I’ve not been around for a while because I’m traumatised quite frankly. I’m traumatised because of my country’s healthcare system. I’m traumatised because my boyfriend wasn’t around when I needed him the most. I’m traumatised because I might have cancer.
Fuck. Remember I said that the doc had told me I was suffering with IBS – Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Well, he sent me for blood tests and a stool sample to rule anything else sinister out. This is where the problems first started…
I needed two lots of tests – bloods and a stool sample, yet the doc only gave me one form telling me the receptionist would give me a second form. I’d need to give one away to the nurses that later took my blood, and one would need to be sent away with the stool sample. Off I trotted to the receptionist and requested a pot to do my business in, plus a second form.
“I can’t give you another form but the nurses will be able to photocopy that one for you when you go to get your bloods done”
The very next day I went to the nurses to get my bloods done. I’m not very good with needles so it was a pretty nerve-wracking experience for me. They couldn’t give me the second form I needed and I would need to get back in touch with my doctors surgery to get them to print me out another one. For fucks sake.
My bloods went off and two weeks later I realised that I had forgotten to get back in touch with them to get the form for a poo sample. Plus I didn’t poo for like five days. It was traumatic.
I got a letter from the doctors saying that I needed to get in touch with them to follow up my blood tests yet they sent it to the wrong address. They didn’t have the right phone number on file for me even though I’ve updated it with them like three times. On Friday I called them and they told me there was something wrong with my bloods, and the letter stated that I need to make an appointment at my ‘earliest possible convenience’. Despite all of this, they made me wait until 7pm on Monday – three days later, for the appointment to find out what was wrong.
Now what we were ruling in or out with these tests were things like Crohn’s disease, Coeliac disease, gut infections, etc. This meant that there was something wrong – last time I went for bloods there was nothing wrong with them and they told me over the phone there was nothing wrong with them.
For three days I paced anxiously. Monday came and Jock was meant to have come with me to the docs. He didn’t. He blew me out on Sunday night and I was fuming on Monday so I told him not to bother coming. Clearly his ex and her daughter was more important than coming with me to the doctors. I ended up going to the docs on my own where I was told there were signs of inflammation, an infection, there was something wrong with my white blood count, and I needed to be referred for some more tests. The three things my doctor said to me were – diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease and bowel cancer.
Bowel cancer? I’m 28 for fucks sake. Bestie can’t say those words. We’ve started calling it ‘Big Cheese’. I can’t get it into my head that I might have cancer. I’ve been referred for a colonoscopy plus given antibiotics to get rid of the infection whatever it is has given me.
I’ve been off work all week. For two days the antibiotics gave me a real nasty gut and I was in tears with the pain for most of the time. The rest of the time I was glued to the toilet. This was followed by a day of incredibly painful constipation (today), and I’ve still got to wait three more days to find out the results of the poo sample that I eventually managed to send away.
This condition is mortifying. I can’t talk about this with anyone. Bestie tries but honestly, it’s a really difficult conversation to have. He’s scared. I know he is. I am too. It’s so embarrassing. How am I meant to tell my new male, kinda hot new boss of about two weeks that I’ve had chronic diarrhoea for two days, and gut-wrenching constipation following on from that? I can’t. The whole phoning-in-sick business has been a nightmare too. My manager didn’t get my voicemail and the guys at work kept calling me to find out where I was, unaware that I had already called in sick.
Between the nausea, paranoia, symptom-googling, severe abdomen pain that feels as if I’m carrying a bowling ball in my intestines somewhere and weird stomach-gurgling-noises, I’ve had enough. I’m sorry for talking about my embarrassing problem but I need to write it down somewhere. I can’t handle it. Fuck my life. I hate being sick at the best of times but this feels sinister. It really does. The twinges in the lower left hand side of my abdomen even feel sinister. I’m petrified.
How could something as common as IBS have turned into what could end up being cancer? Big cheese? Is this really something I’m going to need to come to terms with? The doctor seemed panicked by the results of my bloods and was eager to poke and prod me, listening to my stomach with his stethoscope as I writhed around in pain. He’s referred me for a colonoscopy. I’ve got to go back after my antibiotics for more bloods to see if the infection and temperature has gone. What makes things even crazier is that I’ve had this infection for almost two weeks without knowing and the second he told me I was ill, I got every symptom in one go. What the fuck? Aside from feeling very under the weather and aching all the time, I was perfectly fine. Well, apparently not.
After the colonoscopy, I might need to go for a scan. Is this really happening to me? Really? They’re gonna shove tubes up my ass! Do you have any idea how much that idea terrifies me? I’ve not even let Jock go up my ass yet and a complete stranger is going to be rooting around up there. Ugh.
So that’s where we are. I’m waiting for a call back for my anal raping appointment, and I’m four days into antibiotics that are, quite frankly, killing me. If this nausea is what morning sickness is like, fuck ever having kids.
But seriously though… I might have cancer?