Prostate Awareness 5: The Tests, May 2

Preparing For The MRI and Abdomen Test

Given some homework before the next steps. Certain kinds of treatment, such as ‘seeding’, would be ruled out if the bladder does not empty properly when urinating. This will be tested on the day.

“You will need to drink lots of water and keep holding on until you feel like bursting,” says Mr Jha. “We can then measure the strength of your flow. It will also be important to completely empty your bladder.”

In the meantime, given a Frequency/Volume Chart to check urine movements over 7 days. Involves measuring the ins and outs.

Great fun. Carrying the chart – and a measuring cup – around while on the road and teaching. Quite interesting findings. Suddenly become knowledgeable about how many times people go for a pee each day.

The MRI Pelvic and Ultra Sound Abdomen Tests

Prepare for MRI and other tests at the Nuffield in Hereford. Asked to have a light supper the night before, no dairy products. Have breakfast at 7.00, then will be nothing till late afternoon. After that will travel to London tonight to do super teams session with large retailer.

The MRI Scan is strangely calming. Lots of different noises during the half hour in the tube. Good to close my eyes, do deep breathing and get creative ideas.

Then off to the Ultra Sound test. This apparently requires a full bladder, whilst the MRI required an empty bladder. So asked to spend 45 minutes drinking lots of water.

Sit in the waiting area, tapping away on my Mac. An 80-old lady opposite – she tells me she is 80 – asks what I am doing. She tells me she has a broken back, but walks across to sit beside me and look at the machine.

“Is it like one of those you see on the tele?” she asks. “What can you do on it? Can you type?”

She says she used to touch type. Then asks me to type, without looking at the computer, the phrase:

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.”

Manage to pass the test and she looks closely at the computer.

Our time together interrupted by the nurse, who deems I am now ready for the scan. Lots of ‘jelly on the belly’ and a thorough going over.

Tell the radiologist that I am writing a blog about the treatment. He wants to know how to start a blog.

Told to go and empty the bladder. Then more jelly and scans. The radiologist says the signs are encouraging. Cannot see any abnormality beyond the prostate. So hopefully will be localised, but must wait for the MRI results.

Wander back down the corridor in a strange hospital gown. Seems to be in several different pieces. It covers the front and the back, but not the sides. Am also carrying my computer case on my back.

Probably look like one of those strange English guys you used to see on the beach in the 1950s. The ones that wore shorts, funny socks and sandals. Fortunately am not wearing paisley socks.

Met by one of the nurses, who asks how I am feeling. Tell her that, as usual, I am: “Choosing to be outrageous.”

Greeted by a man in a suit who is sitting near the cubicle, waiting for his turn. We have never met before, but he says:

“You look very well-dressed.”

He is next in line. So I suggest that he should have bought some red high heels for his catwalk to the radiologist. We shake hands and I wish him good luck.

The nurse tells me to get out of the building, but not before paying. Ask if its okay to pay her mortgage whilst I am at it. She thinks that would be a good idea and shows me where to pay.

Eventually get out of Hereford, which becomes remarkably clogged around tea-time. Drive down to Newport and on the train to London.

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