About this Blog

This blog started as an online diary and place for me to rant about annoyances in my family.

However since July it has become a place for me to catalogue and express my views and opinions on the treatment I have recieved following the diagnosis of a potentially cancerous tumor in my bowel.

On 3rd August 2011 I was told that it was cancerous. In April 2012 I was given the all clear.

October 15th 2013 I was diagnosed with peritoneal disease and liver metastases. The cancer was back and this time it is inoperable.

It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.

It is NOT about individuals or the nursing profession. It is about some of the inadequacies in the system and the way the NHS is failing some people.

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Friday, 15 July 2011

What a week - THE BOMBSHELL - Part 1 - Friday

Most of you will know some of what has gone on over the last week but here is a complete account for those of you who have missed bits of then saga and also for me to help me keep my emotions and feelings in check while I deal with this bombshell.

So it all started last Thursday when after dinner I had some discomfort in my lower abdomen. Now as a women you get cramping a lot and you tend to dismiss it as 'the time of the month' or something associated with 'that part of you'. This was way more than that. I was trying to watch The Apprentice - The final 5, as one of the contestants was at school with me (either year below or same year, I can't remember) and I could not concentrate or get comfortable at all. Tony was at work and I ummed and ahhhed about calling him to get him to come home so I could go to hospital. Eventually about 11pm I called him and told him that I was properly sick and needed to go to hospital. He called his mum and I called 999. 
This was my first shock of what has been a shocking process in all. After answering a few questions the operator told me that the pain was not serious enough for an ambulance and I should call the out of hours GP. I was incredulous. I knew from experience that the out of hours GP normally involved a trip to Crawley Hospital, I also knew that I would not be able to drive myself anywhere as I could barely walk to the loo let alone anywhere else. But as it was I called them. But you don't speak to anyone straight away you have to wait for a call back which I awaited and got - quite quickly it has to be said. The GP I spoke to reiterated that I would need to go for an appointment at Crawley Hospital and at this point I kind of lost the plot. I was in immense pain and had no one there to help and both kids had now woken up. I told them in no uncertain terms that they would need to come to me as I had someone coming over to look after the children but I would be unable to drive, could not afford a taxi and had been unable to secure an ambulance. They agreed to come but said it would take up to 2 hours. By now it was midnight and Mother in Law had arrived to look after the children. I tried to get some sleep but it was impossible I was not at all comfortable and had taken some Ibruprofen to get the pain. I may as well have taken calpol for all the good it did, except I don't like strawberry!!. By 2am the out of hours doctor had arrived and gave me a prod, took my temperature and blood pressure and said it was probably appendicitis. He again asked me how I was going to get to hospital and I told him that if he wasn't prepared to take me then he would need to get me an ambulance. Grudgingly he agreed and phoned for one, although it would take about an hour to arrive. 
I know the exact time I got on the ambulance was 3.19am as they had to note it on their forms. That was 4 hours after I had initally called them. I think I made a bit of a fool of myself on that ambulance ride as I was having some gas and air which definitely works but also makes things a bit like an out of body experience. 
We got to the hospital and I got some more lovely gas and air and was assessed and then given some more painkillers in the form of liquid paracetamol. Oh my God, that stuff is fab, in the vein and away the pain went, it was great. 
Then the great waiting game began. I was moved from triage into the corridor leading to A&E where I obtained a blanket and managed to get some sleep all but broken as there was an alcoholic yelling and the women in front of me kept vomiting, but some rest was better than none. I was lucky enough to get a cup of coffee about 6am and should definitely have appreciated this more. I finally moved from the corridor into A&E proper although not quite a cubicle, just a bank of beds in the centre. I got my first visitor at this point - Tony - he had managed to leave work at 6am and stopped in to see me on my way home. At this point we both still thought that it was appendicitis and assumed, although we never talked about it, that they would do an x ray, do an op and then I would be home. We never anticipated what was to come. 

Time rolled on and by 8am I had moved into a cubicle and had been seen by a Doctor who told me that my HB was low and had I been experiencing any breathlessness etc. At this point things all become a bit surreal. I had been to my GP on Wednesday because I had been experiencing breathlessness and lightheadedness and told that I had 'borderline positional hypertension' (Low blood pressure when I move) and advised to have blood tests taken which I dutifully booked in.  
When I asked how low my Hb was I was told 6.something. It should be between 10 and 12. At that point I was told that I would need a blood transfusion before going home. 
I spent the next few hours dozing and being proded by various surgeons, specialists and at some point I had a abdo pelvis and chest X ray. The X ray showed that it wasn't my appendix and so I was seen by a Gynae doctor, which started to scare me.
The Gynae doctor told me that he had booked a CT scan for 3pm to see whether there was any kind of problem with my ovaries or womb. 
About 2.30 I was moved to Brockham ward which is the home of the Early Pregnancy Unit and Gynae Assesment Unit. I was stuck in a side room in the waiting room and left. I eventually managed to wriggle around until I could see a clock and watched as 3pm came and went. Just as I managed to unhook my IV and overcome the pain to walk to the door the nurse came back and told me she was taking me for an ultrasound. Yep thats right an ULTRASOUND.
This is where it kind of becomes comical. I was wheeled across the corridor and into a waiting room surrounded by pregnant women of all stages. I was taken in and met the ultrasound operator who explained what they were going to do.
As she was performing the scan she was quite convinced that she could see a large cyst on my womb/ovaries. At this point she asked me if I needed to go to the loo, and I did tell her I hadn't been since the morning so off I trotted to the loo and low and behold the 'cyst' had dissappeared. Yeah it was my bladder!!!
By now it was about 4.30pm so I was taken back to the ward and settled in for my first night in the madhouse!!
This has taken a lot longer to write than I thought so I shall blog about subsequent days soon