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  • howardcoombs

Diagnosis (1)

In June I was contacted by my doctor, the marvellous Dr H (French, slim, elegant, great shoes, usually heels. Sometimes she wears her hair scrunched up on top, adding to an illusion of height). I have been her patient for over a decade, she treated, and cured, my Hepatitis that I'd been carrying unknown for decades. Anyway, she tests me regularly. Today she talks about the last routine test, liver, kidney functions fine, all within range...but...

There's a protein that's a marker of liver cancer. In Jan (dates are imprecise, I never thought I'd be revisiting the experience ) this was elevated. Probably not a concern, however, to be on the safe side, could you come in for an MRI scan. Sure.

Test. Wait. Phone call.

You'll be relieved to know MRI found nothing.

3 Months or so go by. Another test. Phone call. 'I'm afraid the markers have risen, could you come in for another MRI ?'

Sure. Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Radiology, a gleaming, new machine.

'It looks almost new.'

'It is,' MRI Lady said proudly, 'we've spent the last fortnight being trained on it.'

'You're our first customer,' MRI Lady #2 smiled welcomingly.

A couple of days went by. Nothing. I was continually circling around the thought of liver cancer. Three days. Nothing. If there were something, I'd probably have heard by now.

I upped my exercise regime. If I train really hard, nothing will happen, I'll be ok. My body will rally and do whatever it does with, by now jacked and pumped killer T cells. (You may gather I know fuck all about biology or Bio-Chem.)

Four days.

Five days. That's now 8 continuous wide grip pull-ups I can do in a twenty rep set. Excelsior !!

Six days...

Weds morning doing a bench-press. 10 am in gym. Phone goes. I glance at screen. No caller id. 01296. The Aylesbury area code, the Stoke Mandeville Hospital area code.

'Hello ?'

Not, we couldn't find anything, but, please could you come to the hospital on Friday morning for an 11.00 am consultation with Dr H. The feeling of lift doors closing slowly and silently as the descent begins...

'Of course...thank you.'

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My Writer's Life...cont.

The image is taken from the app on my phone 'Journal'. This was from Sat 23 March. I woke up early (usually it's 7am) and couldn't sleep so I got up. I do meditation daily using an app 'Mindfulness.'


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