10:30: I get to the hospital and wait for my appointment.
I walked in, along the canals. It was a beautiful morning.
12:00: First thing that happens is that someone comes to get me for a pre surgery assessment.
I say ‘ok… I don’t know what I’m being pre assessed for but sure…’
‘Wait, has no one told you what’s going on?’
I felt sorry for the poor person. Her name was Emma. She seemed so lovely. She said it was terrible that she was speaking to me before my team did and that it should never happen that way.
Yeah. Cool. I agree. I wish I could say the lack of communication was an isolated occurrence, but alas.
So it says on the piece of paper she handed me after that I’m getting some sort of biopsy. I guess that confirms what the admin person vaguely said on the phone.
I still don’t know what they’re cutting into. I still don’t know where they suspect the cancer. I’m guessing in my cheekbone since its the head and neck team who’s apparently doing it.
I wonder if I’ll lose an eye to cancer this time around. I practiced walking in this morning with one eye closed.
My friend messages me. ‘Maybe it’s just a cyst.’ He says.
I hope. I hope it’s anything but cancer.
Emma tells me that I need a covid test 4 days before my surgery. Ok…
12:30: I go to get a blood test down on the lower ground floor. It was a palaver as per usual. They struggled with my veins, I had loads of pain. Nothing ever changes.
They call out ‘is anyone here for a covid test?’
I say ‘I don’t think so ‘
I have no idea if it’s 4 days until my ‘surgery’…
2:30: I get to see Mr K, my surgeon. He immediately asks what’s wrong with me eye. He notices that it’s puffy and swollen.
I say I suspect I’ve had an infection in my implants/eye/face for the last few months. He says he wants to give me a biopsy because they saw something on the scan and they need to know what it is.
And here is the part I cling to – they can’t tell from the imaging if it’s an infection or cancerous. So they’ll need to take a biopsy to see.
Well I know there’s an infection. But is that all?
It seems an extreme way to check if it’s cancer or infection – surgery and anaesthetic and cutting into me, but I guess that’s what has to happen. Obviously I want to know. And to get on it immediately if it is cancer.
They were going to go in through my eye (!!!) but given how puffy and presumably infected it is, they’ll try to go through my nose instead. Not sure how, since its been blocked off since my first surgery but I guess they’ll try that first. Sounds less scary. They’ll consent me for both though.
3:30: They book me in for ANOTHER MRI. I literally only just had one two months ago. And they said they didn’t show much… Great. What else am I up to at 9am on a Sunday morning anyway?
I run into my friend in the cancer centre. She’s there to find out about going back into treatment for the recurrence in her lungs. Seeing her makes me smile and it takes all my self restraint to not jump on her and give her the hugest hug. We grab a coffee together in the cancer centre. We’re both there for shitty reasons but we chat and laugh and add good memories to the bad.
While the registrar is booking me in for things, I mention to him that someone said something about a covid test.
He said ‘oh yes you need to get one’
‘Where do I get one?’
‘Somewhere in the main hospital’
‘Oh, are they not doing them downstairs?’
‘Ummm ok… Well… How do I find out… Aren’t you the one booking my tests and scans?’
‘I guess I’ll ask a nurse what to do.’
‘Yeah… Could you? That would be good…’
He disappeared and never returned. I wasn’t exactly surprised.
I ended up asking the receptionist and she was like ‘oh yeah we have to request that for you and book it in. Let me see what I can do.’
The angel clearly pulled a few strings and sorted it out for me and I had the covid test. It wasn’t too bad, though it made me sneeze. They did actually manage to get it up one of my nostrils. Impressed.
Then I was all done and my fabulous friends who I ran into, drove me home so I didn’t have to walk! WIN! I was very grateful.
So there definitely could be two separate things, but I’m hopeful it’s just an infection. I still wonder if there’s a lump on my cheekbone. And would an infection be ruining my sight? Or giving me immense pain in my face? But these questions have no answers that we’re able to find yet, so we’ll just wait and see. As a friend said to me, we can absolutely hope for it being nothing ominous, but history has shown us that hasn’t been the case when it comes to cancer.
But we hope because if you don’t have hope, what do you have?
Biopsy on Tuesday to check. Under anaesthetic. I’ll be in at least for one night.
I’ve been told there are new MRI machines that are more open so I’m intrigued to see what they’re like. I’ll report back (of course).