The Most Insensitive Cocktail I’ve Ever Received
...And meeting my surgeon for the first time
Friday 5th April 2019
Meeting David Peterson – Marked our diaries with Wednesday 19thJune 2019
Walked up to Charing Cross for a 10am appointment. Laughed so hard in the waiting room at Harrie’s story of New Year’s eve and all the Friends gags that caused tension. David walked past us. We both knew who he was; he looked a bit stern. He came across that way too when we went in and sat down. No smile. No handshake. But within a few seconds he leant back in his chair and said “so what do you want to do?” Not a great start.
I instantly thought, oh no the choice again. A confusing question, I answered “erm, well, I think I need surgery. I’ve been advised by a few others that’s wise.” I started to build up almost a pitch for me to have the surgery. Here I was again, going into an appointment feeling ready but sensing he was about to go the other way. He replied “correct. It is growing…” The dread was back. It felt like a big but was on its way and the crazy feeling of disappointment was brewing. Imagine, being disappointed that you might not be having brain surgery.
Thankfully – LOL – he told me the tumour will continue to grow and so surgery now is wise. I expected the next bit of all the risks, but he didn’t give any. Instead, he opened up his tiny little black diary and said “so when do you want it?” Oh shit. Just like that? I expected to have to go away, wait for a letter, be on a ridiculous wait list etc. I couldn’t believe he just pencilled/penned in brain surgery like that. Something about this was so comforting and it broke the ice between us all massively.
Shortly following this was a lot of laughter and tumour humour – including the idea of him working harder or putting on his best gloves if I go private; doing it on a Wednesday so he performs better after the weekend; booking it in first thing so he can go about his day and get a car wash afterwards. Harrie and I both warmed to him by the end. He was so lovely and positive. I told him anytime from May was ok and he replied “19th June?” It seemed so soon. My stomach flipped with an almost excited somersault. This will soon all be over. I replied, “yeah why not, let’s get it over with.”
He was ready for us to leave but Harrie and I both seemed to feel like we needed to ask more. I told him he seemed quite positive. He replied that you have to be as a neurosurgeon. When I asked about risks, he replied that of course there are some, but he sees no reason anything would go unexpectedly. When asked how many of my exact tumour and location he has performed surgery on, he replied “one, two” (hundred, thankfully!) which seemed really viable. He was confident, relaxed and put me at ease. Of all the surgeons I’ve seen, he is by far the one I would want doing it.
I left feeling so happy. Me and Harrie headed for a celebratory lunch in ‘Farmacy’ in Nottinghill we were that pumped up about it. I brought a cute little china cup and saucer as a souvenir of the day and we had a little stroll around Portobello Market. I had to head home around 2pm to do a little work and when Harrie returned from Westfield on the evening, we got ready for ‘Kricket.’
Headed over to White City in an Uber at 6.15pm. Literally love Kricket. Afterwards we went for drinks in ‘Bluebird’, sitting in the swinging birdcage chairs. We absolutely wet ourselves laughing when the man brought the cocktails out in a glass shaped as a skull with an orange poking out the top. You literally couldn’t make it up. The irony of it.
We joked “mate, do you even know what I’ve been through today and the trauma this is causing.” The bar men just looked blankly at us as we screeched the place in hysterics.
We went home to chocolates, rapping, lots of giggles and bed. Blessed with my family, my amazing life in London, work, opportunities, health and NHS care.
Just to say that Mr. Peterson operated 2 times on my spine. Each operation was more than 9 hours. What a wonderful person and I have so much respect for him. Mr. Peterson saved me from becoming totally paralysed due to a serious accident I had back in 2001.
He is the best in the country and you are wise and very lucky that to choose him for such operation. Hope you are doing very well by now. God bless.