Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by ADMIN-TOM
If you think the title of this piece seems a bit of a mouthful, well, you would be right, dear reader. But what it actually is are descriptions attached to my medical history that has unfolded since just after Covid-19 laid us all low.
It all started on a warm sunny day in 2019 on the first day of a spring break my wife and I were taking in Protaras. Breakfast was over, we finished our coffees and we decided to go for a walk along the boardwalk.
Unfortunately, the boardwalk wasn’t complete and it turned into a track, which became a rocky track that then became a sloping down rocky track onto the beach below. My wife was unsure of her footing (what a laugh that turned out to be) and I gallantly, so I thought, turned round and offered to walk her down, me going backwards to ensure she didn’t fall.
Next thing I know, I lost my footing as the rock I stood on disappeared and I failed to learn how to fly within the next three seconds.
Down I went and tumbled all the way down the rocky path to land wedged between two large rocks at the bottom.
Boy, did that hurt and I wasn’t backward in coming forward in letting the whole world know how much it hurt.
To cut a long story short, I ended up in hospital. Little did I know but that was the beginning of a longish series of medical examinations, tests and treatments for a long list of ailments.
I already knew I was a diabetic and had been for many years. But the doctors in the hospital discovered my oxygen levels were low. They did tests while I was recovering from my seven, or was it five (I forget) broken ribs. The doctors couldn’t find any cause for the oxygen problem, and four days later I was on my way home near Larnaca.
It took my several months of sleeping sitting up, attempting to get in the car and driving, and generally walking to get myself back to where I was before my accident.
By the time 2020 came round I was almost back to normal. Then in January I was laid low by the flu. The Cyprus Ministry of Health insisted it was Swine Flu. But it was odd that it had the same symptoms as another flu that was about to lay the whole planet low. Covid struck around March/April and I had just recovered from my Swine Flu. Luckily, my wife and I managed to circumnavigate the Covid outbreak and we came through with a clean bill of health.
At the end of all the lock-downs and restrictions we decided to sell our business, retire and move house to Paphos in the west of the Island.
It wasn’t long after the move, about a year, that I began to have a problem with my breathing. I had a panic attack one night because I woke up unable to breath. After visiting my doctor I was admitted to hospital where they discovered I was suffering from arrhythmia, which, they thought, was why I was getting a little breathless.
But as the days turned to weeks my breathlessness became worse, to the extent I couldn’t walk very far before I had to stop and catch my breath. Obviously I went to see my doctor, who sent me to have an endoscopy procedure, followed by a colonoscopy procedure. Apart from discovering polyps and haemorrhoids the procedures came back with a blank for the breathlessness.
Next it was heart tests, where they confirmed arrhythmia plus my heart was not functioning as it should. Seems I had what we used to call an enlarged heart. But that didn’t explain the breathlessness, despite major tests and a whole box full of new pills for me to take on a daily basis.
Finally, I think more in exasperation than medical knowledge, I put on the list for angiogram and a visit to a haematologist. Which did I want to do first? So, I chose the angiogram. I got a nice X-Ray of the veins in my chest clearly showing no problems. So, it was down to seeing if my blood was doing its job. It wasn’t.
My visit to the haematologist resulted in a simple blood test, that discovered I had a rare form of lymphoma, Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma. Basically, my blood wasn’t doing its job of carrying oxygen around the body, hence being breathless. The cancer was 80% invasive and slow growing, so, it was caught in time.
There followed nine months of chemotherapy. Which, on the face of it was successful and my blood is now only showing 5% invasive and the cancer is dormant. I’m currently in the middle of a program of immunotherapy which is designed to get rid of the cancer completely. We wait and see what the results of this will be when the summer comes round and I go for further tests.
But in the meantime, I have a list of health conditions that reads like a who’s who of what can potential damage your health or kill you. And what does make me smile is how my heart failure is unspecified.
And there, hidden at the very end, is small cell B-cell lymphoma the potential killer that sounds so innocuous.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus without complications
Polyp of colon
Heart/arterial murmur NOS
Heart failure, unspecified
Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation
Angina pectoris, unspecified
Other agents primarily affecting the gastrointestinal system
Aortic (valve) insufficiency
Mitral (valve) insufficiency
Small cell B-cell lymphoma
I think I’ve enough medical stuff going on at the moment to last me a lifetime.
Copyright © Tom Kane 2024