Monday, 7 November 2011


I had concluded a number of facts: (1) there was a big, nasty mass inside my right bollock; (2) the symtoms were consistent with those of testicular cancer; (3) there was a slim chance it could be tuberculosis; (4) either way, it was highly likely I would lose a testicle; and (4) I wanted to get as far away as possible from Dr Regmi and the Norvic Hospital in Kathmandu.

I was born in 'The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. My sister lives outside London; mum and dad outside Belfast. I worked in the UK for 17 years, and paid half my substantial earnings to the tax man. I felt morally justified to return for medical treatment, but had concerns about how easily I could drop back into the system after 9 years of exploring the world by motorcycle.

Moniek's sister, Ilse, lives in Singapore where the medical facilities are apparently world-class. It's expensive, I don't have any insurance, and would have to pay cash. But, critically, it's only a 5-hour flight from Nepal.

The necessary phone call to my family filled me with dread: 'Hi, how are you? Listen, I've got cancer, and need to leave Nepal immediately to have one of my balls cut off. What do you reckon? London, Belfast or Singapore?'

They were extremely supportive, and we reached a decision in less than 5 minutes - Singapore. I met my client for dinner to explain the situation. He was incredibly understanding and flexible (cheers, Shoban), and I started packing for the trip.

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