Saturday, February 22, 2020

Ghastly events to be followed by more ghast

When I had my big operation to remove a tumor under my jaw last August, I was told to have 6 monthly PET scans as a follow-up.  The tumor was a metastasis from one of my skin cancers (SCCs) so further metastases had to be allowed for.

A PET scan is a form of nuclear medicine.  They inject you with a radioactive dye that clings to cancers.  So it is a first line of defence to detect cancers before they get out of hand.

I had the scan on 12th but was in any case aware of a new lump in my neck so was prepared for bad news.  The bad news led to more scans.  On 13th I saw the ENT specialist, and was booked in for the extra scans.

On 17th I went to Qld. Xray at Greenslopes hospital.  The chief event was an MRI scan, which is much more detailed than a PET scan.  MRI scans are a horror which I tolerate badly.  I have refused them in times past but Greenslopes had a new and larger  machine which was slightly more civilized. Even so, I had to arrive in a pretty bombed-out state in order to go through with it.  I arrived with 20mg of benzodiazepines in me, which is a lot.

As I could not drive in that state, Jenny very kindly drove me in and saw me to the front desk of the clinic.  She then waited through my various ordeals to drive me home.  She wisely brought a book. I was there for the whole morning, 9 to 12. She also helped a lot with all the paperwork before and after.

Thanks to the benzos, I survived the MRI without distress and then went on to a dental Xray, which seemed pointless but was mandated by someone. I then had a fine-needle biopsy to check what cells were actually in the tumor -- SCCs again it turned out.

On Tues 18th I went to the regular ENT conference at PA hospital and got the news that the tumor was malignant.

On 19th I saw my ENT man again and was booked in for the next round of ghast, a visit to hospital to get the tumor excised.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

That saint again

Anne had a surgical procedure booked for 14th so we could not celebrate Valentine's day on the due date.  So we celebrated it a day early.

I normally observe correct ritual for the day, which consists of giving flowers, chocolate, a card and a dinner.  I varied it a bit this time, however.  I gave a card, chocolate and a dinner plus a hand-held Kambrook vacuum cleaner.  I use my own hand-held rather a lot. A bit eccentric as a Valentine present but Anne was very appreciative of it.  She had been having problems with dust on her venetian blinds (Surely an iconic First World problem!) and she thought that the Kambrook would be just the thing to clean them

We dined at an old favorite, the Bollywood.  We both had medium Vindaloo, which was excellent.  They are no longer a Sikh restaurant.  They have been taken over by a Muslim.  But his menu is still as good as ever -- perhaps even better.  They didn't jib when Anne asked for an ice bucket for our Henkel Trocken champagne. So they are not strict Muslims.