Importance of Health and Self Checking



Hello,  I am a volunteer for Embrace Wigan and Leigh and I am a quadriplegic with cerebral palsy (I don’t let it get me down) and I’m about to take you on my journey about the importance of health and self checking,  even if you are disabled and can’t check yourself .

Due to my disability I can’t check myself for any changes to my body so I rely on my mum to do it.  My journey started because my mum was getting concerned about the size of one of my testicles because it was getting bigger.   To be honest with you it didn’t worry me at the time because I felt fine and it didn’t hurt me but to put my mum’s mind at ease I agreed to go and see the doctor.   To cut a long story short I ended up going for a scan; a large lump was found,  then I had an appointment with a consultant, then a CT scan, then an operation to remove the testicle.  From my first scan through to the operation, it all happened very quickly. 

I thought that after my op I’d be fine but it turned out the tumour was cancerous. I felt sick to the pit of my stomach and it made me worried and it made me cry (and boy did I cry).   About a month after my surgery I received a letter to say they had successfully removed the cancer but I still had to have follow-up treatment.   I didn’t know how much treatment I would be having or exactly what it would be, which left me feeling nervous at the unknown.

So,  i’m now on the next stage of my journey – treatment at The Christie. 

I’m back from my follow-up appointment at the Christie.  It didn’t go quite as I thought it would  because I thought I was just going in to give written consent to start treatment but I was told that I need another CT scan because one of my lymph nodes was looking a bit bigger than the rest on my last CT scan. I felt sick and worried and now I have to wait for a CT scan appointment then another follow-up appointment to discuss the results.  It feels like it’s now dragging on a bit but I just have to wait. 

I’ve just come from my latest CT scan to check my nodes, now a long two week wait till my results 😞 

Ive just been to my latest visit at the hospital to get my results of the recent CT scan I had.  It was such a relief to be told it had gone down to a normal size, which means I don’t need chemo 🙌🏼 (consultant said it was due to an infection I had).  

I will have to have regular checks at the Christie for the next five years so they can keep an eye on me and make sure I’m well.  My next appointment is in three months time, which will be the start of my five year checkups and will include chest X-rays and bloods.  Fingers crossed all will be fine 🤞🏼 and that’s briefly my journey that I wanted to share with you. 

I’m very lucky I have my mum and that she was, and is, able to check me.  If it hadn’t been for her then it could have been a different outcome.  

Finally, a message from my mum:   don’t be afraid or embarrassed to speak to someone you trust or go to the doctor if there are any changes to your body that don’t seem right, even if it’s in a delicate area because it’s important and could save your life. 

Written by a Volunteer 

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