Sunday, 22 August 2010

Chemo cycle 2: Day 24 & 25

Day 24:  I had planned to have a lazy morning with DD1, waiting for this blood test form thing to arrive in the post and then wander on down to the local hospital to get it done.  But no!  The oncologist's secretary phoned at 8am saying that the form wasn't posted the previous day, as it would have not actually gone till this morning and arrive Friday at the earliest.  So I had to go to the main hospital with DD1 before 12 and wait for ages to get it done there - no priority as everyone is an oncology patient - so that was the entire morning just gone.  But DD1 was brilliant, so patient and good so I rewarded her with the Tinkerbell film after lunch and that was lovely.

Day 25:  Can I just say, I love the NHS.  I wouldn't give it up for anything.  But I had the worst day and it was all due to NHS bureaucracy and cock ups.  DH and I got there at about 8.30am only to be told by the main receptionist that she had never heard of me and didn't know why I was there.  I explained and told her what my oncologist's secretary had said, so she went off to find her. 

That sorted, I was then told to go to the day unit.  They had also never heard of me and didn't know why I was there as Hickman lines (not a PICC line after all) were done elsewhere.  I explained, phone calls were made, and eventually they figured out that I was supposed to wait in the day unit until the Hickman line team were ready for me - after lunch.  (So why was I made to come in at 9am?  Who knows!)  DH and I had breakfast and then went to the Macmillan centre and chilled out. 

By about 2.30pm I was wondering what was happening and went back to the day unit to chase.  The same receptionist was there, so off she went to find out what was going on.  I could see a discussion going on between her, nurses and with what looked like porters in the back.  Eventually she called me over and the porters (for that's what they were) explained they had been searching for me!  The notes had said I was still in the ward!  (Yes, I left the ward over 2 weeks ago.....)  Anyhow, they took me upstairs and I got my Hickman line inserted.

The op took about 30 minutes.  It really hurt, even though I had a local anaesthetic.  It went into the side of my neck and down, and comes out just above my breast.  I think there is a little tap that they will be able to plug me into, but I am all bandaged up and am not allowed to remove it for a few days.

That done, I returned to the day unit and waited.  Had to badger them to take my blood pressure and temperature as per my notes.  I asked when I could go home - the answer?  Not until you've been up to the ward, checked over and discharged.  I don't know why they couldn't have done it!  So off I went, wheeled in my bed to the ward.  And we waited, and waited, in the same room I had had before.  Finally, at about 7.15pm after much more badgering, the sister came in, checked me over and said we could go home.  Phew!

Again, I will say how much I adore the NHS.  But we had nearly a 12 hour day at the hospital for a 30 minute operation and a 2 hour observation period.  And we had only breakfast all day.  I am sure this isn't the best use of resources or anyone's time!  But I shouldn't complain, as at least I am getting the treatments I need.  It's just a real faff, and extraordinarily tiring for all of us.

Roll on Tuesday for my next chemo!  Fingers crossed it now goes as planned.

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