuring professional smile as when I first met him. He translates the report briefly: the polyp wasn’t found to be cancerous. He’s really pleased for me but very surprised, so much so that he wants to take another biopsy to be sure. ‘Wow, Lord. Thank you.’ It hasn’t quite sunk in. I wish I could call husband to tell him the good news but it’s time for the procedure. Off I trundle, behind the doc. He tells me they’re going to give me sedation but that I’ll be conscious throughout.

The sedation is fantastic 🙂 . I scarcely feel a thing. I’m able to watch everything on the screen as before so I can see the second biopsy of the first polyp area and the removal of 2 more polyps (much smaller flat ones). I’m surprised to see so much fluid in the bowel and frankly really disappointed. I tried so hard! ‘I can’t believe how much fluid there is. I followed the instructions to the letter’, I apologised. ‘I’m sure you did, dear. Sometimes it doesn’t work as well as one would like but it’s okay’ he reassures as he removes the offending liquid with some sort of suction machine. Are they sponsored by Dyson? 🙂

They wheel me out of the procedure room but after resting for all of 5 minutes I’m allowed to get dressed and they bring me a sandwich, biscuits and the essential magic hospital tea 🙂 . Good grief these people are lovely.

So it’s over and it was so much easier than I’d expected.

I am semi apologetic to husband and brother – oops – I probably don’t have cancer. They really don’t mind 🙂 . But the docs still want to do an MRI and CT scan. To be sure.

Home to enjoy some proper food. Vegetables have never tasted so good. We mustn’t forget that Husband has to go in for his latest appointment in the CU tomorrow.

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