Monday, 27 February 2012

Twice in one day!

New to this? Check out the First Post

Hello again

Well - I have a few more visitors to the blog since it featured in The Sentinel, our local daily paper, at the weekend. I had been a bit worried about which photo they would use and what they would write. I liked the photos though - and although I don't remember saying "If only life was like a game show" the rest of it was accurate! I was happy that they got the blog address correct and I have already been contacted by someone who has the same diagnosis - another CUPcake :-) It's great to compare symptoms and to know that he has been cancer-free for 18 months since his op. We even have the same consultant.

If you are not local and didn't see the feature then I have asked The Sentinel to send me a pdf file of it so I can add it to the blog. It's a shame that the weekend magazine isn't on their website.

I had a reasonable weekend - even ventured out to Cheadle to see my parents. It was a nice day and the pain did seem to be getting less. I can't believe how much it tired me out though - I slept for the rest of the day!

I had another letter from the hospital today. I am getting to recognise them now before I even open them. It is an appointment for the clinic in Ward 202 of the Cancer Centre tomorrow at 2.30pm. I already have one for 9am in the morning - which is for the mask fitting. This one, I guess, could be when I see Ms Gahir so that she can tell me what the team have decided about my treatment plan. Will it include chemotherapy or not? I am hoping not.
Watch this space....


  1. Hi Berni, My wife told me about the article in the Sentinel Magazine and was keen to read it. I have and now joined to follow your blog and also tell you about myself. I found a small lump below my right ear during the last few months in 2010 and eventually went to see the doctor in January 2011, because it refused to go away. It was only small, maybe like a small prawn and I thought it perhaps just fatty tissue and completely painless. The doctor wasn't overly concerned and said it was most likely a swollen lymph gland or just fatty tissue. Although he gave me a sachet to get my bloods done I didn't go due to where I live and work away, time was an issue. I was confident in myself that it was nothing to worry about. Well like a typical man I chose to ignore it until early September when the lump had got bigger and firmer, but still no concerns about any threatening disease. I went to the docs again and he asked If I minded a colleague was to give a second opinion. I agreed and this female doctor told me the lump wasn't an inflamation and was infact a tumour in my parotid saliva gland and needs to be seen to straight away to make sure its not cancer. Well I nearly fainted at the possibility this lump I chose to ignore could actually threaten my life. This will surprise you Berni, I actually live in Silverdale Newcastle and I was appointed to see Dr Gahir (I think somewhere you've got mixed up) Dr Gahir is a he not a she!! He's a indian fella with a turban. Dr Gahir took a sample with the needle (bloody hell that hurt) and he'd send it away for tests and we can expect the results on the 24th of October. The wife came along with me to hear the results (we were already assured the majority were safe and needed be concerned) and Dr Gahir greeted us with a smile and a handshake, but his smile quickly disolved with "I'm sorry, but I've got some bad news for you" "The lump is infact cancer and the cells are known as adenocarcinoma and quite rare and aggresive in nature". Me and the wife were obviously shell shocked and tears began to flow. I had my operation on the 18th of November and was in theatre for 6 hours. All went well, although Peter Grime the surgeon encountered a few problems. I had some facial paralysis and pain around the jaw, but I knew this would heal. Peter also removed 2 lymph glands he thought as suspicious. These also tested positive for the same cells :( I had 20 courses of radiotherapy and these finished on the 3rd of the month. Slowly returning to normal although eating well has been difficult due to the damaged taste buds. I'm hoping to return to work next week, fingers crossed, but I'm also struggling with an inactive muscle in my shoulder. This had been painfull, but its a lot better than it was. I'll follow your story with interest and would be keen to meet with you to exchange our storys and feelings. Maybe I'll hire a book from the library one day! Take care Nigel.

  2. You should see Dr Jamil at the radiotherapy department tomorrow. He's the radio specialist and instructs his team. All the staff were very pleasant.

    1. Hi Nigel
      Thanks so much for telling me of your experience. I have the adenocarcinoma too. Fancy you living in Silverdale! You must certainly come into the library - when I get back to work!
      I am pleased to hear that you are getting back to normal after radiotherapy. I have been a little worried about it - did it give you a very dry mouth and sore throat? Also - did they say the taste buds would recover over time? I hope so!
      It is strange how this disease creeps up on you - I had a lump for a while before I bothered the doctor and until I started having biopsies and the operation I had no pain at all and never even felt vaguely unwell.
      Since the op my shoulder and neck have been pretty painful - so I look forward to it getting better soon.
      Hehe - my Dr Gahir is definitely a lady :-) She spent a lot of time explaining everything to me and she signed my consent form so I know I got the name right. Perhaps they are married and both working in the same department? I'll ask her tomorrow :-)I'll look out for Dr Jamil too.
      Keep in touch - I'm sure I'll be asking you more questions as time goes on.