The doctors referral was acted on extremely quickly (Thank you NHS!). That very week I was seen in Doncaster RI Hospital as the Head, neck and throat specialist unit.
My wife was away with work so I took my mum along for company. It was the first time either of us had been sat in a ‘cancer’ related area of a hospital. All the signage, literature and patients around me made this experience now feel very real!
I was nervous but at this point still quite confident that the lump may be an over reactive lymph node (something I’d almost self diagnosed).
In to the consultation room I was called.
Describing the events of the last few days the consultant suggested I had a series of tests: Camera down my throat, Biopsy and an MRI scan.
She also gave me a ‘best’ and ‘worse’ case scenario of what the lump could be….all I’ll say here is that the self diagnosis I mentioned earlier was a doubtful ‘best case’ scenario.
The first of the tests was done there and then, the camera down my throat. Good news, everything looked to be normal.
A few days later ( early the following week) it was time for test 2. The biopsy. This consisted of me being in a day case unit where a surgeon would take some cell samples from the lump in my neck and send them off to be tested.
After a morning of waiting in the day case until, I was called through to have the biopsy done. The surgeon and nurse explained what was going to happen and so the procedure began, it took no more than 15 minutes to complete but then came the real eye opener for me.
The surgeon said the biopsy had been requested as they suspected I may have ‘Lymphoma’. My heart stopped. Hearing those words whilst laid on a hospital bed made everything seem very, very real. The surgeon I’m sure wouldn’t have said something like this if it wasn’t a serious possibility, would he?
Returning to the day case unit, I was told the results would take up to 7 days. What a long 7 days this was going to be.
It was the first time my wife and I had actually accepted that this lump could be the ‘C’ word so many people a frightful of hearing.
Emotions at home were high for the rest of the day, my parents came over to our house and we as a family collectively tried to make sense of everything.
Next, it was time for the MRI scan but that wouldn’t be until week 2.
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