Imagine my surprise on Sunday night when I looked down at my groin and saw....
...I should probably start at the beginning.
So I started back at work three weeks ago...Yea!!
Last Saturday, after work, after sitting on my saddle chair -(which had been so well hidden in anticipation of my return, that no one could find it initially)- all day , I noticed in the shower that my right leg was very tight and swollen and tense and slightly discoloured.
After a good nights sleep the swelling had gone down slightly.It was however swollen again at the end of Sundays' shift.
So I emailed my oncologist on Monday , who called me back concerned that I might have had a deep vein thrombosis.She arranged for me to have some imaging which showed no DVT but some decreased flow into my right leg in the groin.
I saw her the following day only to discover that between the PET scan in January and the CAT scan to plan the radiotherapy in mid-February, that there had been a proliferation of lymph nodes in my groin.
Are they the old cancer?
Are they a new cancer?
They're certainly cancer but no one knows.
She is optimistic, BTW...well, she would be, wouldn't she.
Anyway...the radiotherapy team had already seen them and factored them into the treatment planning and indeed I have already had some radiotherapy over the affected area.
Why no one on their team had bothered to tell me, well, who knows.
Anyhow...when you find yourself walking through hell...don't stop...so I haven't.
So there I was last night, at about 21h00 watching a tense courtroom scene in 'The Judge' when I became aware that there was pressure in my groin and I felt/thought that I needed to take a quick pee.
As I stood up I experienced some pain and looking down at my groin I saw that my 'chap'...my 'member'...'WillyWonka' was very very VERY swollen...
...the foreskin was huge and folded over, purple and glistening , the size of a toddlers hand who is clutching his last sweaty M&M...
...and I was unable to have that much needed pee.
Like so many other times in my life, I sought comfort in the company of strangers and so drove myself and my rutabaga-like penis to A&E.
It needed its own seat belt.
When I arrived there it was heaving...but I was seen relatively quickly because I used to work there.
And also I looked like a pervert...
And there wasn't just one female colleague/friend prepared to see me...
There weren't even just two female colleagues/friends prepared to see me...
There were three female colleagues/friends who were prepared to see me...
...once they had all stopped laughing.
The Consultant tried to peel back my foreskin...and yes, I know him as well.
They decided I would need to be catheterised.
They asked if the student nurse could have a go under the guidance of the Consultant...really....what could I say....I've asked the same question of many patients in pain....its a teaching hospital.
And then...Hallelujah...Lord be Praised...'Vat hom Dawie'...as they approached me, the swelling subsided sufficiently for me to pee!!
In retrospect it was probably all the handling that reduced some of the fluid....
...because...according to my oncologist who I saw this evening...it turns out that I have a collection of lymphatic fluid in my penis...
...apparently the lymph nodes get 'burnt', for want of a better description,by the radiotherapy and thus swell slightly...we're talking millimetres...which causes the lymphatic fluid to pool distal to the lymph node.
I've been advised to massage it frequently,firmly,ferociously and with malice aforethought ..I'm drawing up a rota.
First the leg...
...then the old chap.
Its eerily reminiscent of my divorce proceedings.