A pretty nurse woke me up on Saturday lunchtime. I was feeling dizzy, dis-orientated, slightly nauseous and had a red raw scrotum. It was much like a hangover from the Irish Club in Nottingham.
Dr Jimmy came to check my wounds and explained that he had performed a mini-biopsy on the removed testicle in the operating theatre. He was 100% sure I had cancer, and that tuberculosis had been ruled out. He gently explained that a formal pathology report would confirm his opinion and identify the specific nature of the cancer. Suddenly, my life took a new direction and my mood plummeted.
The 'markers' from my blood test showed that I had high levels of a hormone running through my veins. This particular hormone is normally found in pregnant women but, in men, indicates the presence of Choriocarcinoma. No, I hadn't heard of it either. I felt this hormone explained the growth of my 'man boobs' in recent years, but Moniek wasn't convinced.
I nodded my understanding at Dr Jimmy's diagnosis, but it was clear that I was not yet fully coherent. He asked Moniek and Ilse to join him in the corridor. I've seen this movie before. I could see Moniek's sobbing reflection in a glass door, and I overheard his words 'sky high'. I began to panic.
The normal level for this marker in the blood is somewhere in the range 0 to 5. My count was 14,638.