Lights were switched on at 6:30am and I was introduced to Kevin “the trolley person not to be upset unless you want to starve”. Hot drinks were served before the ward’s version of the “full English” was delivered. Breakfast consumed, trays cleared away, all patients washed and gowned (the one size fits all version, no wonder M&S clothes sales are in decline), before the consultant arrived with his entourage, to complete his daily round. The first blood sample of the day was taken by a lovely lady who despite describing my veins as “bent” took great delight in finding a suitable juicy vein at the first attempt.
A porter arrived to take me down for a CT scan. I was told to keep still by the staff and to follow instructions, (they obviously hadn’t met me before). I was eventually released and transported back to the ward.
Consultant arrived, requested a pair of Marigolds and proceeded to commence a digital rectal examination (considering suing due to an invasion of my private parts). The only audible comment was a description of my prostate as being hard.
My wife arrived and I related in graphic detail the day’s events and after a couple of hours she was taken to her lodgings.
At 7.00pm, the consultant reappeared to inform me that following all the tests and CT scan, my PSA was 907 but there was no explanation of what these letters signified. I enquired what should be the normal range for my age and was told between 4 and 5. I asked whether I should be telephoning the Guinness Book of Records (in the immortal words of the late comedian Frankie Howard, “not a titter”).
‘Mr. Bloom you have Advanced Prostate Cancer, tomorrow morning at 10.30am you will meet a cancer nurse who will supply you with more information and later tonight, we shall be transferring you to the Acute Urological Surgical Ward’.
I telephoned my wife to break the news of my diagnosis. Surprisingly, I was just stunned. She was in shock, having only been home for 6 months following 17 weeks in various hospitals, to treat a benign brain tumour.
Transferred to my new abode, the end bed in a bay of six men with a lovely view of the sun shining on the concrete side of the building and the car park (I am not using this travel agent again). I was introduced to the nurse and paracetamol was dished out for evening consumption. Lights out at 9.30pm and once again, I was unable to sleep.