Thursday, 3 March 2011

Life Plan

So I'm going to be spending the rest of my life in a dark room being mean to juniors!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Dear All,

Just wanted to stop by and say Happy New Year to anyone who is still reading or who has been waiting for an update. Sorry for the total lack of posts, you all know how it is, once you get out of blogging regularly you tend to forget about it.

I'm doing well, it is almost a year since I was diagnosed with Testicular cancer and everything is ok at the moment (touch wood)!

Fingers crossed 2011 will get off to a better start than 2010 did! In the meantime, Happy new year, and for anyone who is still interested in what I'm up to you can follow me on twitter by clicking here.


Tuesday, 2 February 2010


I remember seeing this broadcast on TV but what do you think? A clever way of advertising the issue or liitle more than soft-core porn?

p.s there is no excuse for any men reading this not to have familiarised yourselves with your testicles recently!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

An Update - Of Sorts

It has been a week since my last post and essentially nothing has moved on in terms of my diagnosis. I have received my appointment to see the Oncology specialist next Friday morning, that will be when I find out exactly what sort of badness was lurking in my left testicle and what we need to do about it, so come back next week to find out more.

In essence this week has been about recovering from my operation. I stopped taking the painkillers (not that they actually gave me any on discharge) early this week. From that point of view I seem to be recovering well, I've just been getting on with it. My interview was postponed by all of about 18 hours but that did mean the journey to London and on the tube was slightly less uncomfortable than if might have been. My suit trousers were the biggest challenge though - not fun going from roomy PJs to a waistband that sat precisely on my inguinal incision. The interview itself; well I guess it is impossible to say, it could have been better, could have been worse.

In other news, we have our fingers crossed that we may have found a new flat. It has its compromises in terms of size and furniture (in that it doesn't have any), but it does offer a small garden which will be nice and is cheaper than our current place. It is about 50 metres from where we currently live so will be easy to move over a week or two and should provide a stable base where we can get on with more important things rather than having to worry about being made homeless.

By the way, if anyone knows of any lovely Scottish hotels, I'd be grateful for your recommendations. With all this, and going abroad pretty much ruled out, I think a tour of Scotland on honeymoon might be an excellent way to start married bliss.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Quite a Week

The news that I had testicular cancer barely had time to settle in last week. After finding out on Tuesday afternoon, things moved rather quickly. On Thursday I had a CT chest/abdo/pelvis and on Friday I was admitted for an operation to remove the offending testicle.

It is probably a cliché to say that all this will make me a better doctor but it was a very peculiar experience to be in a hospital gown on a bed. It was a long wait in the morning before I was called down to theatre but when it finally came everyone was great. The anaesthetic trainee who put me to sleep was fantastic, I didn't feel her whack a huge cannula in the back of my hand and the next thing I remember was waking up in recovery. I was given IV fentanyl for pain relief which was the most bizarre experience of my life and wheeled back up to the ward where missbliss was waiting for me.

By that evening although I could barely move I wanted to sleep in my own bed, the surgeon had been to debrief me and was happy for me to go home and eventually I convinced the ward sister that I could walk without falling over and she let me hobble into a taxi.

I have a lot of sympathy for any patient having an operation, it is fucking painful. I spent all Saturday in bed and have just about made it to the sofa on Sunday with significant pain relief. I can just about stand up and hobble around. Although it is still very early days it feels good to be rid of my left testicle which was apparently mostly cancer. I have been told the CT scan was clear but I'd like to see the report myself.

In the midst of all this, as well as moving house, getting the car fixed and getting married I've just been offered an interview in London next Wednesday. I'm going to give them a call on Monday to see if there is any leeway to rearrange otherwise it will be a rather painful train journey. With regards to the cancer, repeat blood tests await and a review from the specialist oncology centre to advise on further treatment when my histology is back.

Finally, a big thanks for all the good wishes on my last post.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Breaking Bad News

2010 has not exactly had the best start. Our landlords have just given us notice on our flat as they wish to return and I've been in a car crash which was the fault of some idiot who didn't even bother to stop to check I hadn't died. As they say, things come in threes and it was only a matter of time until something else happened...

Breaking bad news is never easy and is best done under controlled conditions by either a GP or a senior consultant ideally with the support of a specialist nurse. Sometimes it doesn't happen like this and it can be junior doctors who are put in a very awkward position but we're trained for that right? At medical school, a great deal of emphasis was put on communication skills, with particular emphasis on breaking bad news so it should be easy? I've had my own experience of breaking bad news to patients and relatives. Imagine breaking bad news to someone who is a doctor, would that be easier, harder, or perhaps just different?

Yesterday morning I had an ultrasound scan.

I can pinpoint the exact second I knew for sure I had it. It was 11:21 am and I was laid on the ultrasound couch chatting to the radiologist about my career aspirations as he probed my groin. The second he moved the probe up to look at my liver I knew, there could be no other explanation, he was looking to see if it had spread. He didn't say anything and nor did I, but he didn't have to. Although I remained calm, everything after that became a bit of a blur. When he'd finished I'm sure the radiologist already knew that I knew but he nevertheless confirmed my fear, I can't even remember how he broke the bad news but he almost didn't even need to. Before I knew it I'd had a chest x-ray too and was back to work on my ward. I sat there trying to to the simplest of jobs but 10 minutes later realised I hadn't actually done anything. At that point I knew I needed to go home, my consultant was great and I was soon back at home in desperate need of a cuddle or two.

So yeah, I've got testicular cancer, watch this space.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The Rota Saga

Change jobs on Wednesday, still no rota so I've no idea what I'm doing for the next 4 months. Which weekends am I working? When can I take annual leave or is it allocated? Am I unreasonable in thinking we should have had this rota weeks ago? Not impressed.

Will really miss A+E, not looking forward to orthopaedics despite always having considered it as a career. Being the 'orthopaedic opinion' should be interesting, even more so on nights when I'm responsible for all surgical admissions too!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Quarter Life Crisis

I should probably elaborate on my last post a little. According to wikipedia I'm having a quarter life crisis, a time usually in the mid twenties where one is no longer a young and care free individual but at the same time not quite ready to cross the line into being a true 'grown up'. It is perhaps a little cliche and even melodramatic to describe this as a crisis but there doesn't seem like a better way!

I'm currently working as an F2 in A+E, a job which I enjoy and dislike equally. It is tremendously interesting, varied and requires much improvisation but the shifts are a pain in the arse, some of the staff rather useless and I don't feel I'm particularly good at it. The reason for the last point is I lack the depth of medical knowledge (partly through being a lazy medical student and partly through being at a shit medical school) I also have a crisis of self-confidence in A+E, something I'm not really used to. Another thing that doesn't help is I'm staying in hospital accommodation during the week and only seeing missbliss when I'm not working (which is rare in A+E). I hate my prison cell room with a passion but it's the cheapest, most convenient option. One thing I do know is that I will really miss A+E as a job but will be glad to be rid of the shifts!

Careerwise, I'm pleased to say that medicine is for me, I just have no idea what specialty. I know I almost certainly don't want to do general medicine although I would love to have the level of knowledge that goes with being a medical registrar! I've always had a passion for orthopaedics but have next to zero anatomy knowledge and am not quite the right personality type. I've also always liked and been quite good at radiology but I suspect that would bore me and I miss the acute side of things. A+E is great fun but the politics and shifts are hurrendous! GP land would suit my personality and lifestyle but again I would find it rather dull. The option of being a GP with an interest in A+E might be a possibility to combine the best of both worlds, I have spoken to GPs who do this so I know it is possible but am not sure how easy it would be.

So where does this leave me? Well specialty training applications open in a month and I haven't a clue. The other option is New Zealand for a year but whether that would help I don't know, I suspect it would just be a postponement of the same issues but at least it would be an interesting adventure!

Crisis might be a strong word but it is all I can think about at the moment and it's driving me a little bit crazy and making me feel useless! Although I'm not quite at the stage of buying a bright red sports car (as much as I'd love to, I don't have the money). And the loose women? well that just doesn't appeal in the slightest, I'm quite happy with missbliss thanks!

Any advice would be grately appreciated.

Monday, 26 October 2009


For anyone still reading - what shall I do with my life?

Monday, 18 May 2009


I'm alive

Surgery is well over and done with now - It was a rather odd experience really but I miss it

My new job is a bit strange too, I feel like I've hardly worked this past month and a half but its because its a strange rota and all my leave is used up now

Medical nights start tonight for 4 nights - HELL!

Hope you're all fine and dandy