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Sunday, 22 January 2012

I am 4 today ...

... well strictly speaking only my right hip is four years old today (yes I know the rest of me can behave like my right hip age as well, but that is another story).  Who would have thought.

On 17 January 2008 I was at the clinic for my adjuvant chemo and asked if anything ever came of the x-ray which was taken 8 weeks before.  I had been having increasing trouble walking, and although at the age of 47 I was walking with a stick my oncologist didn't think there was really anything wrong.  Even then I had to push for an x-ray and when I wasn't given the results in November I thought it really must be my imagination that I was crawling up stairs etc.  I had forgotten to ask the oncologist at the clinic in November and didn't want to bother him by going back and asking.  As it turned out at the January clinic I saw the oncologist who ordered the x-ray.  She muttered something about the report never having been written and brought it up on screen.  She then made an excuse to leave the room and left me sitting looking at the x-ray on the conputer screen on her desk.

You don't have to have medical training to know that when a femur is marbled like that there is something slightly wrong.  My mind raced while a part of me wanted to be convinced that there was nothing that wrong; after all she had gone to find out if she needed to report a split on the skin of my left forefinger as part of the trial I was on.  I had then finished my first cycle of Capecitabine (Xeloda) which is notorious for skin problems on the hands and feet.  The cancer couldn't have spread.  Only in October they had told me that it hadn't spread to the lymph nodes under my left arm when they were examined after my mastectomy.  The cancer couldn't have spread because when they asked if I had pain anywhere else and I told them about the pain deep in my right groin area and my left shoulder, the only comment was "that's interesting".  I couldn't have spread long before to have left me with a 4" x 2" tumour that had destroyed my right hip, could it?  The problem I had told the surgeon, my GP, uncle Tom Cobbly and all about, and which was making my right hip bow outwards when I walked.  Nah, it couldn't have spread.

It had.

I was sent for more x-rays and when I came back to the clinic, and was the last person sitting there waiting to see the oncologist before I went home, I was told I had to go straight up to orthopaedics.  They had a bed in the trauma ward waiting for me.  NO I couldn't go home.  I called work and asked for a message to be passed on to my line manager who hadn't answered his phone.  I phoned my brother to say they were keeping me in and could someone arrange to collect my car.

You must not put weight on that leg.  You must use crutches and not put your foot to the ground at all.  Crikey.  Over the ensuing days I had a bone scan and a CT scan.  The doctors talked to each other and discussed what to do - put a nail in the femur or total hip replacement.  It was the latter.  Tuesday 22 January 2008 my new hip was 'born'.  And now she is 4.  Who would have guessed.

So how long have I got?  Six months, possibly a year then because a year, maybe two, possibly three.  So here I am 4 years later and recovering from having my left hip replaced on 14 December 2011.  Maybe this is just a ploy to have more than one birthday a year.  Now I have three, but they are all in the winter.  The irony was that I was born with a slightly deformed left hip, it never worked properly and then slowly deteriorated with osteo arthritis, egged on by the cancer treatment.  Why couldn't the cancer have taken out the left hip which was already a problem.  All the other tumours are on the left side, but then cancer doesn't do nice things like that.

So a right Hippy Birthday to a part of me.

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