On Thursday of this week I will be going to the theatre and I know I will sleep throughout the whole performance.
OK – I jest!
It is of course the operating theatre to have my left kidney removed. Yes I signed away my left kidney. The specialist nurse who was going through my consent with me was at pains to emphasise that it was my left kidney.
She asked me more than once whether it was my left as she was writing it on the consent form. I could only reply “so they tell me” I am seriously not being facetious, it is just that I can’t tell. I feel well with no symptoms left or right.
Since I last wrote about my health when I first found out about my growth I have had several visits to Bournemouth Hospital for investigations and consultations.
The most eventful of these was a days admission into the Day Unit for a Kidney Biopsy under Scanner Control. This was to be my second body scan in as many months with the twist (pun intended) that this time instead of laying restfully on my back, I needed to go into the scanner tunnel face down with my arms above my head. I was also asked to lay really still for 30 minutes while they sited the exact spot that they wanted to get the biopsy bite from. Now there were a few things destined to challenge me with those straight forward requests.
I was waiting for the nurse to roll her eyes in exasperation when I told her I had got a frozen left shoulder which restricts my arm movement above my head (I do sound a wreck I must admit!). I had found a saintly nurse though who patiently set about finding the solution. Ten minutes later after a lot of experimentation with pillows and sponge wedges I thought we had found a suitable compromise with a position I could tolerate for half an hour which still left access to the technician with his biopsy instrument.
So far so good. Into the machine and relative isolation from all that was going on behind me. There was a gentle hum that obscured much of the chatter down there. There were cold things, damp things and various proddy things and even a sharp stingy thing, all of which were administered with muffled announcements that I couldn’t make out in the depth of the machine. Another weakness to reveal – my hearing is not 100% in noisy environments and the hum of the machine more or less put paid to any meaningful communication. Anyway the team was busy and I was to lay as still as possible. What could I do to spoil the show?
It was clear to everyone there – (and there were quite a few but in my position I couldn’t tell how many) – that the time had come for me to be really still as X marked the spot for the serious business of the session. So what better time to get cramp in my foot!!
Now anyone who has had cramp in the foot will immediately have some sympathy with me. When it happens in bed the best thing I have found to do, is leap out of bed and stand on my toes. Well that usually works for me. So deep inside a scanner with drapes all over me, and a team who seemed prepared to jump on me rather than let me move – my options did seem limited. However – dah dah!! – the saintly nurse came to the rescue again and started to massage my foot – very effectively I must say. In fact it was so good that my approach to any future bouts of cramp in bed might elicit a different approach – Babs are your reading this?
Anyway the fine team got four wonderful specimens (their words – not mine) to send off to histology and I, none the worse for wear, was able to go home that evening.
There was a longish wait for results which is probably the most exasperating time. It makes quite a difference what type of cancer cells are present and they needed to use several dyes apparently to pin the wretched thing down and give it a title. It turns out that it is a renal cancer cell type and hopefully all within the offending kidney. So it is due for removal this Thursday.
This time though I will be fully asleep – shame really – would have quite liked to report all about it but I guess I will miss it all in the land of nod.
Until my next update – I wish you good health yourselves – but do act if there is anything at all suspicious. Early diagnosis leads to better outcomes.