NHS; the good, the crazy and the comm’s overload

So I’ve not been posting for a while. I always admit that this thing comes and goes like our bloody weather. But I’ve had an excuse as I’ve been under the weather a tad. I posted a few weeks ago about a painful back/chest condition which necessitated a visit to my local A&E where I was diagnosed with something called costochondritis – an inflammation of the breastbone area. It was nothing too serious and I was prescribed with painkillers and ibuprofen. But after 3 weeks I felt no better, in fact the pain was worse. In the meantime I received a letter from Chelsea And Westminster Hospital Trust, who handled all my cancer surgery and chemo treatment and follow up, that due to a change in Trust guidelines, my colonoscopy procedure scheduled for 20121 had been cancelled. Nothing more than that other than if I had issues I should take it up with my GP. Oh, thank you and good night.

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NHS and the BBC

I’m in awe of the people who are leading the fight against covid-19 in our hospitals and care centres. They aren’t receiving the PPE and testing they need from our bloody Gov’t but they keep working to keep us alive and too many of them are paying the ultimate sacrifice. Never will they be taken for granted again I hope. And let’s not forget our other key workers like postmen, refuse collectors, delivery and transport drivers, retail store workers, teachers and many more who are battling on, keeping essential life still available to us

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And another thing Mr Hancock

I almost forgot to mention the other thing that really got my goat up with the Minister for Health’s pronouncements this week. Basically we all wanted his answers to two key questions:

  • when will the NHS staff in all positions of the service get their essential personal protective equipment?
  • when will we have sufficient stocks of testing equipment available firstly to carry out essential tests on all NHS staff and then on the general public to meet and if possible exceed the target of 100,000 per day?

and as I’ve made clear in the earlier posting he couldn’t give any clear reassurances on either. But to deflect attention he then proceeded to play to the public gallery and vilified footballers for not accepting substantial pay cuts at this difficult time, when many people are being laid off etc. It’s such an easy target and I thought it was a really cheap shot.

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Good and sad news

Thursday was an interesting day. I had my 3 month review with my lovely oncologist following the end of my chemotherapy treatment. Apart from the drugs causing me to lose sensitivity in my fingers and toes (which causes them to feel cold all the time), I’ve been feeling great for a while now but I still went to the consultation feeling slightly apprehensive of course. Anyway the outcome of all the recent tests I’ve undertaken is that there’s no significant sign of the cancer having returned. Woo hoo. So I’ve been given a 3 month pass before I start the round of tests and consultation again. My wife C and I were very happy to tell our daughters the news this time as you can imagine.

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The C word

Well I think most people will have twigged by now from the occasional asides I’ve been dropping into recent postings that I was diagnosed with cancer a couple of months ago. Bummer eh. Anyway 7am tomorrow I’m off to hospital for surgery to remove the carcinoma from my bowel and any surrounding tissues. Then 6 months of chemotherapy beckons. I’ve had lots of cards, calls and texts today from friends and family wishing me well which is very kind. Then tonight a pleasant evening’s few drinks and meal at the infamous Anglers with my family. None for me of course. Continue reading

great genes

Medical update…….Gary Neville’s first punditry footballing words; ‘be careful what you wish for’. He was talking about a new manager. It’s so banal but so relevant to my own situation.

I had a sigmoidoscopy a week or so ago. I was reminded of Gary’s words before I spoke to the registrar yesterday after she’d consulted on my stomach problem. I was delighted to be told I didn’t have diverticulitis as I really didn’t fancy the idea of having that as an ongoing problem. The downside is I do have something else and I’m guessing it’s not good. And now I need a CT scan and another invasive filmic examination up my back passage, this time to the far far reaches of my colon. Oh deep, deep joy.  A slightly inflamed bowel lining seems like a not-too-bad condition now I think about it.

I’m not trying to anticipate  what the prognosis might be but here’s the deal. I know I inherited my father’s hair gene. The one which resulted in near baldness at 30. Thanks Dad. But is that the worst that can happen in life? Of course not. Believe it or not full-headed readers but being shaven-headed is massively more appealing to me than struggling with creeping baldness (though a lot of frigging extra shaving work).

My dad and his forbears I forgive. I can live without hair.  The problem is that I have more than likely inherited my mother’s Smith family gene for susceptibility to cancer.  It’s taken my mum, her brother and sister and own mother. I don’t know for sure as yet but I kind of suspect it given the coded language in which I’m being spoken to and the almost menstruating quality of my early morning sessions on the loo. Sorry to be so graphic readers. Would it have been so bad to have been blessed with my mum’s luxurious hair gene and Bob’s mild stomach issues? Lawdy where were you when it came to overseeing my family’s natural selection processes eh? I think the Great Architect must have had his back turned sorting out those pesky Yorkies when the Lancashire Smith family genome was being assembled.

Hey ho. Another bulletin this time next week folks

pp

medical update

Well I went for the consultant’s examination on my possible narrow angle glaucoma problem and the outcome was…..all positive. Woo hoo. I don’t have to have my eyeball popped out and cut into with a scalpel. On the down-side I do have to be nice to people and little animals now and it’s also just cost me £500 for two pairs of new glasses; one for near stuff and a pair now for driving and long distance viewing. Ah well at least I can see properly again and I’ve avoided the worst operation imaginable (slight exaggeration but you know what I mean).

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