I was planning on doing a small update after each session, or couple of sessions, but to be honest with you, I haven’t had time to fart, let alone write a blog!
This whole hospital thing pretty well takes up half of the day...well, it feels like it anyway..
On the second day, we were having a ‘Macmillan review’ at 9.30 and then radiotherapy at 9.45.
We got to the hospital for about 9am and checked in. The receptionist said that Heather would be calling us for a chat and to wait in the waiting room. If she didn’t come, then see the receptionist after the treatment and they would find her for us.
So, off we went and settled ourselves in. Ady had nearly finished his water and I had a hot chocolate. In the waiting room is a nice big screen with News 24 on and then along the bottom it calls out the name of the next person and where they need to go. We like that.
There was no sign of Heather by the time Ady was called for his zapping session so we told the receptionist. She tried to call her and there was no answer, so she asked around and no one seemed to know where she was...some people weren’t too sure exactly who she was either.
We were told to sit down and wait and Heather would be with us as soon as they had found her. So we waited for 45 minutes and then I started to get a bit irritated. I don’t mind things being late and having to wait at all, but it really pisses me off when no one actually knows what is going on and you are waiting for something to happen that no one actually knows who, when or where...just that there is an appointment.
Well, I told the receptionist in the nicest possible way that I was starting to get irritated with this whole not knowing thing and we had been at the hospital for about two hours by this time, so the receptionist still couldn’t find Heather, but along came Gariant.
He was a really lovely chappy who explained that usually, once a week they have a chat with the patient about any side effects and wot not while they are having the treatment, but they feel that it is a bit rushed and so they have decided that they are going to make a separate appointment each week for a ten minute chat instead. Ady’s was their very first appointment so the whole thing was full of teething problems.
Once that was explained, the waiting simply wasn’t a problem!
Ady asked about the whole water drinking saga and what exactly is the right thing to do, and basically, the nurse the day before had got it wrong, and he needs to have his wee and then drink his water 45 minutes before. He needs to make sure he drinks plenty during the day so that he is not dehydrated, so when he drinks his water, it goes straight into his bladder and not his tissues.
I think Friday went without a hitch, although every time we check in, the receptionist checks the next days appointment times and changes them if needed.
Monday was changed from 9.25 to 11.15
So we had done three days of radiotherapy so far. I had been up at about 5.30 to get organised, sort girls things for school, get my elderly chap up washed and dressed by 7am, make sure Adys bag for hospital was sorted, feed the cats, do the fish and chickens and all of the rest of the stuff you have to do, but most importantly, just sit for 15 minutes with my coffee and fags, in peace and quiet and wait for my automatic ‘just woken up’ bad mood to pass into a not so bad mood and move into a ‘right, lets crack on’ mood, before I get everyone else up.
Ady and the girls get up about 6.45 and have breakfast and wander out of the door into the car, quite oblivious to what I have been doing already, and off we go to school and hospital.
We were driving back home last Friday and I was thinking to myself,” cor, I am glad this is only going on for four weeks cos this is quite hard trying to fit everything in and is quite draining physically and emotionally. I am glad I have a few days off and I must make sure I look after myself and don’t burn out, Oh, and I must remember to go through Charlotte’s school options with her and help her make the right choices, hmm, when has she got to have the sheet of paper in by?...bugger, I must remember to check the school letter....” And I was thinking of a whole load of other things I need to do and remember when Ady did a great big yawn and said “Cor, I’m absolutely shattered” and immediately fell asleep in the car before I could give him one of my glares!
I felt a bit bad for wanting to glare at him cos after all, he is the one going through the treatment and he is the one with the cancer. He is the one who has looked at a beautiful view and wondered if that might be the last time he sees that and he is the one who worries that he may not see the girls grow up, or see the grandchildren. He is the one who might not reach old age.
The next minute, a fecking great lorry came flying past me on the dual carriageway and then cut me up and slammed on his breaks at the roundabout so I nearly ended up sitting on his lap before he flew off over the roundabout and up the road...no indicators or anything...tosser.