Prior to discharge I was visited by the urologist and Dr Walters.
I had learned that Walters is much loved by the staff. The poor chap next to me had someone make four painful attempts with his drain before someone else had to do it (though he had a more complex condition).
The urologist said that the kidney growth was most likely cancer. I asked why they did not just whip it out and throw it in the bin. He explained that they needed to biopsy the lung first to see what kind of cancer it is.
Also, there is some debate about whether an excision should be preceded by, or follow therapies. There is no clear path on this and a worldwide meta study is under way to try to figure it out, but the outcome is some years away.
He kindly checked my sternum and said he thought there was nothing to worry about – in any case the tenderness was diminishing.
Biopsies of kidneys are not performed because it is difficult to access them. Also, since you have two, it’s generally better just to whip one out.
LUNG – WALTERS
Dr Walters said they would sometimes treat my condition by blowing talc into the lung to stick it up. But if you do that it makes a biopsy impossible as it gums up everything.
There are two biopsy procedures they can perform. One involves using the CT scanner and a local anaesthetic, where the surgeon can sneak in, guided by the live CT data, and try to snitch a bit of growth. It’s possible he may miss or get a bit that is non representative. My growths are small plus a thickening of about 5mm at the base of the lung.
The second procedure requires a camera and is more invasive. I think it might require a general anaesthetic.
The CT procedure would be carried out at Bath and the camera at Bristol hospital. The poor chap next to me had been waiting 15 days to be moved to Bristol where no bed has been available. Walters said he would send me to the other one if possible.