This past week at home has not been typical of what is to come.
This has been a chemo free week. A pause in the treatment and a break from hospital. This is about to change.
Most weeks there will be visits to hospital as an outpatient. Twice a week for a Valcade injection in my chemo weeks and then every third week during my week off Thursday visit to clinic.
Today is my first visit to clinic 7. The outpatient clinic devoted to Haematology. The Ransomware attack on the NHS has meant that I was unable to get blood tested at the doctors surgery as planned on Tuesday. Instead I must arrive early at the clinic.
Perhaps that same virus strack has brought some good news in that the parking is free today – barriers are up and no tickets are being issued. After wandering the maze of corridors following the ‘blue line’ I arrive and book in.
I am given a number and wait. Eventually being called to give blood. Thankfully my veins co-operate after their week off and it’s a further wait until eventually I am seen by Dr Kallmeyer, my consultant.
This is a general consultation. General conversation about my health and well-being. There are no particular issues other than a skin rash which needs monitoring but is not serious – infected hair follicles aparantly.
After this a long wait for the prescription to be compiled – my drugs take a lot of compiling surprise surprise!
I make good use of time chatting with the Macmillan nurse assigned to me. We were supposed to have met on the ward but only did so briefly on the day I was leaving hospital . We talk through the situation and the implications both emotional and financial. It is good to get some advice and I am given leaflets on working with cancer – not something for the short term but definitely the medium term. In the short term we need to look at what benefits I might need to claim. This is something I never thought I’d need to do another change in circumstances which has been forced on me.
Meanwhile the prescription takes well over an hour to collect – I think this is likely to be the major delay on my clinic visits.