More hopeful

My 'camera test' appointment was at 8.00 am in Beaumont hospital. This was a follow-up to Monday's meeting with the radiology oncologist and was to investigate the bowel "abnormality" which had showed up on the MRI scan. I'd set the alarm for 6.45 and got to the consultant's rooms at 7.40, hoping that this would speed things up. As it happened, he got tied up at a multi-discipline meeting and it was after 9.00 by the time my name was called for a preparatory session with a nurse. Shortly afterwards I was approached by a member of the hospital's research team, asking me to agree to having an additional biopsy sample taken for research purposes. Naturally, I gave my consent.

Dr Cahill had a really good bedside manner, and kept me fully informed during the scope procedure, not only of what he was doing but also of what he was seeing. His initial examination suggested that there was indeed something strange going on, but he said whatever he was feeling was outside the bowel, most probably being caused by the prostate problem. When it came to the actual scope he almost immediately began to use phrases like "that's fine", and quite quickly told me that he could see nothing to cause concern. He took biopsy samples anyway, told the research person that there was no point taking an extra sample for their purposes and summed things up by telling me that he's confident the bowel is cancer-free and is also confident that the biopsy result will confirm this.

So, all very reassuring, and the best news I've had in a while. I left feeling much more calm than I'd been when I arrived. Now it's just a matter of seeing Monday's consultant again on the 30th to get the formal results of today's test and to hear from him whether or not any other treatment will be needed for the prostate apart from the hormone injections. I won't be cracking open the champagne just yet, but let's just say that the bottle's been moved closer to the fridge door.

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