Sunday, 20 April 2008

TO GOOGLE OR NOT TO GOOGLE, THAT IS THE QUESTION

Me? I prefer to Google. It’s a matter of preference. Do you take the word of the doctors, or do you keep them honest and frighten yourself shitless reading stuff that is incomprehensible. You know which one I opt for!

Our GP somewhat jumped the gun this week by giving us the results of the “bucket test”. In essence it said that 2 of the 6 lymph nodes removed tested positive and OG should now be considered for chemo. At the end of the report the consultant had added “Mr Cordner is currently unaware of the outcome of the histology”. I immediately Googled (as you do) and then rang the Uro-oncology Nurse Practitioner at Addenbrookes to ask if we could meet up with the consultant when OG was over there for plumbing adjustments this weekend.

That evening I was dozily watching TV when the ‘phone rang. It was “THE PLUMBER OF ADDENBROOKES”. I immediately found myself sitting to attention. God himself ringing me at 9.15 pm, this must be important. “Hello Mrs Cordner. Sarah said that your GP told you the outcome of the histology. Mrs. Cordner, I am so sorry, this shouldn’t have happened. I can’t apologise to you enough. Can I meet up with you and Mr Cordner tomorrow afternoon and I’ll go over it with you.”

Next afternoon saw him and his colleague perched on the edge of OG’s hospital bed explaining that if the nodes had been unaffected there would have been a 60/80% chance of being free of cancer after 5 years, now the odds had been reduced to 30/60%. He said that the next step would be to get OG over this operation and then hand him over to the Oncologist who would have his kidneys tested again and re-assess him for chemo.

The Plumber is a big affable, charismatic Belfast man who gave us this bad news in such a positive way that somehow it didn’t seem too bad at all. I can understand why he wanted to tell us himself. He must go home at night and think “God, I’m good”.

A slightly surreal moment was when OG told him that he had started our house renovation work as a retirement project and asked if he would be able to continue with it. He said “there is nothing to stop you, what are you doing?” OG explained the extent of it and then said “….and after that I want to build a swimming pool”. At this the consultant became really animated and the conversation switched to JCB’s. When he heard that OG has his own JCB and dumper truck I thought he was going to have an orgasm. They were in boy heaven together discussing the fun of driving sodding JCBs. Can you believe that?

Even more surreal, as all this was going on I found myself gazing at this George Clooney impersonator, slightly sweaty from his efforts to save another life, dressed in his operation blues with the V-neck allowing me a tantalising peek at his hairy chest, and slightly swooning. As the book says, we surely are from different planets.

So…. OG has many, many hills to climb - one day and one step at a time. The challenge this weekend centring around his nether region. As you would expect, since the operation his plumbing has been all over the place. His No.2 would not work and his No.1 was on automatic pilot. Yesterday they removed the automatic pilot. Now his No.1 is misbehaving, but thankfully his No.2 is perfect!

19 comments:

aims said...

I really don't know what to say here. I admire your husband for sticking to his dreams...that is admirable! I think you've nailed it right on the head when you said they go home and think they are good! How I wish they would just treat us as equals - equal humans striving for a healthy life - or any kind of life for that matter.

Grrrrrr - doctors!!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Blimey aims, you were quick off the mark today! I think that you have to remember they are mostly incompetent fools like us normal human beings. The trouble is that they don't seem to realise they are incompetent fools! Anyway, I will forgive anyone that is like George Clooney. I'm so shallow.

Maggie May said...

I'm sorry that the results are not as perfect as they could have been. Hope all goes well........
These blasted results get me in a state. Have you seen our latest catastrophy in my post "Life Can be hard"...?
Glad you were able to diffuse your situation with JCBs!

Jean Genie(us) said...

NYC says love you and get back here soon. Palma has a table ready and waiting!!!!

Retiredandcrazy said...

I reag your blog "Life can be hard" and I can empathise with your daughter. Been there, done that! When you struggle like that you think life will never get better, but tell her to hold on in there, she has to keep the faith, and trust me, I am not being flippant!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Well genie(us, I bet they LOVED you at Palma in The Village. And the waiters are so cute aren't they? Are you now a gay icon?!

Do you remember we promised ourselves lunch in Covent Garden? To hell with that, it has to be dinner at Palma, NY, NY. Let's rip it up!

Lin said...

I'm not sure how I found my way here, but I've really enjoyed your words.

As a seven year cancer survivor (ovarian) who was told by the surgical oncologist that even with my early stage diagnosis, surgery, and chemo that was in my cards, five years was the average...Average what, (I asked and then started singing lalalalalalala I can't hear you) in my head. The second oncologist I spoke with was all optimism and thusly so was I.

I have a strong feeling that your husband will be just fine. Thirty to sixty percent...those are terrific odds and you should focus on the 60 and drop the 30.

I wish him the very best of treatment and recovery.

Dusty Spider said...

You sound very positive. That is absolutely the best attitude to have. It will help you climb mountains. Make ready with the crampons we're right behind you!! Hugs. Flick x

Stinking Billy said...

It's always a worrying business when the big C raises its head - has it inadvisedly hoisted by a GP - but you were the one who got on about hairy-chests and George Clooney lookalikes, and I just want to say that I wish I had been present.

No not for those male attractions, but just to listen a Belfast accent again. Man, it is a beautiful sound.

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

What a roller-coaster, but OG does seem to be coping very well - and you! The doctor sounds lovely and I like the sound of the Belfast accent too. Boys and their toys do have fun; it's great that they could talk about that, even in such difficult circumstances! M xx

Grit said...

definitely google. there's a lot of specious rubbish in google medi-land but at the very least you get to calibrate the hospital information while picking up some enticing medical sounding phrases should you ever wish to throw them at george clooney. good luck!

Maggie May said...

Ann there is an ward waiting over at my place for you!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Thank you for your words of good cheer Lin we need to hear the good news stories. It sure helps. Many, many more years of recovery for yourself and welcome to my world!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Crampons may be a tad too far Flick, but a gentle saunter up hill will probably do the trick!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Hi Sticking Billy, long time no see! Missed you! I had the opportunity to drool over the Belfast George Clooney again last Wednesday. He was at the clinic OG had to attend and he shook my hand. I will never wash that hand again!!

Retiredandcrazy said...

Margot you are so right about boys and toys. As we left the clinic on Wednesday OG called out "keep up the JCB lessons" and they both smiled that knowing smile.

Retiredandcrazy said...

My trouble Grit is that I tend to spew out the daft bits that I've read and made an ass of myself. Like last night I said to the oncologist "Can chemo cause dementia, because I've read that it can". He looked taken aback. "I've never been asked that question before, but to answer - I've never heard that it does. We do know that breast cancer patients on chemo can xperience temporary memory loss, but dementia? No, I don't think so". One strike for him, and one against me!

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Google, DEFINITELY! Taking matters into your own hands is the only way to go!

Retiredandcrazy said...

I g0 along with you Carrie, even though I make such an ass of myself at times!