I’m sat in A&E with Chris.  January 2016 from memory.  He’s injured himself playing football for his school earlier in the day.  Eventually he’s seen, prescribed painkillers and I take him home.

I’m sat there in agony too.  I’d played badminton for the first time in 35 years a couple of days earlier.  My left shoulder aches.  I’d been a little over-enthusiastic.  But then a horrendous pain in my right chest area.  Surrounded by medics I say nothing.  Over the next couple of weeks the pain dies away.

If I’d opened my mouth in that hospital at that time, would I have been diagnosed with lung cancer?  Or, as happened three or four months later when I presented to my GP with middle back pain, would I have just been sent away with painkillers?  By the time BUPA referred me for physio for lower back pain in June I was already a dead man  There had already been a short window to save me.  Missed.

Its hard to know what would have happened.  It’s frustrating to know that I missed an opportunity.  But I was so sure that it was just an over-exertion on my part that bothering the busy Saturday evening staff of the NHS didn’t seem good form.  I knew the cause.  I knew it would go away.  Good job I’m not medically trained!

Who knows if the doctors would have spotted it?  Who knows if they’d have acted fast enough to lop a bit of the lung out?  Who knows if I’d have died in surgery?

I can’t honestly say I have massive regrets over my lack of action.  But I suppose there is a lesson that getting your worries across to a doctor are probably a better idea than not bothering.  I should have bothered.  I’m just not 100% sure the outcome would have identified lung cancer quickly enough.  I’ll never know.

Please donate to Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation who supplied the attached symptoms chart