Sunday, 6 November 2011

You want to do what?

Doctors use clever imaging technology to see how babies are developing in the tummies of pregnant women. The same equipment was used to study my lump. They smeared cool jelly on the affected area, and gently rubbed it with a curvy roller. Under different circumstances, it would have been quite pleasant. The scan clearly showed a substance, about the size of an almond, inside my gonad - but was inconclusive about its composition.

Dr Regmi wanted to perform FNAC to determine whether the substance was tuberculosis or cancer cells. FNAC is the acronym for Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology. Basically, he wanted to stick a syringe into my bollock - without any anaesthetic - and suck out some of the puss for analysis. My eyes watered, and I glazed into a trance of disbelief.

My girlfriend, Moniek, asked Dr Regmi an obvious question that would later prove to be a life-changer: 'If it is cancer - and you poke it with a needle - won't it spread around his body?' The doctor gave an unconvincing answer and eventually suggested MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) instead. MRI involves laying down on a bed which slides under a machine; the machine then beeps, buzzes and whirrs for 40 minutes and takes some hi-tech photos. It's a bit like a 3-dimensional x-ray. Sold to the man with the glazed eyes.

The MRI scan was very expensive, but didn't tell us anything new - the lump could be cancer or tuberculosis. Either way, the recommendation was the same: my right testicle would have to be chopped off. Gulp.

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