The urology man didn’t phone back the next day, but we did get a call from the appointments people to say that Ady can have a cystogram on Thursday.
We were joking with each other about how it is Ady’s 52nd birthday that day and what fun it is going to be, having his catheter removed and to be back in nappies and incontinence pads...bloody hell, he will be going through his second childhood!
Then the urology nurse rang and said that he was to have the cystogram on Thursday, but they weren’t to remove the catheter. If the cystogram showed that everything has healed well, then she will remove it next Tuesday. We are getting there slowly but surely...
I changed his dressings today, and he is really healing well although there are a few lumpy bits...we will get our GP to check them on Monday.
Now, where do I start with the benefits office......the whole thing is quite enough to give you anxiety attacks and depression frankly!
When I rang them at the beginning of September to put our claim in, I was told that we couldn’t do a claim over the phone because our old claim was still in the system. They would have to send a form, but not to worry because if you are re claiming within six months of your last claim, you can go onto what they call a rapid reclaim thing where they will probably pick up from where you left off. He would send the forms.
Oh goody, I thought. I told Ady and he was really relieved. He is extremely anxious about not being able to work at the moment and provide for us... a bit of a man thing I think!
A few days later, the forms arrived in the post and there was nothing on there that said anything about a rapid reclaim. I rang the 0800 number and checked that I had been sent the right forms. She said that because we are self employed, the forms were correct and it would probably help if I wrote ‘rapid reclaim’ on the front. She also said that she could see no reason why we wouldn’t go back onto the support part where you skip the ‘back to work’ interview and the doctor’s interview, and get £120 a week instead of £65 a week.
That sounded very sensible to me and probably the rest of the world too.
I filled the form out, exactly the same as last year and sent it back. They then sent a form asking about our finances which I filled out, and wanted me to send an up to date set of accounts. I did all that and sent it off.
Last Monday morning, I rang to ask how things were progressing.
The woman I spoke to was a right miserable old bag. I don’t think she was very happy in her job at all actually...and..I put on my bestest and poshest voice to make sure I didn’t sound like some benefit scrounger who has decided that living off benefits is a good lifestyle choice.
It made no difference to her, the miserable old bag and she told me quite abruptly that we would not be going through rapid reclaim but staring a new claim at £65 a week.
During our conversation, she said “Well why did he go back to work in March?”...this was when I was asking her about the rapid reclaim 6 month thing. So I told her that he was well enough to work and was ‘cancer free’, he now has another cancer and is recovering from surgery and we don’t know if he will need any other treatment until we see the consultant.
I don’t actually think she believed me, and I might as well have told her he had a nasty headache.
We have been completely truthful with these people. Ady went back to work as soon as he was able and with the agreement of his GP. We stopped the benefits the day he went back to work. Sometimes, I wonder if it pays to be honest and not screw the system...It’s not our fault he has cancer again so soon after the last one.
I was hopping mad and livid that the woman was so stand offish and rude that I phoned again in the afternoon to speak to someone else who would hopefully be a bit more helpful and understanding.
Thankfully, she was.
I explained to her about the rapid reclaim and what I was told. She said that I had been told wrong and that you can only go onto rapid reclaim if you are reclaiming within 12 weeks of your last claim. The six month bit is if you didn’t turn up to your ‘back to work’ interview or you failed your doctors assessment, then you couldn’t re claim for 6 months.
Well, that was a bit different to what I was told by two different people !
She also told me that our claim was at the decision makers (as we are self employed) and that it would be sorted any time soon. She thought it was a bit silly that they were asking for a statement of accounts from us as it was all on the computer from the last claim. They might put us back onto the support group who get £120 a week or they might make us start again with £65 a week and a doctors assessment.
We will have to wait and see. I will ring Friday to see what is going on....
When our girls were at primary school, Ady and I did the after school football and netball clubs. Even though both girls have left now, we still do the clubs. Its good fun and the kids enjoy it. They play matches against other schools and we are the coach and umpire/referee.
Ady was disappointed that he was going to miss a few weeks of training the boys, but I told him he cant possibly go there in his state with his piss bag. The class teacher was doing it until Ady was better. I am also a mid day supervisor, and the boys always ask me how Ady is (I don’t think they know he has cancer) at lunch time and when will he be back.
Today, he went to do the football. I gave him strict instructions that he was not to show his piss bag, wounds or run around.
When we arrived, some of the boys were kicking the ball around outside, and the rest were getting changed in the classroom. Ady walked in and one of them saw him, ran up to him and said “Ady you are back! Are you here to do football with us?” He was so pleased to see Ady, he had tears in his eyes.
Ady looked down at him and said (in his usual gruff farmer type voice) “’ello boy, yes, I am doing football” and with that the boy ran outside shouting to the others “Ady’s here, Ady’s here!”. The next minute, they all came running in to see him with big smiles on their faces.
They really adore Ady and it was lovely to see. Those boys have absolute respect for him and try their best to impress him with their skills. He in turn gives each one of them encouragement and brings out the best in all of them, however good they are.
Oh yes, and when we were at the hospital the other day with the piss bag crisis, when I told the nurse that we didn’t need them anymore and he wanted to check Ady before we went, he asked where Ady was. I pointed to him at the same time an elderly man was walking past down the corridor. The nurse went towards the elderly man thinking I meant him, until I called him back and said “I have brought my husband, not my father, it’s this man sitting here!”pointing to Ady again. He was very surprised that it was Ady with the problem and the others sitting waiting to be seen smiled and chuckled. Ady said to him, “I might have bloody prostate cancer, but I’m not that old!”
He will be 52 tomorrow. I’ve told him that he is not getting any presents for long term use until we have been to see what the consultant has to say....just sayin’...
Before you think I am a heartless cow, he laughed and agreed !