Updated: Sep 26, 2020
Remember that lump I had on my neck that they scanned? Well… As the lump grew, I continually sent warnings to my haematologist that it was enlarging. During a telephone consultation, I mentioned. During a phone call with Nurse Specialist, I warned again. Continuously, I was told, “Keep an eye on it and if it gets bigger, come back.” It got larger, and with the feeling of renunciation. I took it to see the Thyroid Surgeon on a Saturday in an eerie Forth Valley RH. “Yes, I think it’s Lymphoma.” He said as he types out an urgent referral to Radiology for a Biopsy and Ultrasound of the “Clinically Malignant lymph node.” Monday 4th May, I got my Biopsy – a long needle that sliced fragments of the lump out to be looked at under a microscope. The Radiologist told me that it wasn’t a lymph node and it didn’t have a blood supply. I danced out of the Hospital, delighted with the news that it was probably just an infection and virtually no chance it could be Hodgkin’s…fired the car roof down and stuck it in Sport+ mode. Thinking nothing more of it until the usual “Hi Lewis” came on the end of the phone that Friday. “It’s not been fully reported yet, but we will get you in when we get the results” set the alarm bells ringing. Not been fully reported, I remembered this statement from the Thyroid debacle. So I decided to phone the GP and play dumb. The GP told me that the sample had been sent to a specialist pathologist in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital as it was “Suspicious of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.” So when the phone call came this morning to confirm a Hodgkin's Lymphoma relapse – it wasn’t really much of a surprise. More a question of if it's not a lymph node how? As well as a more prominent thought of “here we fucking go again.” Now, in the spirit of frank and open discussion – which has been a continuous theme throughout the last Fourteen posts, I will detail my thoughts and feelings based on what’s happened and what is to come. Firstly, I feel like I have lost trust in the healthcare system. Which seems bizarre but adverse events are taking their toll. Prior to the original diagnosis, the GP telling me my lump was only a “Swollen Lymph Node.” And now we have the fact I was told to stop worrying because an inconclusive scan showed “No Evidence of Disease”, when quite clearly there was disease. Someone with my history and a lump at the site it is located surely requires definitive investigation? I have said from the outset that it was a Hodgkin’s relapse but still had to manipulate the system to make the appropriate experts take notice. Secondly, I have adopted, as I said, I would the mantra of control the controllables. I can’t do anything about it, so there isn’t much point in worrying. What will happen will happen. Let me tell you it is liberating. I will do what I have to do. The battle rages higher. Finally, hope is the most powerful emotion a human being can feel. Hope changes outlooks, hope changes lives and hope makes the world go round. Even in the darkest situations, hope can always liberate the most dejected souls.