April / May 2018 – You Have Cancer

I can’t remember the exact date I was 1st told I probably have cancer but it was on a Monday towards the end of May 2018

It started of as just a bit of mild toothache and in early March I went to my dentist who had a good look and diagnosed an impacted lower wisdom tooth which I was agitating by biting down on it with an upper wisdom tooth, he recommended removing the upper wisdom tooth rather than treating the lower one.

Once the top wisdom tooth had been removed I felt a lot better for at least a week or two until I started getting a bit of swelling and pain so went to my dentist again.

He didn’t really say a great deal but made an appointment for me to see a specialist at Warwick Hospital.

Late May – 3 weeks later I had still heard nothing and the swelling in my mouth was getting larger and more painful so I went to see my dentist again.

The look on his face and reaction told me things weren’t right and this time rather than telling me to wait to hear from the specialist, he told me to drive straight over to UHCW (University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire) at Coventry.

Is it Cancer? I asked him – He told me, he thought so yes.

He apparently got a bit of a rollicking for breaking it to me this way and for telling me to drive straight over to Coventry, but I am really glad he did and are very thankful to him.

I was in a daze, it’s not everyday you are told you have cancer just like that.

I drove home initially, told my wife I was just nipping out for a check up and arranged with my mother to do the school run. Neither were any the wiser of what I had just been told, my wife just thought I had a dicky wisdom tooth which I had led her to believe.

An hour later I pulled in to UHCW car park for the 1st of many times.
For those who know what it is like there, imagine what it was like for someone visiting for the 1st time and in a complete daze because you have just been told you have cancer.

I queued at the Accident and Emergency counter and when it got to my turn the lady behind the desk asked what the problem was and I said, in a daze My dentist has just told me to drive straight here as I have Cancer

Now I don’t know what I expected as this was my 1st time in hospital since having my tonsils out 40+ years earlier, but she didn’t even bat an eyelid when I told her, just took my details down and told me where to sit.

I was sat amongst a load of others waiting, thinking don’t they realise I have cancer?
(After a few visits you soon realise, you don’t get any priority just because you have cancer and there are others there far worse of than you – but at the time I thought I would be rushed to the front of the queue and people would drop things to see me.)

After about 30 minutes I was called through to what I know now is a triage type system.
They initially just check your vitals, your weight and ask a few questions before deciding who you see next.

I went in and the receptionist had obviously told him what my dentist had said so the 1st thing he told me was my dentist shouldn’t have done that, he couldn’t know it was cancer without running test and not to just jump to the worst conclusion.

I thought at 1st, does this mean I haven’t got cancer, felt relieved and thanked him.

He asked more questions, took my blood pressure, weighed me, then sent me back to the waiting room.

I was feeling less dazed a little relieved and thinking it’s not cancer after all

About another 30 minutes later I was called through to stage 2 told them the previous nurse had told me the dentist shouldn’t have said it was cancer and they agreed but said we have to rule it out 1st, my flicker of hope got lighter, it wasn’t that My dentist shouldn’t have told me I had cancer because I didn’t, it was he shouldn’t have told me I had cancer the way he did without it being confirmed 1st.

I was sent back out to the waiting room and then called back to go for an X-ray of my jaw

Another wait in the waiting room and then called through to see one of the Head and Neck team who were on duty
She was very nice, looked in my mouth, looked at my X-Ray then left me in the room for a while she came back in with someone else, he had a look in my mouth then went and had a talk with her, he seemed very off and I’m sure I heard him say to her, he shouldn’t be here, nothing we can do, and left. She looked embarrassed by his behaviour, came back and had a look in my mouth again, sad she couldn’t say it was cancer but didn’t look like an abscess and said she would refer me to her team leader, a lady at Warwick

6 hours later I was back home, still not sure if it was cancer and having to tell everyone I had gone over there for the doctor to look at my wisdom tooth

Story continues here – Warwick Coventry Warwick

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