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It is a little bit out of date as the NHS doesn't tend to have a WiFi connection in hospital and I can only post when I get home and posts take a while to write.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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Monday, 18 July 2011

What a week - THE BOMBSHELL - Part 2 - Saturday

I know it says Saturday in the title, but obviously there is a fairly important part of the process that happened on Friday night which was the blood transfusion. 
Blood transfusions are fairly annoying things, especially the pump and it's incessant beeping. My canula was in the crook of my right arm and I tend to sleep on my left hand side with my hands curled up around me. If you are having a blood transfusion you need to keep your arm straight and believe me that is really hard to do. 
They started the blood at around about 5pm and alongside IV fluids I was pretty much attached to the bed. The first unit went in quite quickly, a couple of hours. Then the next 2 took a total of about 6 or 7 hours. I think it finished about 1am and was really quite fustrating as everytime I moved, the machine bleeped and then I had to buzz a nurse to come and silence it. They also had to, continuously, it felt take my blood pressure, SATS and temperature, so just when you thought that you could relax it was time for 'obs'.

Something you don't realise is that hospitals are 24 hour operations. I thought that once the blood was in I would be able to get some sleep, but no. I think the noisiest healthcare assistant on the planet worked on my ward. People were being transfered in and she didn't seem to understand the meaning of the word quiet. 

Hospital days start around 7am with 'Obs' and then following handover 'meds'. 

I think the consultant came to see me around 10 or 11am and told me that they were wanting another CT scan and it was booked for me at 1.15. I asked why it hadn't been done the day before and was told that the radiologist hadn't wanted to subject me to radiation as I was so young. So I whiled away the morning and then the porter came to collect me and whisk me away to 'diagnostic imaging' ( I love all the names hospital departments have). The lovely nurse down there bought me some trashy mags and I settled back for a wait.

'Oh lovely, you're here for your ultrasound' cut through my appreciation of Cheryl Coles latest romance drama. 'No, I had one of those yesterday and am here for a CT scan' I responded. She went off and came back, 'No, definitely an ultrasound. The chief radiologist wants to perform it as yesterdays was inconclusive' 

I accepted this, although was starting to get frustrated by so many people telling me so many different things. By the time the ultrasound started it was after 2pm. The lovely irish nurse kept telling me that they normally stopped work at 1pm and she had to check someone was available to type up the report. I kind of zoned this out. As far I was concerned I was the patient who still had no kind of diagnosis and didn't care if they were doing overtime or not. I wanted to know what was wrong with me and why they kept messing me around with promises of CT scans and delivery of ultrasound scans. 

The scan took about 25 minutes and the operator did express concern about an area of inflammation in my bowel. Then it was all over and I had a little wait in the corridor while the porter came back and delivered me back to the ward.

At this point I was still nil by mouth and was not sure whether I was hungry or not. I got back up to the ward by about 2.45 which was good timing as visiting hours started at 3pm and I could not wait to see Tony and the kids. 

Unfortunately, this was not as happy as I hoped. The kids were scared and sat either in the pushchair or on Tony and would not come and see me at all. This was quite upsetting and I started to worry about what was to come in the future. 

After Tony and the kids had left everyone else got served tea and I waited and waited and waited.

Finally I was thinking about settling down for some sleep around 9pm when the consultant/doctor came to see me. 

He apologised for it being so late and explained that the ultrasound had shown some 'anomalies' which would need to be investigated. When I asked why I had had an ultrasound not a CT he said that it was down to the radiologist. Then the ultimate question......

'Can I have a cup of tea yet?'

The best thing he said was 'YES' you can eat. I was ecstatic, finally something to eat. 

Then the comedown - the only thing available to eat........ A Dry Cheese Sandwich, digestive biscuits and a rather tired looking apple. I would like to say something profound like, it had never tasted so good, but it wasn't/didn't although I did look over the menu for the following day and was excited to be able to select roast chicken and potatoes as well as some jelly for desert. 

The cup of tea however was devine. I have never craved tea before but that cuppa was heaven and could not have been any better. 

And so to sleep, or so I thought