Before I continue telling our story, I want to share a thought I am really passionate about: Scans for patients with any form of advanced cancer have to be performed every six months. It is not right to only perform scans when the patient has developed symptoms or when specific tumor markers have gone beyond the normal range. Many tumors would be discovered a lot sooner, and in many cases they would be much more treatable, and maybe even lives could be saved, if our health service introduced this practice. And if I knew how, I would certainly campaign for it with everything I have.

You see, my husband was feeling quite unwell all through the spring of 2017. This is why, when we had the appointment with the oncologist who told us that Paul's PSA was at 7 again, we said that, although it was quite low, we would prefer getting a scan done to make really sure that everything was okay, but the oncologist refused saying, "When the person is not in pain and the PSA is low, we don't have to do a scan." And that is simply not true. Two months later, when my husband had a scan because now the PSA levels were so high that even the hospital got worried, he had extensive liver mets. And, even though I am not saying that the end result (meaning him having to have Chemo and eventually dying from the cancer and Cemo-related infections) wouldn't have happened, what I am questioning is: If the liver mets had been discovered earlier, would they have been easier to treat and perhaps with less Chemo because they would still have been smaller? It is something we don't know, but it is possible, and it really annoys me that the oncolgist didn't do the scan when we asked for it.

Also, though, I think that as patients or relatives of patients we have to become stronger in saying what we feel we want to get from the oncologists. If we feel a scan should be performed, or if we are unhappy with what they are telling us, or if we don't fully understand what they are saying and why, we have to ask. It is our life we are talking about, our bodies or the bodies of our loved ones that are sick, and we have to have as much knowledge as we can.

I just felt the need to make these two related points here before going back to Paul's and my stor.y.