...following our visit to the consultant today. We saw the consultant who is in charge of the whole Head and Neck Cancer clinic, Dr Newbold - we hadn't seen her for a few months, so it was good to catch up with her. We had gone along expecting to have to push for me to be allowed a PET CT scan, which my first consultant at East Grinstead Hospital had said would be the best way to check that all the cancerous cells had been caught, because it's so microscopic that an ordinary scan wouldn't pick it up, but he had also said that it would be hard to get one (on cost grounds) and that he had had to put up quite a fight to be allowed to refer a 19 year old! So we had been (metaphorically) girding our loins and rehearsing justifications as to why I should be allowed one. No need - Dr Newbold said it wasn't common practice, listened to what we said, looked at my notes, saw I had had one before my surgery and said it made sense to have another as a comparison to the earlier benchmark, as it were - result! We were so delighted, not just because we truly believe that this is what we need to give us reassurance that I am in remission - while accepting that firstly, it may give a false result in either direction and second, that we would have to deal with it if it does indeed show that I still have cancer - but also because it was so good not to have to fight for it. Such a relief.
The consultant did a physical examination, looked inside my mouth, at my gums, teeth and tongue and is very pleased with me. She says I have recovered really well, given the time since finishing radiotherapy, so that was pleasing. The PET CT scan won't take place till February/March, because there will still be inflammation in the treatment area, even now, several months after finishing r/t, so we need to be sure that has all gone.
Neil and I were both really pleased with today's appointment and were grinning as we walked back to the car. I see the consultant again in January, as she wants to keep an eye on me until I have this scan. In the meantime, Neil and I are off to Vienna tomorrow for a few days to enjoy the Christmas markets - very early start, so I shall finish this post now and get off to bed, having checked for the umpteenth time that the passports, flight documents, hotel confirmation etc are all there!
See you next week!!