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  • howardcoombs

Royal Free (First visit)

So, I was called in to the hospital where i was due to be treated, the Royal Free in Hampstead. It's like a tower block set into the side of a hill, sizeable and, like all hospitals, a bewildering maze to the unitiated.

I met a calm, formidable woman in blue scrubs, Dr M. She was very no nonsense. Like a farmer's wife. She put a picture up on a screen from my MRI.

'This small area here is the tumour on your liver, just a small one..' Pea size I thought, faintly. She carried on, ' it's about 3 cm.' Small ? That seemed massive to me.


'Now,' she said, 'normally we'd burn it out, but it's too close to your lung, we don't want to spread the cancer.'

'Oh,' that was my contribution to our essentially one-sided conversation.

'Or, we'd cut it out, trouble is, where it is, on top of the lobe,' I hate that word, lobe , for some reason. Bad enough with ears, kind of horrible in a liver context. 'We'd have to remove a huge amount of tissue.'


'So the third option is a liver transplant and take the cancer away with your liver, how does that sound ?'

'Fine,' I said faintly.

'Good,' she said briskly. 'Now, what we'll do is an embolisation procedure, to halt the tumour's growth and then send you for an assessment, nice meeting 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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