Letter from the North

Pain and misleading CT Scans 4-Aug-2018

Yes, this is for the week of the 4th and I’ve already posted the 11th, that’s ‘cos my brain is not well engaged and outside of work I often have no idea what the hell I’m doing (ask Teresa!)

Sat 04-Aug-2018  

Today I started work on the roots of the Cornish Triffid in our “front” garden (well, Teresa calls it the ‘back’ garden but it kind of fronts onto the road, though you can’t actually see the road from the garden…that’s Cornwall for you!), but it was harder than I expected so I stopped and had a rest. 

After the rest, I got out some drawers from a cabinet buried in my upstairs office so that my son could grab the stuff he wanted to take back to Bristol – children never really move home, their rooms just turn into free storage 🙂 . No problem at all, a few twinges from my damaged shoulder, but that was no surprise and I viewed it as another useful form of physiotherapy (like Triffid hacking). 

However, towards that evening I was forced to revise my feelings. I experienced intense pain in what I call my shoulder blade (I’m sure Teresa and the doctors have a better word), as intense as on the day of the accident. Indeed, on that day I kept telling everyone that it was my shoulder blade that hurt the most. Now that same pain was back. 

I hate painkillers, but I took paracetamol – can’t use anti-inflammatory (like Ibuprofen) as they fight the cancer/drugs/blood pressure so Paracetamol it is – certainly NOT Tramadol, I’ve written about my feelings for that drug before! 

As before, it hurt to sit, to sleep, to do anything; I felt like I had stepped (or stumbled) back 8 months to 27-Oct-2017! 

General opinion is that it is a muscular problem rather than skeletal, but really nobody cares so long as the pain subsides – after all “the cancer will kill you first”. 

Sun 05-Aug-2018  

Pain is still here, however since the offspring were around, I needed help getting the old roof (plywood) off our woodstore in preparation for getting a new one on before the winter. A job I was planning to do the weekend after the accident!!! 

I could do nothing, but son and Teresa sorted it no problem and put a tarpaulin over the wood. Good job too because, of course, after months of sun it’s now chucking it down with rain every day, a more traditional British summer! 

Mon 06-Aug-2018  

The pain is easing, no pain killers today and a decent day’s work in the office 

Had also had a phone call from the cancer nurse. She is a brilliant person, she had followed up on our conversations about the scan reports and had them re-checked by a Radiologist so: 

  1.  The “Lytic Lesion” (cancer) in my spine – T4, reported on the first scan (in Casualty) was in fact a Spinal Hemangioma, a benign tumour of the blood vessels. They did not consider it as needing treatment. 
  2. The “Right Clavicular metastasis” (in my collar bone) reported in my last scan, was, in fact, a “callus” i.e. the regrowth of the collar bone where it had broken into pieces during the accident. 

My file will be amended accordingly. 

Full marks to Debbie for going the extra mile and resolving this for me. Knowing that I really don’t have any cancer in the spine (and collar bone) is re-assuring, though I know it’s one of the places it could easily move to :-(. 

I had “verbal” opinion of both corrections but it’s nice to get formal corrections to avoid left hand and right hand not knowing each exists, problems. 

Tue 07-Aug-2018  

Went to work in Penryn and the pain is almost gone. Still being careful not to use the shoulder to give it chance to heal, so back to opening doors with my back and door handles with my bottom (the push down sort, not the rotate sort!!!) 

Most importantly, driving was no problem. If I had been concerned I wouldn’t have driven, to the extent I would have turned around if I had any worries after starting. 

Offspring back to Bristol today but they didn’t want to be at the station 2 hours early so Teresa did the deed – thank you Pet. 

Wed 18-Aug-2018  

Sorted a work problem that had been bugging me for a couple of weeks, as usual it was my fault and the fix was trivial 🙂  

Thu 09-Aug-2018  

A good day’s work 

Fri 10-Aug-2018  

More of a struggle, but I started reading my book on Mac Device drivers and it’s interesting and different even than standard Unix/Linux. 


Fatigue is a constant battle; indeed, it seems to be getting worse, but that may be because I am trying to do more physical work in the garden or DIY on the house? 

The use of short bursts of energy and sensible rest periods is keeping the impact of fatigue on getting stuff done manageable. 

However, any physical work needs to be done in the morning as there’s nothing I can do about the build-up of fatigue, even from desk-based work, by the afternoon 🙁 

The Bean, Pendeen, 20-Aug-2018 




1 Comment

  • Kate Mole

    Sounds good, Bean. Good news from the scans; setback from the shoulder now improving; work going OK! Upbeat stuff! All the best,

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