A long wait amid the high backed lilac coloured chairs to see the doctor and hear my fate. Interested to note that the whole chemo clinic has now moved. There is a new place for it upstairs – hope I never see it.
Professor Gabra is very charming and almost casually drops the news that I am fine, better than that almost. What do you say? I thought I would skip out of there with joy if I got good news, but when it comes it’s difficult to fully realise.
I also know that I am trapped in some strange kind of relativity; the longer I go on without a recurrence the better are my chances, but the longer I go on the more a recurrence is likely, at least within the next five years.
He asks if there are any “issues” he needs to know. I mentioned the strange inner rumblings and whinings I get. At Christmas I thought these noises and aches and pains in my diaphragm meant the cancer was back. It’s not, so I wonder what they are?
He actually has a name for them, a great long one that I can’t remember. They are caused by the drugs given to stop rejection of the chemo drugs which cause scarring over the peritoneum, if that is the right word - the inner lining of your inside. He says they take years to heal.
I don’t mind, I quite like the sounds which are rather like the noise of overhead cables, wiring and metal springs, or mysterious activity in a haunted house.
I said thank you to Prof. Gabra and his team, for their skill at saving my life. He seemed genuinely pleased to hear that. I said thank you to Mr Gabra and his team, for their skill at saving my life. He seemed genuinely pleased to hear that. Obviously I hadn’t made my gratitude clear enough before, but what happened to me after the operation, the terrible nursing on the Victor Bonney ward and the lack of care when I got home had rather overshadowed the good work of the surgeons.
“We try to provide a first class service,” he said, “but the way things are going we won’t be able to do that much longer. The NHS is heading for a bottom of the line service. The government wants all the money to go to the “community,” and GPs, we are expected to get by on very little.” He sounded genuinely despairing.