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And so it goes …

February 9th, 2019 Leave a comment Go to comments

After the usual frenzied Christmas period with way too much alchohol and everything else I elected (with some encouragement from friends including Steve Gray) to take a dry January and not drink alcohol. Too be honest I don’t think this is a bad idea anyway – we all push the limits with drinking and its good to know you can stop!

This followed a difficult 4 month period of recurring extreme back pain. I have had back pain for years – not least because of a short leg – but the pain at the end of 2018 was extreme and unlike anything I had experienced in the past. I did try hit Chelsea hospital hoping for a quick x-ray but that didn’t work and the best I got were a few pills!

Strangely the back pain reduced to inconsequential as I got in to Dry Jan which I was very happy about. Last week of January I decided to visit my private GP Dr Eric Asher for a routine medical checkup. He did all the usual and I left the surgery looking forward to an email that all was fine and my liver never looked better. Alas it was not to be – the email was more like “we need to talk”. One never likes to get these from Doctors!!!

We did talk and he told me my inflammation markers were showing that the body was fighting something and he suspected Myeloma which of course I had never heard of. He wanted to run a further blood test to confirm which takes a day or two and costs another £300 odd. Of course I said yes.

End result – Thursday afternoon he says – this is going to get expensive. You need at least a cat scan and if you are diagnosed you are going to need treatment. He suggested I visit the NHS. I registered with a local practice and they immediately on the back of his letter referred me to a hospital under the NHS 2 week rule which basically reduces delay for urgent diagnoses. By the monday of ICE week I was sitting in the office of Professor Cavenaugh – head of the Myeloma department at St Barts hospital london which is one of the foremost research hospitals for this sort of disease. 

Tricia flew across from Bermuda to be with me through this difficult time – for which I am immensely indebted to her. It’s really hard dealing with the different news which is of course very relevant and can be quite depressing and also working out how to communicate with people around you. Thank you baby! Now – back to the story…

He scheduled a CT Scan for Wednesday of ICE week (6 Feb) which industry people will know is a crazy week followed by consultation. I duly had the consultation where he confirmed that there was no doubt I am suffering from Multiple Myeloma confirmed by the sighting of Lytic Lesions on the bones which can be seen on the CT Scan. The next stages are to assess the level of infection and then to recommend treatment. I had been due to spend a week in Bermuda end of Feb. and asked if treatment could wait – he said better not to. Weirdly I started to feel pain in my chest and this contributed to a decision to press ahead and abandon plans for Bermuda.

Next step is bone marrow biopsy and MRI of the spine.

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