In the last two weeks, I’ve had a couple of consultations about a pain in the balls and a pain in the neck.
The former is real, mildly uncomfortable and due to a small nodule behind my right testicle. Naturally, thoughts turn to metastatic disease but reading around the subject, that’s very unlikely for renal cancer. Nevertheless, it needs to be diagnosed so a meeting with my GP led to an ultrasound scan last week. From the scan, it’s not cancer but looks like a “granuloma”, a small nodule due to a mild infection. So I need to see my GP again for advice on treatment to clear it up.
The latter – a pain in the neck or for that matter in the head – is not a current problem. It’s just something else I have thought about during these last months of illness. Since metastatic spread has already occurred to my former right adrenal gland and to my thoracic spine, couldn’t it have also spread to my cervical spine or brain? Renal cancer does metastasise to both. Though I have had CT and MRI scans, they have not yet covered neck and brain. It is just time, I think, to check them out.
Hopefully, there’ll be no problem. On the other hand, if there is a lesion, it might be operable before it causes me symptoms and crucially, further loss of nerve function. But I’m optimistic that there’ll be no lesion. So yesterday, I saw my oncologist in Carlisle and he agreed that my next regular CT scan this autumn would cover neck and brain. The following one next spring will then re-focus on chest and abdomen.
I continue to ask questions and nudge my treatment in sensible directions when needed. Next week, I have my first physiotherapy consultation since asking my GP to chase this up a few weeks ago. I am looking forward to that discussion and the physiotherapy sessions, that I trust will follow. And I also have my monthly session with my renal consultant.
I’m being well cared for. Long live a public, not-for-profit NHS.