Anyone having Treatment at Clatterbridge?

Hi Girls,
I am soon starting Rads at Clatterbridge Wirral and wondered if anyone else having their treatment there. Re; Planning Day etc. Have not been told a great deal so any advice appreciated.
Love
Jillx

Hi Jill
I have just had 6 wks of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge, finish this week. The staff there are brilliant. The planning takes about 3 quarters of an hour were they give you little tattooes on you skin so they know were the radiation is to go. Does’nt hurt. When you arrive for your 1st appointment there can be quite a delay, but other times straight in.The staff our lovely any concerns just ask.The treatment only takes about 10 mins on the machine. This week is just a boost for me as i had an intection which has left a horrid lump on the top of my breast, they want to make sure that’s been covered. When they give you the aqueous cream apply it 2 or 3 times a day. You do get a few pains and itchness, felt abit tired but better than i thought it would be. Well hope all goes well for you. Take care

Leperi1

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Thanks
Jill,
I

Hi Leperi,
Thank you so much for your reply, I posted this a while back and have since been for my planning day and start Rads on 27th of this month. Congrats on finishing the rads, 6 weeks a long time, mine is 4. As you say the people at Clatterbridge are lovely, nothing too much trouble. I am getting the transport daily from Ormskirk, bit of a long journey but the drivers are really good. Did you travel every day? Hope your lump clears up and thanks again for your advice . Are you having Herceptin? Take care .
Love
Jillx

Hi Jill

I am mid chemo at the moment but will be travelling to Clatterbridge for 4 weeks of radiotherapy in a few months time. Just out of interest how did you arrange travel from Ormskirk? I live nearby in Kirkby. I haven’t discussed travel arrangements as yet as it’s early days. Although at a push I could arrange my own transport, but thinking of the cost of petrol & tunnel tolls, particularly over such a long period, I wondered if the NHS provided it?
Any advice gratefully received!

Love Carol

Hi Carol,
Nice to hear from someone in my area. Before you start the radiotheraphy you go for what is called a planning day, its is usually a couple of weeks before you actually start. It is nothing to worry about, you just have to lie very still while they line you up for the area they are treating, then they give you a few tattoos which you do not feel at all, these are used as markers each time you visit so they can line you up exactly in the same position for each subsequent treatment.
When you receive your planning day letter there is a form which asks do you want to arrange transport just tick it if you do and take the form with you to the planning day. After you have had the planning they then ask you to go to the planning desk and you will be given a timetable of all your appointments and transport is automatically arranged then for you by Clatterbridge. I opted for the transport my OH said he would take me, but could not see the sense in us both going so suggested he did my tea instead!! The drivers are great, you do have to wait for the other occupants in the car to finish their appointments but I only had one man in the car . also from Ormskirk and we finished relatively the same time, so I was not too long. The staff are really nice at Clatterbridge. I chose afternoon appointments, as I am not a morning person and you have to be ready for 7.30 to 8.00, so the afternoon suited me best , have to be ready for 12.30, at least you get the morning to yourself, I like my brekkie and the paper for an hour in peace!!
Its everyones personal choice Carol, but like you say it is a long period and you can claim expenses if you opt to drive yourself, but the pressure is off if you know you are going to be picked up and dropped home again, and the rads plus the travelling can make you tired I believe especially towards the end. My friend has just finished and she did drive herself but said parking was a nightmare at times.
Hope this has helped a bit, I start mine on 27th, so will let you know how I get on. Where are you having your chemo?
Good Luck with the rest of your treatment Carol. Keep in touch
Love
Jillxxx

Hi Jill

Thanks for the info. Put my mind at rest. Like you I think I’ll opt for the transport rather than drive myself or get OH to drive me. How did your 1st treatment go on the 27th? How was the transport? Was there much waiting around?
I had my 3rd FEC chemo session yesterday (Thursday 28th) @ the Linda McCartney Centre @ the Royal. A bit yucky last night but not feeling too bad today. 1st session was a nightmare. Had sickness, chemo-head & headache for days. 2nd was no problem except for terrible fatigue from day 5, not helped by throat & chest infection! So can’t complain.
I have been thoroughly spoilt with cards and flowers arriving on a regular basis from workmates, family & friends. Everyone has been really supportive. Did you work before being diagnosed? I have been signed off until treatments completed. I am due to retire this year anyway. I’m amazed that anyone can consider working between treatments. Perhaps age & keeping in employment has alot to do with it!
Finished FEC now and have 3 sessions of Taxotere to look forward to.
Have you had similar treatments?
Thanks again for the advice. Good luck too Jill with the rest of your treatments. Keep me updated!

Love Carol xx

Hi Carol, Nice to hear from you, sorry you have been feeling yucky, it is horrible when the side effects kick in. My first trip was not all that successful actually, there was a mix up over my transport, and they did not pick me up!! Great start. They were very apologetic at Clatterbridge, apparently a new lady had cancelled it by mistake, so had to sos my OH from work and he ran me over. All been sorted out, but I am going to check next week and ring up to make sure they are coming to be on safe side. Might be an idea Carol when yours start to check too, the first time. Was annoyed at the time but mistakes happen I suppose, and they did say it was not the norm to be abandoned!!!.
I did not actually have any treatment last week, your second visit is called Simulator Verification, it is a dummy run to check you are lined up correctly on machine, nothing at all really just a case again of keeping still so they can check your tatoos etc. My First actual treatment is next Tuesday, so have to introduce my OH slowly over the weekend to the Dyson and Iron, be like he is meeting an alien object!!!l They will become best buddies over the next 4 weeks (I hope)
I did not work prior to being diagnosed, I agree with you, I admire anyone who does work in between treatments, do not reckon I could have done. Lovely that you have alot of support, it really does help, my family and friends have been amazing and kept me going. I was 50 last Monday and the house was like a florist shop (still is) but I was really touched by the lovely presents and cards I got, and also glad that I had finished the chemo so was able to celebrate.
I did not have the same treatment as you Carol, I had 4 EPI and 4CMF, dont think I will ever understand all the treatments, think it depends on hormone status etc. Are you having Herceptin? I am after Rads for a year, just started Tamoxifen yesterday.
Good Luck Carol with the Taxotere, you will soon be joining me at Clatterbridge.
Keep in touch and let me know how it goes, hope side effects are minimal for you

Love
Jillx

Hi Jill

Sorry I haven’t been in touch for weeks. (Belated happy birthday, by the way!) I have been in Fazakerley Hospital for the past 2 weeks. Never felt very well after last chemo and gradually went downhill. Woke with a raging temperature in the middle of the night. Phoned Clatterbridge who advised to go to nearest A&E for a full blood count. I ended up being treated at Fazakerley. I was in isolation because I had no immune system. I have to say I had a really nice room on the 8th floor with my own loo. Spotlessly clean. The down side was my left arm was like a pin cushion. Veins all went AWOL. I’m full of bruises to prove it after several failed attempts at locating a vein to take blood or site a cannula. Doctors are hopeless at it, I found to my cost. They had to do it when phlebotomists not available. I had cellulitis at my mastectomy site that caused an infection that my white blood cells could not cope with. The official diagnosis is neutropenic sepsis. No wonder I was feeling a bit rough! I expect you have almost come to the end of your rads by now? Yes I am expecting to have Herceptin or equivalent when the time comes. Apparantly it’s “old hat” now. They have found a new, more effective drug according to my oncologist?
Hope you haven’t given up checking the site and I hear from you again.

Love Carol x

Hi Carol,
How lovely to hear from you, I was getting a bit worried, kept checking to see if you were on site. So sorry you have been in hospital, sounds like you have had a really rough time of it, hope by now you are improving. That happened to me after 1st chemo I ended up in Southport, and I know exactly what you mean re veins. Junior doctor ended up putting canula in my foot OUCH!! not pleasant and the Ward Sister went berserk!! Nice you had your own room though, it helps when you are poorly seem to get more rest as it is quieter. I would have popped in to see you had I known.
Yes Carol, Rads nearly done 7 to go and thats me done, its been fine really, get a bit tired with the travelling towards the end of the week, but been going to bed early. Would be interested to hear more about Herceptin equivalent if you can quiz your oncologist, nothing been mentioned to me by mine. He has offered me a trial which is testing whether 6 months treatment is just as good as 12, really do not know what to do, apparently you are more closely monitored on a trial and it would be less treatment, I see him again today so hopefully I will be able to decide. Would like less treatment but do not want to jeopardise my health by not having the necessary treatment if you know what I mean. Decisions Decisions!!
Are you able to continue the chemo? After my 1st they gave me NEULASTA injections, which hold your cell count up, have they mentioned giving you them? They are very expensive and they only give them when absolutely necessary but I am sure you would well warrant them Carol, maybe worth asking. Another thing I found helped, I got the tip off this site is MANUKA HONEY, its quite pricey about £7.00 get it in Hollland and Barrett or Morrisons, and you just have a spoonful each day, the two combined worked for me as I never again had low bloods again.
Lovely to hear from you Carol, and hope you are soon feeling much better. Keep in touch
Lots of Love
Jillxxx