It’s three weeks to the day since my notorious Revels scan.  The drive to Huddersfield was arduous, with traffic at a halt in Halifax.  My vague knowledge of the back streets helped me get around the problem.  Joan Jett and the Blackhearts “I love sausage roll” drowning out any fears from the BMW hi fi.

Scan results are a big part of my journey from diagnosis to death.  Pretty important events.  This one was preceded by a standard blood test.  Usually I’m treated like a business class flyer.  Today it took half an hour to get called to provide my blood.  Time to read the exciting news that lung cancer survival in the UK, a year after diagnosis, has improved.  38% of us get to a year now compared to 31% in 2010.  Two months to go.

Then off to see Oncobabe.  She appeared in the waiting room and asked if I’d had my X-ray.  I replied in the negative, citing the Revel scan as being the most upto date information they needed.  A perplexed look and she disappeared.

Eventually she called us in.  I shuffled to my sister’s right, ensuring my deaf ear was strategically placed away from the voices.  Shockingly, no scan result.  No image for Oncobabe to take an unqualified view of.  Nothing.  At least she was able to give positive news of the July X-ray and blood test.  But nothing of any use for this meeting.

I described my ongoing right buttock/leg difficulties.  She used the phrase “if it is the cancer returning …” which sent a shiver up my spine. I clarified my imminent holiday dates.  And pretty much determined that if I do need a new biopsy it won’t be happening at the expense of my Vegas vacation.  Whatever the implications!

While I wouldn’t want to slate the NHS too much, I’ve become an obviously small cog in a disappointingly inefficient wheel.  The concept of chasing up overdue reports before the patient consultation hasn’t quite reached this part of the world yet.


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