Friday, 9 September 2011

Thirty-seventh - and final - appointment

Friday, 9th September, 2011

Again - no block of the day.

We arrived early and stopped off at the WRVS cafe to have a bacon buttie! And then Richard went through to book in. His appointment was 12.05 p.m., and he went on more or less on time. By 12.45 p.m. we were in the car and on our way home! Fantastic!

I texted various people with the news 'finished' and had some choice replies - thanks Lucy! Just the right note perhaps? We drove over to Dunham and the Axe and Cleaver to join John, Margaret, Brian, Judith, Ferdi and Madeleine. After our late breakfast, we didn't feel like eating anything but it felt good to be celebrating the end of the journey with family and friends.

Richard now has to go back on 27th October - after a PSA blood test - for a clinic appointment at Warrington General, and then will go every two months for a while to make sure that everything is working as it should.

So - in the words of Bugs Bunny - that's all, folks! And in the spirit of the cinema, we have to list some credits -

  • All the radiographers, doctors, clinic staff, WRVS ladies and all the rest of the staff at the Oncology Centre, Clatterbridge, for their wonderful care and treatment. And I suppose for all the people who invented and maintained the amazing machinery that has been zapping Richard for the past 37 appointments. There have been days when it hasn't worked as it should, but where would we be without it all.

  • All the friends and family who have been following this blog and for their care and good wishes. It may be the most boring blog going, but it's been fun to do and it's kept everyone up to date.

  • The SAAB for getting us there without any problems. Approximately 2,220 miles travelled and I've lost track of how much fuel used - but it will be a lot! And at least there were no car parking fees to pay!

  • Some good friends made among the fellow patients. There is something about being amongst others who are going through the same thing that makes it all more bearable.

  • Chris and Tony for giving up their time to take Richard over to the Wirral so that I could attend my exhibition. They had a good time, having lunch in pubs etc., but they have been good friends and are greatly appreciated.

So - this is the end of the blog. If we have any more journeys worthy of note in the future, it may be resurrected.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Thirty-sixth appointment

Thursday, 8th September, 2011

Block of the day - no block today. All blocks have been quilted! Now they just have to be joined, requilted, bordered, etc.

A very odd day today. Fitting perhaps as we're nearly at the end of all this. We arrived at 2.15 p.m. (we managed to listen to the Archers - poor Bridge Farm) and went through to book in. Richard was sent round to the clinic area to see Dr. Tolan. We went in more or less straight away, and it was a repeat of the appointment Richard had a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Tolan asked how he was, Richard replied to say 'not too bad, thanks' and that was almost that. We have to go to Warrington General in six weeks time for a check-up - which will include a psa blood test - and after that he will go there every two months, again following a psa test. Everyone seems very pleased with how things have gone, and we can only hope that the blood tests will confirm this when we go for the follow-up clinic visits.

We returned to the V10-4 area - which was very quiet and empty - and Richard did the usual chores. While he was in the loo, the volunteer lady who does hand and foot massages appeared, and I had a lovely massage of both hands and arms. Very relaxing. While this was going on, a radiotherapy lady appeared and whisked Richard off to the V10-6 machine. No fault on the V10-4 but we think that the radiotherapists were short of something to do! I followed him round once my massage was finished - thank you volunteer lady! Once round there, the girls behind the desk called out the name of another chap who had been left at the first area - they had actually brought the wrong notes round! After much scurrying about to get the right notes, he went through and we left at around 3.45 p.m.

Straight home for tea and a piece of cake. We both feel very tired today, but so pleased that we've only one more day to go. Wonder how Jack is getting on?

Last posting tomorrow - hooray!


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Thirty-fifth appointment

Wednesday, 7th September, 2011

Block of the day - Pineapple

Considering that 'our' machine, the V10-4, is now completely out of action, we got through today's session very quickly. We were taken round to the V10-6 at around 11.15 a.m., and Richard got zapped at around 12.45 - only 40 minutes later than he would have been seen if he'd been on time. By 1.00 p.m. we were on our way home. Stopped off at the bakers in the village for a bite to eat and now about to watch the cycle racing from Spain. Oh joy!

Appointment with the consultant tomorrow and just two more radiotherapy appointments.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Thirty-fourth appointment

Tuesday, 6th September, 2011

Block of the day - Hearts and Tulips

Our lovely V10-4 machine wasn't playing ball today! It's been running perfectly for the past couple of weeks, but today something went very wrong. When we arrived around 11.15 a.m., there were people who had been waiting an hour or more. Oh dear! Eventually we were taken round to the other machine and, after a half an hour or so there, Richard went through at around 1.15 p.m. Not too bad considering. Hope the machine is better tomorrow. Richard is doing very well with all this, but is somewhat tired.

We met a father and daughter from Cinnamon Brow, the father having a similar but very different regime for his prostate cancer. The daughter, over from Qatar, was using her laptop. Obviously, within the hospital, there is wi-fi and I could have taken my laptop and done these blogs there. Bit late now!

Back again tomorrow for appointment 35.


Monday, 5 September 2011

Thirty-third appointment

Monday, 5th September, 2011

Block of the day - Reverse Applique

Back to the usual routine today. We arrived at the Centre at just after 11.00 a.m. The machine was working slightly late and Richard finally went through to be zapped at 1.10 p.m. There was an amazing book sale going on in the cafe and we bought some books - one the new Rick Stein book on his 'Spain' series and some children's books for Christmas presents. Excellent value.

We stopped off at Costco to buy some bulbs for the garden and, of course, spent more than we meant to, and we also had a bit of lunch there. Sadly the frozen vanilla machine wasn't working so I couldn't indulge in my favourite. Next time perhaps!

Home again, back tomorrow. Can't believe we're nearly at the end of it all.


Friday, 2 September 2011

Thirty-second appointment

Friday, 2nd September, 2011

Again - no block of the day! This should be returned to the blog on Monday.

Richard went to Clatterbridge today with Tony, and everything again went very well, on time, and afterwards some suitable establishment was visited for lunch. Thanks to Tony and Chris for their help this week.

Weekend off and back again on Monday for our final week.


Thursday, 1 September 2011

Thirty-first appointment

Thursday, 1st September, 2011

Block of the day - sorry, again no block of the day. More important things to do!

Richard went over to Clatterbridge with another good friend - Chris - and everything was fine and on time. An extensive tour of the Wirral was then embarked on.

Another day with a good friend tomorrow - who will it be this time?

Only six more appointments to go!


Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Thirtieth appointment

Wednesday, 31st August, 2011

No block of the day - but lots of quilts etc. have been used on the Quilters' Guild stand at the Stitch and Creative Craft show!

Richard was taken over to the Oncology Centre by good friend Tony. Everything went well and more or less on time, and they quickly repaired to the nearest (and very nice) pub for sandwiches and beer.

The end is in sight!


Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Twenty-ninth appointment

Tuesday, 30th August, 2011

Block of the day - Victorian Peony

Back to the Centre after three days off - feels strange! We arrived at 11.15 a.m. and Richard took the usual enema and water. He went through to the machine at 12.40 p.m., half an hour late, and we were on our way home by 12.55. Richard seems very tired today but that could be more to do with a lads' day out at Oulton Park yesterday than radiotherapy.

Minimum mileage so far - 1,740! Fuel bought so far - £403-worth! Amazing!

Richard has a new companion tomorrow, Thursday and Friday - I have three days off.


Friday, 26 August 2011

Twenty-eighth appointment

Friday, 26th August, 2011

Block of the day - Seminole (again!)

Another good day. We arrived at 11.00 a.m. and Richard went through to be zapped at around 12.10, more or less on time. By 12.20 p.m. we were on our way home.

We now have three days off, back again on Tuesday. Hurrah!


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Twenty-seventh appointment

Thursday, 25th August, 2011

Block of the day - Seminole

Wow - what a day! Richard had two appointments - 3.00 p.m. with the doctor and 3.30 p.m. with the machine. We arrived at 2.20 p.m. and booked in. A nice lady walked us round to the clinic area. There was no-one waiting and we could see Mr. Tolan sitting in his room. We'd hardly sat down when we were asked to go through. He asked Richard if everything was all right - Richard said yes, he was fine though a bit tired. He then told us that everything was going very well indeed and he would see us again in two weeks. Bye-bye!

We went back round to the machine where everything seemed quiet and empty. Richard did the usual preparations and, at 3.05 p.m. he went through. We were on our way out of the place by 3.15 p.m. and for the first time I didn't have time to finish my block. Wow! Wish everyday was like this one.

Back again tomorrow and then we get three days off. And I'm only actually going over for one day next week - I'm getting three days off while some very good friends help out. The Stitch and Creative Craft Show is on at Event City and I'm on duty for the three days plus a set-up day on Wednesday.


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Twenty-sixth appointment

Wednesday, 24th August, 2011

Block of the day - Ohio Rose

A very quiet but slow day. We arrived at the Centre at around 11.15 for a 12.05 p.m. appointment. It was actually around 1.30 before Richard went in for the zapping, and we left at 1.45 p.m. - but at least we got to listen to the Archers. Poor Clarrie!

We stopped off at the Hollies on the way home and bought amongst other things a rather large coffee cake. There has to be some reward for all this effort!

Another appointment tomorrow but Richard is to see the doctor before he goes in. We're hoping to learn more about how things are going and what happens next.


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Twenty-fifth appointment

Tuesday, 23rd August, 2011

Block of the day - Honey Bee

We got to the hospital around 11.00 a.m., and waited. Things seemed to be going quite slowly, but Richard actually went through to the machine at around 1.00 p.m. 10 minutes later we were on our way out, and decided to go to Chester to do a bit of shopping. We drove down to Boughton Heath to use the park-and-ride and discovered that Chester is in the middle of redesigning itself. The road works everywhere were enormous and chaotic! The bus driver however seemed to know his way around all this and we managed to do our shopping and get back to the car. Home by 4.30 p.m. - not too bad!

Another appointment tomorrow - we're getting there slowly. 12 more appointments to go!

Minimum total mileage so far - 1,500.

Back tomorrow


Monday, 22 August 2011

Twenty-third and twenty-fourth appointment

Monday, 22nd August, 2011

Block of the day - Goose Chase

Long, long day again. We had to be at Clatterbridge by 9.00 a.m. for a 9.50 appointment. Richard actually went through at around 10.30 a.m.

We left the hospital and drove over to Ness Gardens. We had coffee and toast, and then wandered around for an hour. We went back into the restaurant there and had a lovely lunch. Then a snooze in the car - it was a hot, blue-sky day and we had parked under a tree. Then back into the restaurant for tea and a piece of cake. With all this eating, we didn't have time to go through into the gardens themselves. We'll have to come back another time.

Back to the hospital for a 4.00 p.m. appointment, although it was 5.40 before Richard went through. We left at around 6.00 p.m., drove down the Wirral and straight into a traffic jam on the M65. Quite a long day - good job we'd had a proper meal at lunchtime because we were too knackered to start cooking.

More tomorrow, folks.


Friday, 19 August 2011

Twenty-second appointment

Friday, 19th August, 2011

Block of the day - Snail's trail

Perfect day! After a trip to the GP who told Richard that he was perfect, we drove over to the Wirral in time for Richard's appointment, scheduled for 12.05 p.m. We strolled in to find the waiting area very empty and quiet. Richard quickly did the necessary procedures and then went through at 11.55 a.m., a whole ten minutes early. Wow! We were on our way home in no time. Strangely, though, we both feel exhausted today.

We stopped off at the Ring O'Bells in Dutton for beef and ale pie and chicken skewers, and home. If only every day could be like this.

Back again on Monday for a double day!