March 2013 – a year on from my last entry . I stood at the tram stop No 8 in Rome, a city, in which I had lived for 20 years of my life, to take me back down to Trastevere. I was numb and certainly shocked at the words I had just heard in Pronto Soccorso ( A&E) of San Camillo: “ e quasi sicuramente cancro della tonsille” simply translated into : its almost surely cancer of the tonsil/throat. They told me to return Monday morning for an urgent biopsy and to plan radiotherapy.
A few tears of panic slid down my face as I tried to decipher the events of the last hour. How can that be? I had been given an ‘all clear’ on 29th January .. The CT scan was negative; no sign of cancer anywhere in the body. Now it seemed, I was facing an advanced cancer of the right tonsil, extending into the base of my tongue.
I still didn’t want to believe it and kept telling myself, that it was the worst case scenario and holding onto a vain hope that it was a mistake. But in my heart, i knew as I made made my way home to my friends house for dinner.
That night the cancer permeated my every thought…. As I struggled to open my mouth and swallow anything during the family meal , I began to think and realise that the diagnosis could be right. In fact, deep down …… I knew it.
My friends kindly offered to look after me in Rome but after much deliberation, I decided I would fly back to London the following morning for futher investigations.