OMG 2020

Just when we thought our war with Cancer was over it strikes again. But unfortunately this time it’s not me. It’s Anita.

All our concern has been focused on Coronavirus. My last article was directly aimed at been extra cautious not to ignore other possible issues like cancer. Little did I realise how close to home that meant.

An unexplained rash! Something private and somewhere private but no matter what creams were used it wouldn’t go. This prompted an appointment with a doctor. Almost an impossible task during the COVID 19 crises. But Anita got to see the doctor. After an extensive examination the doctor (GP) refers Anita to a specialist “ I don’t like the look of this”

But off home we go. 48 hours later Anita has an appointment- that appointment happened Thursday 2nd of April, first introduction – the appointment was in CUMH. CUMH is Cork University Maternity Hospital. But it’s not quiet that well named. It deals with all things fanny, sorry meant female. With Coronavirus restrictions in place I couldn’t go (yes there just maybe a God). So off she goes and the situation as we saw it suddenly changed from a rash to a form of skin cancer.

A consultant Gynaecologist Oncologist was called in and proceeded to do a number of swabs & biopsies. He advised Anita that she most definitely had a form of skin cancer. He wanted the biopsy results back before full diagnosis but he did say that the probability of surgery was high. The form of skin cancer is called VIN Cancer. The consultant order up an MRI and this was done on Good Friday, awaiting results. The MRI is more aimed at pinpointing exact location of the nearest lymph node, this node is removed during surgery as a precautionary measure This is a substantial operation and most likely will be followed by radiotherapy. All this will happen within the next week. As CUMH are not conducting operations at the moment they intend to do the operation in Bon Secours Cork, the same hospital that I have been treated in since 2014. The consultant is a leading gynaecologist oncologist and recognised as one of the leading researchers into VIN. Yet another rare cancer

Just an extra note: As above I could not accompany Anita as there is a restriction in hospitals. We did not realise that the appointment would include a biopsy, we thought they would do swabs etc. The biopsy included a stitch- Even though this was painful Anita drove herself home. I was in work when she called me. Fighting cancer is difficult enough but been told when your on your own “You have cancer” takes a different type of mind set.

We’re confident about our ability to beat this but in normal times we would be looking at a lengthy hospital stay to help with Anitas recovery but with the current Coronavirus outbreak we are actually more concerned about Anitas exposure in hospital, following any operation our immune system becomes compromised, so a faster release from hospital would be the bigger hope.

All this and I have also been isolated. My COVID test came back as negative but because I’m still showing symptoms and immunocompromised the test has been classed as a “False Negative” basically meaning that I may have this disease and been instructed to isolate. I can’t leave my home for any reason. I have been instructed to stay away from Anita as we can’t afford to delay her treatment, I can’t even drive her to the hospital. Lucky for us the house is substantial. Anita now sleeps in the master bedroom which has its own bathroom and I am in one of the guest bedrooms. We have two sitting rooms. All the hard work in renovating is paying off.

I will be trying to get Anita to write a continuous blog about this. As you all know I am a person who encourages awareness. This particular site is more aimed at Lymphoma Awareness. But unlike most forms of Cancer this is in an area that is very private & personal. Anita has agreed to allowing me to write this and as you can see we have excluded details.

Time to take the gloves off

Of course even though this saying means so much to a fighter preparing to go flat out unfortunately in reality with Coronavirus been so active it’s more a case of

Put the surgical gloves on

We need to protect our health staff we need to protect our patients we need to protect ourselves.

If you are not essential service stay at home

If your over 70 or any age with long term medical issues stay at home

If your awaiting a COVID test or results stay at home

If you have been medically instructed on isolate stay at home

If you are symptomatic in any way stay at home – consult a doctor. You may be spreading this virus.

If you are any part of essential services and you have even one symptom then your exposing others at a serious level so stay at home

Protect our Cancer patients and medical professionals

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