And I’m on it. The next waiting list. Hopefully the final waiting list. I feel I’ve turned into a professional waiter, not through choice but circumstance.
Yesterday eventually came round and I saw my Oncologist again, for her to make the same recommendations again but this time I should, all going well and with no hiccups, go on the list. This list is for 20 sessions of Radiotherapy at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. 15 will be on the whole breast and the final 5 concentrated on the site of the tumour.
It’s ludicrous that a town and regional area the size of Swindon does not have a Radiotherapy service and so everyone has to go to either Oxford or Bath whichever is nearest. There is currently a big fundraising campaign trying to raise £2.9 million to build a centre in Swindon. £2.9 million in this context seems a small amount to bring something that is so very much in need. Patients who need Radiotherapy can access hospital transport to the Churchill but this currently entails a bus service that picks up all the patients who will be having treatment that day, takes everyone to Oxford, everyone waits for all the treatments to be completed and then everyone comes home and gets dropped off again- some patients being out of their homes for up to 10 hours a day. Utterly ludicrous and hardly promoting positive health.
Many Radiotherapy patients suffer fatigue as one of their side effects of this treatment, articulately and descriptively shared here courtesy of www.magsblog.com I can’t imagine that a daily bus trip of over 10 hours, every weekday for a month helps. Thankfully I have a list of volunteer drivers to take me and I’m planning on driving myself when I can.The fundraising activity is featured here http://www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk/radiotherapy.htm and I’m off to a garden party locally to support it tomorrow afternoon.
This current list has an approximate wait time of 4-5 weeks……………………………….no further comment needed <insert your own reaction; all welcome>
The waiting room that we spent time in to get to the appointment regarding the waiting list was interesting to say the least. I worked out that I was about the second youngest there but any thoughts that I might have had that this was reflected in my bonny physical appearance was soon deflated when I wandered over to the ‘advice corner’ to gather some leaflets and potential information about local support. A lovely volunteer explained that I live in an area where there is sadly very little support provision- surprising really. I asked him if he thought Swindon was the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ of cancer support and he agreed it was. However, he took one further look at me and then suggested that he book me on to a ‘Look Good Feel Better’ Course. The info tells me that it’s Pampering Therapy and that sounds the perfect pick me up currently, though of course there’s a waiting list……………….but it should take place in August. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to attend but not so thrilled that it was his first suggestion of support. I’ll let you know how it goes. www.lgfb.co.uk
“Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) is dedicated to improving the wellbeing and self-confidence of people undergoing treatment for any type of cancer. Many beneficiaries tell us that LGFB helped them regain a sense of control and normality at a time when diagnosis and treatment had taken over their lives.”
Steve and I met a lovely older gentleman in the waiting area who had had Prostate Cancer and he had been to the Churchill for Radiotherapy. He told us that he said to everyone in the waiting room on his first appointment ‘We’re all going to bring one joke each per day to help us with this’ and everyone did, even the Nun who was attending also although apparently her jokes were not as funny. Wonderful, I do love those incidental conversations that you strike up with strangers.
And talking of incidental conversations and remarks, I had a cracker this weekend. A fantastic 50th birthday party for my lovely friend Julie was held on Saturday night, it had all the right components, brilliant live band, nibbles, laughter, friends and dancing, lots of it. It was an opportunity to catch up with some people that I hadn’t seen in a while and one conversation with the stunning Sarah started like this:“Rosemary I must admit to you that I am reading your blog. It feels a bit like you’ve asked me to look after the cat but I’m actually peeking in your knicker drawer”.
Anytime Sarah, anytime. Thanks for peeking.