So, here we are, results day. The day we have been wishing and wanting to come for weeks, but also the day we didn't ever want to come either.
The girls are on school holidays. Steph is REALLY pleased to have left primary school and Charlotte had survived her first year of secondary school.
As the girls knew from last year when the colonoscopy man didn't give away too much information because they were there, they completely understand that we need to go to consultants visits on our own. We asked who they would like to look after them, and they both said Kathy and Roy !!. Kathy and Roy are our very good friends who act as adopted grandparents to the girls. They were only too delighted to have them, and promptly arranged to take them out for a pizza. We are really lucky to have them in our lives !!...Bloody nice people they are !!
We had been told that the operation would take place at Maidstone Hospital, the center of excellence for oncology no less. This hospital is a good 40 minute drive for us, but we completely understood that that is where our surgeon is based and so that is where it will be. We had accepted this and I had pre planned in the back of my mind about how we were going to visit, when we were going to visit, who else was most likely to visit and so on.
We had convinced ourselves that there must be some kind of spread and that there is no way Ady could get away with this twice, and from the very beginning, Ady had said a lot, that he had a bad feeling about this one.
We walked into the consultants room and sat down. He looked at us and smiled and said "Well, everything seems to be fine and you are OK for the operation. There doesn't seem to be any spread, so it is contained"
We just looked at him, trying to take in what he had said. We both must have had very blank expressions on our faces, because he then said " Do you want to go back out and come in and we can start again? Usually people at least smile with that news!"
Ady and I looked at eachother, and I said "Well, I had better cancel the vicar then" and he replied " Bloody hell, what are you going to do with all those sandwiches!!"
The atmosphere went from a very tense one, to relief and laughter.
The consultant said that he was very cynical and that nothing surprised him, although the biopsy report said cancer on the left and none on the right, he fully expected there to be cancer on the right as well. He said he wanted to operate sooner rather than later. ( I have since read the biopsy report myself and Mr Google tells me that Perineural Invasion indicates that spread is about to happen, or has happened. This was also confirmed by a uro nurse today)
We spoke about the operation and the whats, whys and wherefores, and then we asked when would it likely happen.
The consultant then said "Ah, yes, well, there has been a change of plan. The operation is going to be at Medway"
I couldn't believe my ears......."Medway?" I said..."Bloody MEDWAY???!....why Medway?, why not Maidstone??
Ady sat there in shock, and said "Where the bloody hell is Medway...that sounds like Indian country to me"
"I will tell you where Medway is" I said.." Its over a bloody hours drive away, thats where it is, up the A fucking 2!!"
The consultant said he was none too happy about it either and that he had to go to Medway to do the operation and then come back to Maidstone because that is what the PCT, or someone, has decided. They want all uro surgery under on roof and the change was to happen from 1st September.
I could see Ady was completely deflated, looked totally washed out and was very worried.
Well, that was it, I was furious, that somebody could sit there and decide that they wanted everything under one roof, to keep up the 'Improving Patient Outcomes' guidelines with no thought for the patient. By taking away what the hospitals can offer, they are taking away patient choice.
This affected us in a massive way.
This meant an over an hours drive each way and a 60 mile round trip. and not a nice drive at that. The girls would be at school, so we wouldn't get there until about 5ish and goodness what the time will be when we get home...what about tea, and homework??
What about Ady? he would feel very isolated being what he feels is so far away. No one would bother to visit him, they would just wait until he came home, and then drink all my tea and coffee !!
For the week he would be there, it would be at least 300 miles and 15 hours driving.
"Right" I said, "How very dare they". I made quite sure that the consultant was happy to treat him at Maidstone and that all necessary equipment was there. The consultant smiled and probably thought to himself, she's a feisty little cow, I wouldn't want to mess with her.....he would be right to think that and so off we went home, to fight the next battle.