It began as kind of a nagging notion, knowing that something was not right, but waiting patiently for the healthcare system to coordinate my tests and results. I spoke with my GP on a regular basis early in 2012, and by the time the calendar told me it was March, I insisted on seeing a specialist.
There was no issue in obtaining the referral I requested, it's just the length of time it takes to get through the door. But when I did, the system moved swiftly and methodically.
In early July, I saw an ENT in Kelowna. To this day, I am convinced he knew I was in trouble after snaking a camera through my nose and down my throat. But I also now know that the healthcare system includes protocols. My ENT immediately cancelled an upcoming appointment I had for an ultrasound. Instead, he booked a CT Scan and a Needle Biopsy, both of which came and went within about one week. On July 17, when I arrived at my ENT's office to review the results, I felt like I was pretty calm, cool and collected.
But, when he explained the biopsy results and said there is "evidence of cancer", I was out cold in about 30 seconds! Yeh, a senior hockey tough guy from back in the 1980's who could give and take a punch, was floored by those three words.
When I awoke, my wife looked concerned and my ENT was pressing my shoulders into the chair that I had begun to slide out of during my one-minute visit to lala land. I kind of smirked when I looked at my wife and said, "geezuz, did I just pass out"? The doctor said, " I guess that's the power of the brain".
Since then, we've been to Vancouver for a PET Scan (August 13) and to the BC Cancer Agency in Kelowna twice. On August 24 in Kelowna, I met with my radiation oncologist, who explained the results, the treatment options, and his recommendations.
My treatment begins on September 18.
More details to come...