Routine cancer checkup

Day one of another week filled with health related appointments: the once a year meeting with Dr Courtieu, the Montpellier surgeon who removed the cancer three years ago.

He agreed with me that the results continued to be good, and from now on the Ganges doctor who originally spotted a potential cancer will take his place – to save me coming down to Montpellier.

He also discussed the small umbilical hernia which showed up on the scan. After ringing a colleague in the gastro-enterologie department for a second opinion he advised that the hernia was tiny and was anyhow completely covered in fat (graisse), so highly unlikely to cause a problem, at least for the present.  Their view was that it was best not to operate at this stage, but that if I ever showed any serious symptoms, I should seek immediate medical help, with a view to an operation. Suits me, as that is one less factor to prevent the badly needed first knee replacement.

Business over, he asked me as always how I was feeling about Brexit.  His view is that the French will carry on allowing current British residents access to health care, particularly given the enormous number of French in London.  And interestingly he thought I should go for an Irish second passport rather than French, agreeing with me that the French administration is quite a hurdle.

On my way out I picked up a hitchhiker.  I know this horrifies some members of family and friends, but I am quite good at recognising safe prospects, if necessary going round a roundabout again, to have a second look. Besides I needed someone to talk to keep me awake.

Julien (or possibly Justin – I forget) was a young pharmacist from Alsace taking a year out to travel round Europe and to write. He was travelling light, he said with pride, not simply carrying one medium sized backpack but unfettered by too much of the complications of modern life. Having spent a few months in Barcelona, he was on his way to a week’s course on breathing at a retreat near St Martin de Londres. (I’ve now looked at the website and see this is costing over a grand! A ripoff, I fear.)

After dropping off Julien, I took the scenic route home, zigzagging across the Hérault, looking particularly magnificent after the recent rain.

Tomorrow: back to Montpellier at the crack of dawn, for another medical visit – to discuu my dvisyivs/


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