Wednesday, 23 November 2011

A node of concern

Hospital visits have become commonplace to me and today was just another. It was the day of the ultrasound scan of my thyroid. I expected this to follow the normal pattern of scans where you undergo the procedure but the radiographer tells you absolutely nothing; indeed your letter of instruction or explanation sometimes indicates that the professionals are not allowed to tell you anything.

A charming radiographer, who introduced himself as a doctor, held an ultrasound probe against my throat and, facilitated by some jelly-like substance, guided it up and down and round the area while I gave him my potted medical history. He then turned the screen to me so that he could show me what he'd found and he explained the images for me.

An area of calcification in the left side of my thyroid gland gives no cause for concern, and neither does a node in my right. He showed me the blood vessels around that node - all to be as expected. However another node on the right hand side has rather too much blood supply in its centre for comfort. While he said that it may not be cancerous, he felt that, regardless of the biopsy result, it should come - out even though subsequently it could be found to be non-cancerous. However, he was merely the radiographer, so it wasn't his place to recommend anything. But that makes two professionals - an oncologist and a radiographer - both of whom deal regularly with cancer, who have expressed the same opinion.

My view of the whole thing has changed somewhat in the light of that knowledge. I am going back to my austere diet for the time being in case it is cancer; I'd been relaxing that somewhat recently. And I suspect that I am now on the road to another debilitated Christmas. Hey, ho, that's the way life goes.

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