Back in the UK for the first time in 8 months I noticed the cold. Gladly my in-laws had bought some warm coats with them along with more supplies of long-sleeved tops and trousers.
A more relaxed wake up time, the first in many days and a gentle walk through Harlow woodland with my sister-in-law before the journey north to Lincoln.
Although not born in Lincoln, having lived in Milton Keynes for most of my life – Lincoln is still the place I call home. Perhaps because I spent my formative years here – perhaps because mum still lives in the house I moved into in 1972.
Lincoln is ultimately – “Home”.
It is the obvious place to start back and it has a renowned oncology / haematology department so the cancer treatment is respected.
My brother returned to Harlow almost immediately after dinner and then after an early night it was a 9:30am trip to the local surgery to register with the doctor.
The doctor’s surgery was it’s normal mix of patients, being patient. I filled in the forms and explained my situation – a friend with NHS experience had mentioned that even as an external patient I would have to be seen with such a serious condition. Even so I was sent away and told I would be contacted if necessary by the doctor later that morning.
I returned home only to get a phone call to come straight back to the doctor where I was seen just after 11am.
The appointment was routine at first – I shared my data with the doctor and she was moving to get on the two week ‘fast-track’ system locally employed for cancer patients.
Then I mentioned my left leg. Almost absently at the end of our conversation. Following the journey two days earlier it was a bit swollen as it had been on and off since I broke my fibula in January.
The doctor looked and immediately referred me to the hospital for a check up at the Ambulatory Care Unit.
She feared I had contracted Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) on the flight back to Britain!