WARNING: although this looks like a Jackson Pollock (it’s actually BLOOD!) the rest of this post might be a bit TMI for some of you. Nothing gross or anything, just, you know, perhaps somewhat more info than you may want to know about. So you have been warned. And it’s totally fine if you don’t want to carry on reading…
After my last visit to the oncologist in the middle of January, I was told that they would have someone get in touch mid-July to arrange for an abdominal ultrasound. And I had to push for that as they seemed ready to just send me on my way, saying “call us if anything hurts”. Not good enough. I mean, usually with cancer, by the time it HURTS you are probably stage IV (and I speak from personal experience). But an ultrasound was better than nuthin. Except I never got called to set up an appointment.
I did try calling the hospital last month to find out what was happening with my ultrasound. I either got no reply or the run-around, so it was on my “to-do” list to pop over there and talk to someone in person. I thought maybe after the summer holidays. By the way, I don’t blame the communication difficulties on the people manning the phones as they are over-worked and have to deal with hundreds of people every day, many with serious cancer issues. Because of this I know it’s better to go in person and talk to someone face-to-face.
But then yesterday, after a BM… there was blood. Well okay, this also happened after I returned from London late May. There was blood after a rather spectacular “explosion”, which I put down to maybe a hemorrhoid rupture. There was no more blood after that. And thinking I’d be having an abdominal ultrasound in a month or so… I thought I’d just wait.
Then I had about a week of some rather serious abdominal pain early July. For the record, I have a very high pain threshhold, so when I say something hurts then it REALLY HURTS. I was still waiting for the ultrasound, made a couple of (useless) calls to the hospital, then the pain subsided so I put it behind me. I thought the (yet to happen) ultrasound would show if there was anything worth looking into.
And then yesterday – once again – there was blood. Once again after a rather explosive event (for the record, my BMs are almost never normal, as I only have half a colon, and sometimes I get a very short notice warning before, well, I explode). This episode happened outside the house, always more problematic, but I’ve learned how to cope. I didn’t notice the blood until I got home. Different from previous times, it hadn’t stopped after the “clean up” (see?? TMI!!) and my knickers had blood stains. And that really scared me. Because that has never happened before.
And so… off to the hospital. And I was right. It’s so much better to talk to these people in person. First I went to Oncology where they said my doctor was fully booked until September, but when I explained what was happening they told me to go to Radiology to tell them the ultrasound was overdue, and they said they would push to have my oncologist see me asap.
Over in Radiology (honestly, by now I know my way around that hospital like the back of my hand) I stood in line, then talked to a woman sitting in front of her computer, looking bored. Then I said, “yeah, this should have been in July? But nobody called me and then yesterday there was BLOOD, so given my history I’m pretty worried”… and she suddenly sat up and in two minutes she found me an opening for an ultrasound on Friday morning (tomorrow is a public holiday) and I’m fine with that. Because the other option would have been to go to Emergency and see if they would give me an ultrasound or scan.
So keep your fingers crossed for me on Friday!