Late diagnosis: signs that were missed
If the following sounds a tad bitter. I apologise. But its what i feel.
I self-diagnosed my cancer
It was me, that visited Barnsley General hospital to challenge what i was being told was wrong with me. One night in September 2012 i went there alone, and asked to be checked. So why did i do this?
My local G.P. of many years had just retired (good decision). During the period of time i had been visiting him at his surgery, telling him about the discomfort i had in my pelvic area/inner thigh, he seemed sure it was due to cycling. Saddle sore is what i think they call it. After discussions, i used to leave with a prescription for some kind of cream or tablet. So, to him, stage 3 cancer tumour was just saddle-soreness.
That was G.P. number 1. The second one, who to be fair had a lot less time to familiarise himself with me, also gave a casual explanation: "Paul, you are not cleaning and drying yourself properly". He advised i took a lot more time drying myself after a shower, and use talc and a hairdryer to thoroughly dry my body parts out.
Can i just remind you: By this time i had a 3 inch cancer tumour growing out from my Prostate. Neither G.P. had asked any questions yet about other aspects of my health that may link it to a dangerous condition, such as cancer. At the time i was 52 year old, and apparently at the age that G.P.'s should take closer note of matters like this.
If you sense 'somethings not quite right'
I think we all know when 'something is not quite right', and i felt that these 2 medical professionals were not really convincing me they were dealing with this. Hence, i took myself to my local hospital after checking my testicles and feeling what i felt like a small hard bump. I had no confidence anymore in either of them, i went without speaking to them.
What should you do?
Well, i'm just sharing what happened to me. However, i would suggest that if you are reading this, and wondering if somethings not quite right, then be very persistent and tenacious if you feel your local G.P. isn't quite grasping your problem. Don't be afraid to challenge what they say, ask them for fuller explanations of there proposed actions, and why.
Warning to people who do fitness, or deemed fit
My experience, in my opinion, was that due to my apparent level of fitness (i was a runner, cyclist and swimmer), i felt that there was an air of 'can't be anything much wrong with you' attitude. I'm not saying this was the case, but looking back, i think i'm not far from the truth. You may need to be firm to get your voice heard.
I'll certainly approach visits to my G.P. differently in future.
As with other blogs on my website, i'm just sharing my experiences so far. I'm certainly not into naming people who i feel could have done better, or even done there job properly, as they know who they are. If they have an issue with my words, they're welcome to speak to me, or be pathetic and do some legal stuff. Thats there choice.
When you have stage 3 cancer, and have been given a prognosis, you tend not to worry about repercussions. They are trivial in comparison.
Please share you experiences so far, about when you were diagnosed, and how it came about.
Good health, to (nearly) everyone out there.