Friday, 28 September 2012

The first mention of the C word!

Today was our first visit to Papworth Hospital.  Paul was called to have a CT guided needle biopsy to take some tissue away from the parts of his lung and diaphragm which had the 'unknown' areas on them.  Today was the first day the C word was mentioned.

We arrived at Papworth quite early as we had never been there before and didn't want to be late.  We were shown to the day ward and Paul has some bloods taken.  Before Paul's biopsy was done we were seen by a Junior Doctor.  She asked us to tell her what had brought us there and what we knew about what was going on with Paul.  We explained to her the journey so far, but her asking us in this way made me feel slightly uncomfortable.  Rather than her telling us what was happening and what would happen she was asking us what we knew.  From this moment on our lives would change in a rather large way!

I think she knew I was concerned from the look on my face and she asked me 'Mrs Cowley, what are you thinking'.  My reply to her was that they were thinking this was Cancer.  And at this moment our worst fears were realised.  They too had concerns that this was Cancer and not just a harmless unknown area.

The needle biopsy was carried out with no problems.  Paul had to lie on his side for an hour and then after another hour have a x-ray to check that no air had leaked into his lung.  Once this was completed (with no complication) we were free to go.

Before we left we were introduced to our Specialist Nurse, Claire.  She talked to us about where these unknown areas were on Paul's right lung and diaphragm.  She also arranged our appointment for the Thursday after in the out patient clinic to get the results from the biopsy.  

Saturday, 1 September 2012

A little bit of background......

I thought I would just write a little bit of background to our story before we were referred to Papworth  Hospital (specialist Heart & Lung).  So here it is....

Paul had been suffering slightly with hemorrhoids and mouth ulcers and also had started to look a bit pale if not yellow skinned.  He visited the doctors and had blood tests done.  The results came back very quickly and he was found to be severely anemic.  He was started immediately on iron tablets which seemed to help with the tiredness he had been feeling and some of the other symptoms.  He was also referred to clinic 4 at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge as an urgent case.

Our first visit to Addenbrookes was quite a quick visit.  Paul was seen in clinic 4 and then referred on to have a colonoscopy to check for any abnormalities there.

The colonoscopy involved Paul having to have 3 days off work, and he would be slightly sedated too.  We received the results the same day and they found nothing unusual which was good news.  We came away thinking we would just be referred back to clinic 4 for some treatment which would sort everything out.

A few days later we had a letter saying they were referring Paul for a CT scan and also a endoscopy (camera into his stomach).

Paul's first CT scan of his lower half showed up something 'unknown' on his diaphragm and he was therefore called for a further CT scan to check his upper half.

The endoscopy was also performed at Addenbrookes and nothing too unusual was found, although they did say they wanted to do another just to check out what they thought was some acid erosion or legions on his throat or tube.

Towards the end of September we took a weeks holiday to Kessingland which was a lovely break from all the hospital visits.  On our return we found a referral letter to Papworth.....