Anyone being treated at the Western Infirmary Edinburgh?

Hi all

Slowly making my progression from the chemo threads to this one lol.

Having my last chemo of first 4 cycles on 30 Jan then have to start radiotherapy at the Western, probably late Feb - just wondered if there was anyone having treatment there who could give me some tips/clues on what it’s like

I live in Dumfries & Galloway so will be bussed up to Edinburgh on a Mon and bussed home again on Friday - I so don’t want to have to stay away from home, my 9 yr old is already getting anxious about it - but it’s a 5 hour round trip so travelling will be impossible.

Just wondered if there was anyone else who has had to stay up there?

Thanks in advance for any help

Margaret x

my mum is there at the moment. she lives in moffat and goes Mon to Fri. she was supposed to go into a hostel type place to stay. she arrived unpacked and then someone told her she had to move and was put on ward 4. she hated it rang my sister to sort it out.after lots of phone calls. it was because she had angina she needed to be where there was medical staff nurses etc and in the hostel there was no one. she did Thurs and Fri last week.went back Mon this week and she says its good as on ward 4 you come and go as you please make refreshments and accross rd is place for cancer people. she been there for tai chi going again tonight for beauty products evening with lots of freebies. you have to book in advance for some. she has been into Edinburgh shopping etc so i think you have freedom to do what you like as long as back for radio. she hasn’t got tired yet waiting for it to kick in. i thought today she prob wont have tiredness as much if any as she has no travelling backwards and fireawards daily for the 4 weeks. hope you get on OK when are you booked in…

Thanks for your comments Julie. I think I’ll be staying in the hostel place - an Order of St John’s House at Crammond? - was hoping to make use of the Maggie’s Centre there - might look at whats on while I’m up there.

Margaret x

hi Margaret
when do you go and good luck.
Julie x

Hi Julie

have plannng appt on 19th Feb and treatment starts 21st for 4 wks I think - not had number of sessions confirmed yet

Margaret x

hi my mum will have finished then so best of luck. she is feeling tired today so my travelling theory isn’t right sorry.
x juliex

I’m also from Dumfries and have just started radiotherapy at the Western General. I’m staying in the Hostel, Pentland Lodge, and can honestly say it’s good fun! The Housekeeper, Danny, is brilliant and although I’d rather not be staying away from home, the staff try their best to make life as easy as possible for you. Wasn’t looking forward to coming home on the bus for the first time today but the driver is great too! Think (or hope!!) I’ll be finished before you get there but good luck!
Jacquie x

Hi Julie

I had been warned that the tiredness would kick in and that travelling it every day would just not be possible :frowning:

Thanks for your messages - best wishes to your mum


Hi Jacquie

Thanks for message - unfortunately I didn’t note your telephone number down the first time I read it. When I came back to it this morning - the number had been edited out - so sorry I didn’t ring as promised. Have ‘whispered’ back to your message lol

Margaret x

Hi all,

I had 25 rads at the Western last Feb/March followed by 4 Taxotere and Herceptin at Ward 1. I am on Herceptin until April and as I live about 25 miles away the hospital use a private healthcare company who give me the Herceptin at home very 3 weeks - this fairly takes the stress out of having treatment and as I have started a new job it means I only have to leave at 3.30. Apparently it is more cost effective for the hospital to do Herceptin treatments this way and it takes the pressure off ward 1, which was continually busy when I was going there.

I cannot sing the praises of the staff at the Western enough. They were always bright and cheery, very professional and ready to answer questions and give assistance.I was actually quite sad to say cheerio to my radiotherapists after 5 weeks as I had become quite friendly with them, same with the chemo nurses. I have also found the oncologists from the Western to be fantastic as well and I have felt very safe in their hands.

Thanks for that Cherub. My treatment will be pretty much the same as yours I think - I’m having 20 rads I think, no-one has confirmed exact number yet - I’m over 100 miles from Edinburgh so, after rads, treatment will continue in Dumfries & Galloway. I’m just about to have last of 4 Fec, after rads I have to have 4 x Tax, and then Herceptin for a year. My herceptin is the same - being administered at home every 3 weeks.

Thanks again

Magz, this is pretty much the same treatment as myself - the reason I had 25 rads was because I had to have 5 done as a boost. Good luck with everything.

Jaquie - Sorry I couldn’t phone - have met with Onc today and been advised that I will be staying in Pentland Lodge, or on a ward if there are no rooms in Lodge available - Have to have 20 sessions starting 21st Feb, bu which time you wil be finished - Thanks for the info - hope your treatment is going ok

margaret x

Hi Margaret,
Will be finishing my treatment on Mon 18th Feb (hurray!) so won’t be there when you arrive. You will have a planning day before you start so if it’s whilst I’m still there, may see you then. Couple of bits of advice – 1 ask to see around Pentland lodge when you’re up for your planning day and 2 make sure you get a time slot for your radiotherapy treatment when you’re up for your planning day. I didn’t do that and got landed with 3:20 in the afternoon which is not much use if you are having visitors especially those like ours from far away. Pentland lodge staff are wonderful, nothing too much trouble.
Good luck with your treatment!
Jacquie x

Hi Jacquie

Thanks for that - unfortunately I will miss you completely - my planning day is 19th !

Thanks for the tips though - I was going to ask if I could see round the place - though Onc has warned me I may be on a ward! I hope not :frowning:

Sad as it sounds lol - I don’t think I’ll get any visitors - by the time OH finishes work it’s too late to visit - and most of my family live away down in England. In laws are local but again they work - I’m outside dumfries so it’s roughly a 2 hour drive - can’t see anyone doing a 4 hour round trip after work unfortunately lol.

How did you occupy your time? I’m going to be bored rigid I’m sure lol.

Margaret x

I recieved all my treatment there. Being local though is helpful. There is plenty to do in the city though when the weather is as bad as its been it is a bit depressing.
I had 4 fec, 20 rads, 4 Taxotere and 17 Herceptin. I was pretty much finished last summer and planning my reconstruction but now have to have a D and C at the Royal. All thre staff at the Western were great and really helpful. Make use of the Maggie centre they are really nice and its lterally 2mins from where u have yor rads. Its also only 10 mins into town on the bus, Plenty of galleries and cinemas.

Hi lmlauder

Thanks for that. Several people have suggested making use of the Maggies Centre. I probably will pop into the city centre too, though I have a bit of a phobia about public transport - it scares me rigid!!

I am having exactly the same treatment as you - just finished 4 x FEC, now 20 rads, then 4 x taxotere, then herceptin for a year (17), so won’t be finished till mid-2009 - which seems like ages away !

Good luck with the D & C, and your reconstruction - hope you get on okay.

Margaret x

Hi Margaret,
Home mid-week as my machine is off today and I’m of the opinion that coming home is MUCH better than being away!! Train to Lockerbie only takes 1 hr if you have anyone to pick you up. I’m very lucky that several friends do shift work and would pick me up if needed and my husband’s employers have been fantastic – offered him as much time off as he (and I) need. They’ve also offered him the opportunity to work in the Edinburgh office if he wants so we’re very lucky. He’s managed to sort out his time so he can have 1 day off mid-week and come to visit me and that’s been a god-send too.
The wards are lovely too. I ended up with a wee “blip” on Tues night and was admitted to Ward 2. The night and day staff were absolutely great – nothing too much bother, from a cup of tea in the middle of the night to chasing up doctors etc.
Maggie’s centre wonderful! They have space for you just to sit and relax, have lunch or join in something. Had hoped to be able to join Make-up session on 19th Feb but I’ll BE HOME by then!! and that’s even better. (LOL). Go as soon as you arrive and see if there’s anything that takes your fancy.
Time goes by very quickly, certainly in the lodge. Wherever you are there will be women in the same boat as you and that helps. You’ll be able to get out and about and even if you don’t like public transport, you can walk. There’s a shopping centre up the road which you could walk to in 10 mins and Stockbridge is a 20 min walk, lots of lovely little shops, cafes etc.
This has been a very long posting–sorry!-- but am away to London this weekend and won’t have access to a computer til a week on Fri.
Take care, I wish you all the best for your treatment. We’ll maybe cross paths one of these days!
Jacquie x

Hi Jacquie

Thanks for that - must be nice to be home.

I have decided that I have to stop moaning about being away from home and just make the most of the peace and quiet!

Will probably just go walkabout - I’m taking part in the Ben Nevis challenge in October - so any form of exercise in training will do me good!! (And boy I need it lol)

Have a great time in London - I’m away down to Shropshire on Monday to visit my sister for a few days, and have just booked a wee holiday in the lakes for when my rads end (have a feeling I might have booked the week my chemo will restart - but tough lol).

Chances are we have already crossed paths if you’ve been in the infirmary lol - if I remember correctly, although I missed the phone number, I do remember your surname because it’s quite unusual and I used to work with a guy in Dumfries with the same surname - at a call

All the best for the rest of your treatment

Margaret x

Hi Margaret,
My husband, Lindsay, moved down (along with the other 3 of us!) 23 years ago to work for NHS as an accountant. Took early retirement now working for Audit Scotland. We’re the only ones of that name who are not in town.
You’re far more energetic than me (and far younger!!LOL)–the walking around WGH is town rather than countryside but it’s a nice bit of the city. It’s not too far from the city centre – you get a great view of the castle and Arthur’s Seat from my bedroom in the lodge. And going up Arthur’s seat would be good training for Ben Nevis – tho’ not nearly as high!
Watch out for dates of end of rads – there are times machines are off and tho’ some people get treatment at other machines on that day, not all do. It’s added 2 days on to the date I thought I’d be finished.
Have a great time in Shropshire.
Jacquie x