Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Spanish Dancer

I first met "The Spanish Dancer" in 1999 - after my GP ordered an ultrasound and discovered that she had a firm grasp of my left testicle.  I quickly got myself up to the Royal North Shore Hospital - where various experts pushed and probed and tested and investigated - until they could confirm that she had taken up residence and that they had to cut her free with some radical surgery.  A few days later I stumbled out of there in great pain and with much humility.

And then we started a multi-year programme of X-rays, CT-scans, blood tests and other things to detect if she was still around.

My next encounter was in 2005 - when after an excellent meal of fish and chips at a little seaside village - I ended up in hospital with furious abdominal pain.  After a few days and more tests and X-rays and CT-scans and probing fingers and a colonoscopy - the doctors discovered that she was back and had invaded my bowel.  Fortunately the local hospital and surgeons and staff were excellent, well prepared and equipped - and they soon had her on her way again.

And so started another programme of tests - mainly colonoscopy and CT-scans and blood tests.

Until one day in 2011 I awoke to discover blood on my sheet from a small mole-like growth on my back.  A quick visit to my GP had it removed and sent to the lab for analysis.  A few days later we heard back that it was Melanoma.

She was back - and in a new and deadly guise.

And now I am in the Royal Adelaide Hospital after five surgery events in 2 years, a forgotten number of X-rays, CT-scans, MRI's, PET scans and blood tests - and she is still stalking me.  My lungs have numerous spots and my brain has at least one.  The doctors are talking about some more surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy starting Tuesday next week.  In the meantime I have a leave pass for the weekend and intend to take full advantage of it ;-)