Battersea Locksmiths


If you’ve been following this sorry tale, you’ll know that it’s being told in flashback.

Well, it’s time for the screen to go all wobbly as we flash forward for a moment …

… Of course, it was cancer. Throat cancer.

But this [adjectival failure] doctor didn’t see his role as finding out what was wrong with me; he saw his role as reassuring me that I shouldn’t be worrying. His attitude was that cancer would be the last thing to be checked. And of course this would normally mean that instead of catching the tumour at Stage 1 or Stage 2 (often meaning treatable), it would be left to progress to Stage 3 or Stage 4 (usually meaning unbeatable). This is one of the problems in the UK; and one of the reasons why cancer survial rates in the UK are worse than in many comparable countries. Many a general practitioner see their role as putting off the possibility of cancer to the very end of the diagnosis process – and often of course, this means the literal very end.

Well, I am still here. The key thing they all missed was asymmetry. The crucial indicator should have been that the persistent sore throat was always on one side and always the same side. I have no expertise in any other cancers, but with this asymmetry, throat cancer should have been suspected much earlier. (That’s not to say that a symmetric, persistent sore throat couldn’t be sinister; it could be.) We have reached July. Three months have gone by since I returned from our Nile holiday with the condition…

[Shimmery music, wobbly screen] …

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