Has Anybody Told Him?My story goes back to early 2008, I had been having some pain for a while and ignored it for a week or two then I started taking paracetamol but the pain remained. In the end I thought I ought to go and get it checked out. I saw an emergency doctor at my local hospital who checked me over and tested a urine sample. She could see I was in pain, and told me that she wanted me to go straight to the main hospital as she did not know what was wrong, but was concerned that I had blood in my urine.
When I got to the hospital I was examined and x-rayed in A & E and the doctor told me I had a condition called diverticulitis. He explained that I was very young to have this, but at this point it was early stages and I would be able to control it with a change of diet. I was then told I would be admitted for a few days and I would be put on IV antibiotics. After a couple of days I was given a CT scan just to make sure that nothing had been missed. The pain was easing and after a further couple of days it had pretty much gone and I was waiting to be given permission to go home.
It was mid morning and the doctors were making their way around the wards and rooms. A team of doctors came around the corner and started making their way to my room, I heard one of the team ask "does he know yet?" at which point the all stopped, hesitated for a moment, and then turned around and walked away. The team came back after what I guess may have been 15 minutes or so and enquired as to how I was feeling. I said that I felt fine and asked whether I was ready to be discharged. One of the doctors told me that I would be going home that day, but that I would need to return in a couple of weeks as the CT scan had revealed that I had cancer of the kidney.
I returned to the hospital a couple of weeks later and settled down for the night knowing that the next morning I would be undergoing major surgery to have my left kidney totally removed. That morning I was given an epidural but it failed so they gave me a large dose of morphine. I was totally out of it for around five hours. I spent a week or so in the hospital and then I was discharged. I had a very large scar that had been stapled together and the pain was very bad even with the painkillers. For a few weeks I could not manage stairs so I slept on the sofa bed in the living room. After about eight weeks I returned to the hospital to see the specialist that had operated on me. He told me that they had the results of the biopsy from the tumour in the kidney that had been removed, and that it had revealed that I had the most aggressive find of cancer that I could have caught, but that there was no sign of the cancer having spread.
I still go to the hospital for CT scans every six months, but so far everything is okay and I am now cancer free. The thought of being given a general anaesthetic and then cut open and having my kidney removed was really scary, but there was no real choice at the end of the day. It was either have the operation and live or do not have the operation and die. I was 47 at the time. All I can say is that if it had not been for the diverticulitis the scan would never have happened, and I would probably have found out too late that I had cancer. I am also very grateful to the man who performed the operation and his team as they gave me a second chance of life.