The most astute of you may have noticed a pattern emerging here - let me explain because, to be honest, the evidence for that is weak, but it is there.
The first part of this blog was started more than three years ago, when I was diagnosed with bowel cancer. The blog detailed my treatment for that cancer, then abruptly went silent when the treatment finished - strike one.
All was good for a couple of years then we pick up the story when I was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and the posts became more frequent, detailing my treatment for that also. Again when that treatment finished, all went silent (strike two) - until now.
The reason for the update is I have received strike three.
Actually I received it several months ago - I have just been put off writing about it, but the time has come, so here goes.
Strike three initially took the form of a sore chest - a sharp pain in the chest just to the left of by breastbone.
I happened to be at my GP for something completely different and mentioned it (to the locum GP who I was seeing that day).
She was concerned that it may be a blood clot, so arranged for me to have a scan at St Johns. I duly went for the scan and the discovered that I did not have any blood clots, but that there was a growth on one of my ribs. I was sent for a different type of scan at the new Edinburgh Royal which confirmed this diagnosis and immediately I am back into the system after just escaping it.
We were referred to the oncology department again and met Dr Law, who has now taken over my case from Dr Howard, my Oncologist from the bladder cancer. Dr Howard has retired, and I wish him a long and happy retirement.
Helen and I met Dr Law one Thursday afternoon at St Johns hospital. We took Matthew Clifton-Brown, our church leader along for moral support, because to be honest, by that time we kind of knew the worst.
So the official diagnosis was metastatic bladder cancer tumours on the bones - actually a few of them. One major one is on my (7th?) rib and was the one that had been causing the problems, but it turns out that there are also a few, much smaller growths on my pelvis. the upshot is that these growths are not treatable and I have been diagnosed as terminal - strike three.
The irony of this is that I was given this news two days after my final appointment with Dr Phillips, the original oncologist form the good old days when I 'only' had bowel cancer. After three years with no recurrence of that I have been put on a care and maintenance regime and will not see him for two years. As it stands at the moment I am not expecting to make that appointment.
There is much more to this tale, which I will continue with in future posts, but for now that is enough.