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.