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!


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Twenty-first appointment

Thursday, 18th August, 2011

Block of the day - Clam Shells

Long, long day. It started with a trip to the audiology department at Warrington General where Richard had his ears tested and his hearing aids adjusted. His hearing has not deteriorated too much over the last three years, but he can now hear much better.

We then processed to IKEA with the idea of getting a quick and very cheap breakfast but the world and his wife - and all their children - had beaten us to it. So we grabbed a croissant each and a cup of free coffee (tastes much better when it's free) and headed off to Clatterbridge via the Runcorn bridge.

We got to the Oncology Centre at around 11.15 and signed in. Although the place seemed quiet and calm, Richard was still about an hour or so late going through. And the machine started being awkward while he was in there. But we were on our way by around 1.50 p.m., again in time to listen to the Archers.

We drove down to Wrexham and inspected their new shopping centre. And then we drove over to the Caravan Club site at Chirk and had fish and chips with Tony and Von, Jack and Irene. It was good to do something that wasn't connected with hospitals, machines and doctors. Thanks!

Another day tomorrow (GP and Clatterbridge) before we get two days off.


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Twentieth Appointment

Wednesday, 17th August, 2011

Block of the day - Card Trick

We stopped off in Warrington (market) and, because we were early, we wandered and stopped in Frodsham, found a nice teashop and had coffee etc. We suddenly realised that we were not early - we were actually late! We drove up to Clatterbridge as quickly as possible and booked in but no-one seemed too worried. Richard's appointment was 12.05 and he actually went in at 12.45 p.m. We left the hospital at around 1.00 p.m. Not bad!

Home for a cup of tea.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Nineteenth Appointment

Tuesday, 16th August, 2011

Block of the day - Bleeding Heart

Much better day today! We arrived on time for Richard's 12.05 p.m. appointment. He had to do part 1 straight away and part 2 at about 12.20. He went through to the machine around 12.40 and we were out of the place by 12.50 p.m., in nice time to listen to the Archers on the way home. We had to stop off again at Cheshire Oaks (pyjamas again!), over to M & S food shop in the Colosseum to pick some essentials, and then home.

Hope this is the pattern for the rest of the week.

Back tomorrow


Monday, 15 August 2011

Eighteenth Appointment

Monday, 15th August, 2011

Block of the day - Delectable Mountain

Not such a good day! We arrived at around 11.30 a.m. for an appointment at 12.05. Richard was asked to drink the obligatory three cups of water at around 12.30, but we quickly noticed that there were a lot of people at the nurses' station looking at screens and looking worried. By 1.30 or so, with no patients going in to the machine, we knew something was wrong. At around 2.00 p.m. a radiographer came across to Richard to ask if he could manage to hold on!!! He eventually went through but, after about 15 minutes, he was asked if he could still hold on and go round to the other machine. He tottered round and eventually went through to that one. What a performance! We left the hospital at around 2.45 p.m.

We stopped off at Cheshire Oaks to get new pyjamas (long story) and then home. I wonder what things will be like tomorrow.


Friday, 12 August 2011

Seventeenth Appointment

Friday, 12th August, 2011

Block of the day - Drunkard's Path

We had a good day today. We arrived at the hospital at around 11.30 p.m. for Richard's appointment at 12.05 p.m. and he was only about 20 minutes late going through. We left and went to a Harvester Pub near to Cheshire Oaks to have some lunch, and then home. Lots of rain and dark skies, but warm.

Two days off, back Monday.


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Sixteenth Appointment

Thursday, 11th August, 2011

Block of the day - Canadian Star

We had to wait until 5.00 p.m. before ringing the hospital to check on the time of Richard's appointment. We were told to come in now, which we did, arriving around 6.00 p.m. We had to wait a while but Richard went through about 6.30 p.m. Everywhere seemed very quiet and calm, which was a good sign. Apparently, the machine we should be using is now working and we will go in tomorrow at the time on the list, i.e. 12.05 p.m.

Strange day! We have been married 46 years today - many interesting, difficult and happy times but on the whole not too bad. And I spent two hours on line while a young man in New Delhi had control of this computer and put a few things right for me. Weird!

Anna - the blocks are, as Lucy said, already pieced and tacked, a project I've been working on for around four years now. I take a different one each day to quilt. At the end, I will join them all together to make a large quilt, to be known as the prostate quilt! I will probably be so sick of it by then that I will give it to the hospital to sell or raffle. Or not. We'll see.

Back again tomorrow, before we get two days off at the weekend.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Fifteenth Appointment

Wednesday, 10th August, 2011

Block of the day - Celtic Knot

Richard's appointment today was delayed until 5.40 p.m., which meant we had to be there by 5.00 p.m., which we were. As the V10-4 machine is still out of action, we were again transferred to the other machine, and - of course - the whole list was delayed because of the number of patients waiting to use it. Richard finally got in at around 7.00 p.m. and we were on our way home by 7.20 p.m.

We have been told to ring in tomorrow at around 5.00 p.m. to confirm a suggested appointment of 6.20 p.m. - at least we can have a lie-in in the morning. The V10-4 machine should receive a new part (?) tomorrow morning (presumably from the US) but it will take all day to test it before the machine can come back into service.

High spot of the day - a lovely box of flowers from Lucy, Martin and family to celebrate our anniversary tomorrow. This was via Moonpig from Guernsey! Amazing but very welcome.

Back tomorrow folks. This must be the most boring blog on the net!


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Fourteenth Appointment

Tuesday, 9th August, 2011

Block of the day - Inner City Blocks

We arrived at the hospital on time to find that 'our' machine, V10-4, is still not working and we were directed round to the other one. We had to wait quite a while as there were lots of patients waiting to use this one. Richard's appointment was 12.05 but he went through at around 1.00 p.m. No news of the machine and no instructions to ring tomorrow to check on its progress, so presumably tomorrow things will be fine.

We stopped off at the M & S in the Colisseum Retail Park, but they didn't seem to have much of what we needed (no oranges, for instance). So we went across to the other side of Cheshire Oaks to Sainsbury's. We had more luck there, but we made the mistake of using the self-scanning till. The first two items through were bottles of wine which we needed a supervisor to put through - obviously we were underage! From then on, every damn thing bleeped. We told the machine we were using our own bags but when we put them on the side of the machine it bleeped! Weighing fruit and veg. proved beyond us, and the supervisor was to and fro putting things right. Half way through all this, we gave in, dumped everything back in the trolley and walked out. We drove home without any groceries, and dived into the deep freeze to see if we could find something for tea.

Let's hope tomorrow proves better. We start off at the doctor's at 8.30 a.m. - Richard is to have some blood taken.


Monday, 8 August 2011

Thirteenth Appointment

Monday, 8th August, 2011

Block of the day - Eight-pointed star

After attending Richard's cousin's funeral in Winsford, we travelled up to Clatterbridge, arriving at around 1.30 p.m. We had time for a sausage and bacon sandwich (yummy) and a coffee, and then we booked in. After a week of the machine working perfectly, it is now out of action and we were directed to the other machine, V10-6. Despite this machine having to deal with both lots of patients, we didn't have to wait too long and managed to be away by 3.00 p.m., and straight home.

Normal day tomorrow - we hope!


Sunday, 7 August 2011

If you're interested..........

Saturday, 7th August, 2011

you can take a virtual tour of the department and the actual machine where Richard has his treatment every day - go to This is part of the Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology's website.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Eleventh and Twelfth Appointments

Friday, 5th August, 2011

Blocks of the day - Spider's Web and Hawiian Applique

We got up early - a rarity these days - and set off at around 8.30 a.m., arriving at the hospital at around 9.00 a.m. We thought there'd be lots of traffic on the motorways but we went straight through and so were early. Richard went in for the treatment at around 10.00 a.m., the time we should have been there, so we didn't gain anything.

We were planning on a trip up to Wallasey or West Kirby, but we stayed in Heswall, visiting the shops, and then having lunch at 107, a restaurant we've visited before. We then thought we'd have a cup of tea at Thornton Hough - surely there's a tea room in Thornton Hough - but no! So we went to find a lovely pub called the Wheatsheaf at Raby, which looks lovely and worth a visit again.

Back to the hospital for 3.45 p.m., as directed, but Richard had to wait until 5.15 before he went in for this second dose. We left the hospital at 5.30 or so, set off for home, only to hit a traffic jam on the M56! We were dawdling along in the outside lane, looked to our left and saw Prince Philip waving at us! And the Queen, and Prince Charles. What was going on? But it was just a mad group of scousers off to the airport for their holiday and wearing daft masks. Made us laugh, anyway!

We're both shattered but we have two days off now. Back again on Monday.


Thursday, 4 August 2011

Tenth Appointment

Thursday, 4th August, 2011

Block of the day - The Reel

Another relatively easy day. Richard was about 45 minutes late going in, and out again in 10 minutes. I asked if I could go in to see this machine and they said I could. Wow! Some machine! It is enormous, and the technology surrounding it is amazing. Looks like something out of Star Trek. I'm glad I've seen it though - it gives me an idea of what is happening.

We stopped off at Warrington Hospital Audiology Dept. and made Richard an appointment for 18th August - it's three years since he had his ears checked and the hearing aids made. He is having a bit of bother with them at the moment, so they can check it all out for him. We couldn't get into the car park at this hospital - it's always hopeless and, even if you do get in, it costs a fortune - so we parked in a nearby street. We were just hurrying back to the car - it was raining - when we spotted a traffic warden taking the number of the car down! We quickly jumped in and sped away. We then stopped in the village to pick up yet another prescription and something for lunch. Looking at the prescription slip, we can see that Richard needs to see the doctor before the next lot of pills is handed out. Yet another appointment to make.

Home now and having a cuppa.

Another posting tomorrow


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Ninth Appointment

Wednesday, 3rd August, 2011

Block of the day - Grandmother's Fan

Nothing much to report today! We left home at 10.30 a.m., arriving at 11.15, usual performance, and then in to the machine - which is working perfectly, touch wood - at 12.10 p.m. Straight home!

We have problems with both computers - they are so slow setting up and processing email takes forever. AOL is sending us a new router and cables to see if that solves the problem.

Back tomorrow, Clatterbridge, computers and cables willing.


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Eighth Appointment

Tuesday, 2nd August, 2011

Block of the day - tumbling blocks

After another visit to Costco and two of their delicious fruit sundaes, we arrived at the cancer centre to find that our beloved V10-4 was working again. We proceeded to the waiting area, and Richard went through the usual enema and drinking three cups of water. His appointment was for 6.00 p.m. but it was around 6.30 that he went through. We left the hospital at 7.00 p.m., just in time to listen to the Archers. Home, tea, telly, bed!

More of the same tomorrow


Monday, 1 August 2011

Finally, the seventh appointment

Monday, 1st August, 2011

Block of the day - Twisted Star

We travelled over to the hospital this afternoon, arriving at around 6.30 p.m. We were directed to the 'other' machine, V10-6, and Richard had his usual enema and drinks of water. After a short wait, he went in for the radiotherapy, and we left the hospital at around 7.45 p.m. We stopped off at the chippy for an easy meal when we arrived home. As we travelled to the Wirral, there was the most amazing sky - looked as though we were heading into a tornado! And then we got an enormous downpour. At least it felt fresher afterwards.

Before we set off this afternoon, the hospital rang to ask if we would change the appointment tomorrow from 12.15 to 6.00 p.m. - this because the machine Richard is booked in on is still out of action. Hey ho!

Miles travelled so far - 540+.

Back tomorrow


Friday, 29 July 2011

Almost our seventh appointment

Friday, 29th July, 2011

Block of the day - Dresden Plate

We travelled over to Clatterbridge this morning. I met up with Deryn to collect some flyers for the Stitch and Creative Crafts Show at the beginning of December - thanks Deryn! And then we went in to the hospital and - guess what! We were told there was at least an hour's delay for the treatment, so we sat in one of the cafes and had a snack and coffee. We wandered back to the waiting area for the machine, and settled in the for the wait. After half an hour or so, we realised that no-one was actually going through for any treatments, so queried what was happening. Shortly afterwards, a lady came and sat down to talk to us. We knew straight away that this was serious! She explained that the machine still wasn't working and that, even if we waited, it would be after 6.00 p.m. before Richard would be seen and it would be better if we forgot it for the day and went home. We were really cross - 60 mile round trip for nothing - and told her so. Not that it was her fault but two appointments cancelled and we've only be going just over a week. Maddening! So they've given Richard another double appointment day at the end of August. We already have one of these next Friday when we have to be there by 9.00 a.m. for the treatment and then we hang around all day for another one at 6.00 p.m. There has to be at least a six-hour gap between treatments. He can have a place on a day ward for these hours, or we can go out of the hospital if we wish. Perhaps a walk on the beach at Thurstaston is the thing.

So, we departed and went to Costco at Ellesmere Port and then home. Back again on Monday.


POSTSCRIPT - We've just had a telephone call from Sarah Jane (?) to ask if we could please come along at 7.00 p.m. on Monday. Richard has been temporarily transferred to the other machine (V10-6) but of course there is already a packed list of patients for this machine for the day, hence the time of the appointment. What next?

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Sixth Appointment

Thursday, 28th July,2011

Block of the day - Trip around the world

Another easy day. A quick trip into Chester first thing to do some urgent fabric shopping at Abakhan, and then on to the Oncology Centre at Clatterbridge. The usual procedure, a weekly weigh-in, and then Richard was about half an hour late going in. Afterwards, straight home for some home-made soup.

More of the same tomorrow


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Fifth appointment

Wednesday, 27th July, 2011

Block of the day - Bargello

Usual day - early appointment, enema and drink lots of water, and then wait. Richard finally got in to the machine around 12.00, and we were away. Stopped off at Marks & Spencer to buy a few basics and then home.

Richard is feeling quite well and fit. A member of staff at the hospital said that tiredness and feeling rotten might kick in about half way through the programme, but we'll see. So far, so good

More tomorrow.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Fourth Appointment

Tuesday, 26th July, 2011

Block of the day - Attic Window

Our fourth appointment. We got there early, no problems, but for some reason Richard had to wait an hour to go in to have his radiotherapy. Never mind! Straight home and put the kettle on.

So far, there don't appear to be any side effects from this treatment. Richard is well and fit. Hooray!

More tomorrow.


Monday, 25 July 2011

Third Appointment

Monday, 25th July, 2011

Block of the day - Machine-pieced flower

The day started off strangely - a complete power-cut at home. Rang the electric co. who said they were dealing with it, and it all came back on in about half-an-hour.

Set off for Clatterbridge half-an-hour early, booked in and Richard started the usual system of enema and then drinking lots of water. After a short wait, a young lady came and took us to the other machine, V10-6. The whole place seemed quiet and orderly, everything working properly, so I think this change of machine was only because it wasn't busy. The treatment was done and we left the hospital very quickly. If every day is like this one, we'll breeze through it all.

We drove into Heswall and visited the famous Oxfam store and the even more famous Christopher's, which is still going strong. Then coffee at Lingard's book shop and a bit of shopping at Tesco. Back to Lymm to pick up some prescriptions and home. No Tour de France now, so the afternoons seem strange!

Back tomorrow


Friday, 22 July 2011

Second appointment

Friday, 22nd July 2011

Block of the day - Log Cabin

We started the day with a telephone call to say that 'our' machine was once again not working! Ring back in an hour! Here we go again, we thought.

We rang back and - good news - the machine was still not working but they could fit Richard in on to the other machine's schedule, but to wait another hour before coming in. We set off at 11.30 a.m., and were told on arrival that the first machine had just started working again, but - of course, there was a bit of a wait. Go away for an hour and come back at 1.20 p.m. We repaired to the WRVS cafe and had coffee and bacon sandwiches, which were excellent.

Back to the machine. The usual enema and drinking three cups of water, and then wait. Richard finally got in to the machine at around 2.15 p.m., the procedure took about ten minutes, and then we were away. Straight home - well, via the library to pick up some books to alleviate the boredom of waiting, waiting.

Two days off - Tour de France and the German Grand Prix, not to mention England v. India with the lovely Geoffrey Boycott commentating! Oh joy!

More on Monday.


Thursday, 21 July 2011

First session

Thursday, 21st July 2011

Block of the day - Strip Rail

Well, we made it - first session done. We arrived around 3.15 p.m. and found our way through to the reception desk, not an easy task in this hospital. Richard was directed to machine V10-6. I had in mind that we were down for V10-4, so queried this. But just for today Richard was to use V10-6 which, of course, was in a completely different location. A kind lady took us through, and we 'signed' in. For these radiotherapy sessions to work, one has to have an empty bowel and a full bladder! So, quick enema and then three cups of water. We didn't wait too long, and Richard was ushered in. He had to lay on a bed, the machine was lined up with his tattoos etc., and then it rotated and sashayed around him for 10 minutes. And that was that. No after-effects that we can see, so so far so good. We had a cup of coffee in one of the WRVS cafes and then left.

Clatterbridge Hospital is on the Wirral, so is very handy for the Brimstage Craft Centre, some rather nice towns and for Cheshire Oaks/Colliseum retail park - very difficult to pass by these places without calling in. Today, we stopped in the Colliseum retail park at the M & S food shop and bought something nice for tea. Now to catch up with the Tour de France and those mountains.

More tomorrow!

Prostate journey

Wednesday, 20th July 2011

Today, Richard should have had the first of his 37 appointments with a radiotherapy machine at the Oncology Centre at Clatterbridge Hospital on the Wirral. 'Should' is the important word in that sentence! We got there and checked in and then noticed a sign that said that everything was running 60 minutes late. No problem, we thought. But then a very young lady (everyone looks young these days) came to talk to us and told us that one of their two machines was out of order and had had to be removed somewhere to be mended. We could wait to have a go on the other machine, but it would be at least three hours ahead. We asked what time they finished work and the answer was that they finished work when all the appointments had been seen. So, on balance, we decided to call it a day and go home. 60 mile round trip for nothing! And so disappointing.

So - we start again tomorrow.