It’s been a rather stressful morning, as today my yearly check up was due. It’s nearly a 100 mile round trip to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for me, and I wasn’t looking forward to it.

As soon as I got onto the A14 I read ‘Queue ahead’ on the overhead gantry. In fact most of the gantries had the same wording on them, but I soldiered on and looked out for the queue. There didn’t seem to be one, and I completed the journey there in just over one hour (after allowing the usual two hours for traffic problems). The multi-storey car park was almost full at 09:45 but I queued up behind a line of cars and eventually found a parking spot on the top floor.

Covid has changed Addies somewhat. They’ve taken away most of the chairs in the entrance foyer except for a few suitably spaced for those awaiting hospital transport. As I was so early I queued up to buy a cup of tea but there was nowhere to sit and drink it; the few chairs available in the cafe were all full, as they had taken over half of the seating away. I went back outside with my tea and found a bench.

There wasn’t much of a queue for the ultrasound scan itself. I sat in the waiting area and felt my pulse rise with nervousness, as I knew only too well that I had used up all my treatment options. Lying on the couch whilst the nurse applied gel to my neck, I looked at the ceiling, crossed my fingers and wondered if the Grim Reaper was sharpening his scythe. The radiologist always takes his time, never says a word until the scan is finished, and goes over the same areas a few times with the probe. I tend to lie there, look on the black side, and wonder what horrors he can see on the screen.

However, I received the good news that my scan was normal, and all the lymph nodes in the surrounding area looked normal as well. I breathed a sigh of relief and went away to queue up for a blood test.

The blood test area was situated near the Oncology/Haematology Reception area, which was a new place for me as I had usually gone to Outpatients in the past . My heart sank at the queue to sign in at Reception. There were not many empty seats in the waiting area, and I prepared myself for a long wait. However, after checking in I was directed to a small room just off the Oncology corridor, went straight in, and had my blood taken. No queue!

Then it was just a question of standing in the queue to pay for parking and then joining a queue of cars all doing 50mph past the road works on the A14.

Thank gawd that’s over with for another year!