Friday, February 01, 2008

And now, we wait

The field tests on the eye went okay yesterday. But I have small lenticular opacities on my left lens, apparently. According to the optician it's kind of like a cataract, but a lot, lot smaller.

He reckons it may or may not be caused by recent chemo - without having any 'eye' history on me he can't be sure. His colleague reckons it's nothing to do with chemo, so there you go. You want someone qualified to give you a clear opinion but all you get is conjecture and disagreement.

Either way, with these opacities, it's not anything we can do anything about now. Well, you can get a cataract lens operation where they replace the lens, but it would be pointless at the moment given the minor trouble the left eye is giving me. Even if itnever gets any better, I can live with this.

But there is one test the guy did on which my response is bugging him so he has told me he is referring me to an opthalmologist to get it looked at in more detail... Apparently I hesitated on something called the Amsler Grid test. Which is what is designed to test any sign of macular degeneration - the thing I'd convinced myself that I had (at 4am Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning).

The opticians reassure me that I have nothing to worry about, that this is belt and braces. So we will see. After some wrangling with Standard Life about what my diagnosis was (hard when your opticians are only referring you because they don't know what your diagnosis is) I have an appointment with a Harley St specialist on the 20th.

In the meantime, I've been back to the Princess Grace to check out the new symptoms of the boob (puckering, tenderness, cording, swelling etc) and been given a clinical by the Professor. He suspects that all it is, is readjustment to normality after intense treatment. Skin and tissue do strange things after radiotherapy.

I'd be whooping the all clear if it weren't for the fact that despite his reassurances, he asked for me to get my blood markers taken today, instead of waiting until the end of March when I'm due to have bloods done in line with the scans etc due then. These are blood tests where they measure the level of proteins or antigens in your blood which may, or may not, indicate whether or not you have any breast or ovarian cancer present.

So I had a phlebotomist try and get to a vein deep in the crook of my elbow.

Tap, tap, tap.

No luck. He switched to the vein on my left hand.

Tap, tap.

My hand feels like it's about to get cramp I warn him. I've been holding a tight fist now for about five minutes.

He sighs and gives up, and moves the ratcheted elastic strap back up to above my elbow.

I'll stick with the one in your elbow after all, I think.

Eventually we have a vial of blood and it doesn't hurt too much. I recognise him from last March. He took my bloods the day after i was diagnosed. It feels a very long time ago.

I asked the Professor what would happen next. Do I call him, or does he call me? This pattern of dealing with non scheduled check ups is alien to me, I do not know the etiquette.

If it's bad news, I'll call you. If it's good news, I'll just write a letter.

I came in today looking forward to getting a definitive reassurance. A "Honestly, you're fine. Go home and stop worrying."

I didn't get that. I will hopefully get that on Monday, by the absence of a phone call.

I will be there, hanging on the telephone. Waiting for it not to ring.


georgie said...

I was going to say in the beginning that I would have asked the Professor for a referral for your eye check. He would have some of the best contacts in his position and be able to pull strings for you with early appointments.
Better to go straight to the top in the first place I reckon.

Did you mention your eye news to the Professor ?

In terms of bringing your blood test forward, I'd do the same as the Professor, wouldn't you ?
It's not so early and it's his job to give you the best, careful, cautious care.

There are lots of mind-unravelling
days of worry and sweat in this post-BC business.

No wonder you're missing your sister and those carefree days before it all happened.


irene said...

Keeping my finger and toes crossed for you.