Setting the Scene
Back as early as 2012, I was having a lot of health problems. Problems that I initially thought were pretty minor and that were simply part of some sort of cold or infection.
As time went on however, these problems began to worsen and my GP still brushed my symptoms aside. Sighting that I was young, fit, active and therefore, I had to be in perfect health.
Whatever I had must’ve been some sort of infection or virus…
Over the course of a year, I must’ve gone to the doctors on around 10 separate occasions.
Often deciding not to book an appointment at the thought of becoming a nuisance and just getting the same answers from my doctor.
Over those approximate number of appointments I got the subsequent verdicts:
- Low Blood Pressure
- Chest Infection (at least 4 times) & antibiotics on each occasion
- Chest Inflammation
- Whooping Cough & more antibiotics
The truth of the matter is that the GP was quite happy to prescribe me with a ridiculous amount of antibiotics and blame my awful; chesty cough on a multitude of different problems before even considering what it may be. Despite having a family history of lymphoma…
It wasn’t until early 2013, a year after having a lot of worsening problems and health concerns, that I had enough and made an appointment with my GP, near enough demanding an X-Ray as a lump was now protruding from my chest.
Progress at Last
After a whole year of feeling like s***, with no energy and a persistent; hard cough – I finally had a scan that I’d been wanting for so long.
On a number of occasions I had already mentioned to my GP that maybe we should do some sort of scan, considering my dad’s previous disease, but my doctor was always reluctant as I was still so actively training and competing.
As much as his point of view makes sense, what he didn’t fully appreciate was my mindset and determination to push through feeling flat, tired or beat.
As a fighter, you train yourself to go through those feelings and keep on going.
Regardless, after numerous visits to my GP and misdiagnosis’, I was finally on route to discovering what was really going on inside my body!
Below are some images of my scans, they show the tumour in various forms: CT san, PET scan and X-Ray.
Hopefully from the images you can see the sheer size of my tumour and how lucky I was to catch it in just enough time.
From these pictures, I can only imagine that the lump had been sitting in my chest and growing for quite some time. Probably more rapidly over the year of 2012 when I had my persistent health problems.
The Moral of the Story
The moral of this story is, that despite the NHS being an incredible service, GP’s will (in my experience) often generalise your problems and are more than happy to just write you out a prescription and send you on your way.
If you feel within you that something is wrong and that something isn’t going away, then I implore you to stand your ground, keep going back and demand more thorough investigation.
I was lucky and caught it just in the nick of time…
However, someone else may not be so lucky; so stay persistent in your approach if you believe that there’s a problem and really try to communicate that with your GP.
If they don’t listen to you, then that throws their professionalism into question!