New gang member-funny story!

Hi Girls
Blimey yesterday was like a comedy of errors.First day for Rads. I was ready at 12 for mid-day pick up but they turned up at 1 then we went to Weston , Baldock and on to Welwyn to pick up other ladies. Our driver was Sandra a really nice person and she had a trainee driver Steph who was also nice. Got to Mount Vernon at 2.30 ( my appoint was 2 ) but it doesn’t seem to matter. We had to have a chat to someone about our treatment before we started, any questions and all that. I just said I was concerned about the marking tattoos I had cos I could only see 2 and I knew they were more. She said not to worry they were experts at finding them. Huh! When I was called in, strip to waist lie on be, pushed and shoved into position line up marks, but oops! where is the middle one ?( should be one between breasts), but could they find it,no. We had torches and spotlights and different people but it was not there and I don’t think they did one there to start with. Bear in mind these marks aren’t put on at random they are specifically measured to the mm and checked and checked. Anyway, get dressed , man comes from planning dept, run down about 15 corridors to planning, get undressed back on bed, more measurement and another tattoo. Get dressed back don 15 corridors into treatment waiting room again, called in get undressed on bed, manoeuvred into position yet again. All this time your arms are up in stirrups and by the time they started the treatment I thought my bad arm was going numb, and I was panicking I would move it involuntarily. Anyway they zap you at an angle from both sides so that they dont get your lungs. They do one side for 1 minute then they come back and move the machine to another angle. Well thats done and of course I am the last one back to the bus and everyone has been waiting ages. By this time its 10 past 4, so off we go and we had a man from Letchworth on the return journey. Well, we had gone about a mile and I said to the driver, where is the lady from Welwyn? Big screech of brakes and oh my God, we’ve left her behind!! Back we go find the woman and set off again. By this time it.s 4.30. onto the M25 eventually and there are signs M1 closed etc, all traffic diverted to A1(M). Great, so massive traffic jam and we turn off ( this driver knows her way round) and of course everywhere we turn is snarled up. We end up coming through the centre of St. Albans on the back road to Welwyn to drop this lady. This was about 10 to 6. Then we wento Weston, onto Letchworth then to Baldock and I was the last drop at 10 past 7. I was ruddy starving. Didn’t have chance to find the shop or cafe at Mount Vernon so I only had a penguin all day. I can’t believe it can get any worse than that so hey, one down, just 17 to go!!

I have only posted this as a funny story and it it no way detracts from the gratitude I have for the transport service. If it wasn’t for them (being a non-driver) I wouldn’t be able to have my treatment.

Am sitting now waiting for my second pick-up!

Love to all

Norma

Good luck!!!

A x

Norma

Thanks for that - it made me laugh out loud (and hurt as well, due to my recent mastectomy!).

Let’s hope your second rad session is less eventful !

Good luck with the rest of it !

Lots of love

Julie xxx

Blimey Norma! Better luck for the remaining 17.

Margaret x

Oh Norma, I have laughed out loud at this one- my husband thought I was having a funny turn!

It is so funny but If I was on that bus I’d be fuming! It was your fault- you remembered the lady from Welyn- only joking, you did the right thing but I’m not sure if the others would have done the same!

I think you need to bring a packed lunch, a bottle of the hard stuff and your sense of humour to get through your next 17 sessions.

Good luck,

Kat x

I will have my first one this Thursday. I hope it’s not so eventful!! At least I can see all 3 tattoos.

Anne

Well Norma its good to see you don’t do anything by halves!

Here’s hoping you don’t have a re run of that tomorrow even though we can all do with the smile you gave us. Mind you it couldn’t have been very nice getting stuck in the traffic, I hate it because I feel too closed in when traffic is going nowhere.
Take care

Carol

I had a really good laugh at this - I have always said there are some aspects of going for cancer treatment that are funny and this proves it.

I had rads back in Feb/March and as OH works from home he was able to take me every day as I had a slot first thing, so even though it was a 40/50 mile round trip we were back by 11am. For the last 5 sessions I was having a “boost” so had to move to another machine down another corridor which had another waiting room. Some of the patients were coming in on hospital transport and on the way back on Thursdays the bus driver stopped off so they could go for fish and chips! It was like they had formed a jolly little club and I really wanted to ask if I could join!

When I went for one of my chemos, there was a man who’d just been brought over from the IOW by patient transport. They were at the counter trying to sort things for him… Couldn’t find any record of his appointment. At first they thought he’d been brought over on the wrong day, but they couldn’t even find any record of him having *any* appointment…

Then patient transport put a call in back to base and found out that he was supposed to be at a hospital on IOW and he’d had a ferry trip for nothing…

And you wonder where your taxes go…

mousy

Here’s a surreal experience for you

I had 15 rads then had to be marked up for boosters. My onc is male and two of the radiographers treating me are also. To be marked up, I had to lie on a bed while the onc got out a set square and blue pen. He then asked me where the lump had been as a plastic surgeon had removed it by cutting around the nipple to minimise scarring. Lump had been about 4 inches higher up. He then drew a large blue rectangle on me which the male radiographer covered with clear dressing… Then, as if I wasn’t embarrased enough, he took a photo with a digital camera which he then showed to me. Probably somthing to do with ethics. When I went for my first boost, a metal template, the same size as the rectangle, was put on me and there was a large blown up photo of my left breast on the bed. Lol… To think I put off seeing the doctor for 6 months when I found my lump out of embarrassement. I tell you what, if I found another lump, regardless of where it was, I would be down to the doctors like a shot!!!

Good luck with the rest of your rads Norma. It was chaos when I went for mine. Only one machine out of 4 was working and one was being "run in ". I had 4 and 5 hours delays every day for the first week then it was ok… The staff were even treating people at 9pm so that treatments were done when they should be and the male radiographers dressed up and sang Xmas songs as it was the week before Xmas. Once I accepted the delays, I was fine. Hope everything goes well for you

Love
Debbie

Hello Norma
What a great story. Hope the other 17 go a bit better. I’d take sandwiches if I were you.

I had my rads at Mount Vernon as well and found them really very efficient and very nice.

I do drive but didn’t want to drive that distance and I really didn’t fancy sitting on a bus all day - it sounds really exhausting. So I used a volunteer car service to get me to some of my treatments and a little rota of kind friends and neighbours for the rest. That way I was usually there and back within 3 hours.

Take care
Anthi x

Hi Girls,

Thanks for you mails and stories. Yesterday was the best day travel wise and I was back home by 4.45, a big bonus. There were only 3 in my bus and we in and out very quickly, as you say Anthi they are very efficient. We were back in the bus at 3.20. then our driver was told by another he would have to wait for someone who had come down on another bus and we would have to wait until 4.15. Our driver was furious and a row broke out and he called his super who said it was O.K. we could go and he would sort it out. Suspect there is a bit of rivalry there somewhere, but all adds to the entertainment. We hung on to our hats cos the driver shot out that car park before they could change their minds. We felt really naughty but hey.

Love Norma x

I had the same as you this week Debbie

I have had 15 sessions of rads and am now having 4 extra where the lump was. They did not show me my photo, thank God! I am having my treatment at Christies, near Manchester and I have to say they have been really good - No complaints.

I think I have got passed the embarrassed stage now and am getting quite used to showing my right breast to the world!

Julie.

O that made me laugh so much! Hee hee!
Txx

Another point to remember for radiotherapy newbies is that, even with tattoos (I had 7 but 4 disappeared when my skin got sore…long story) they still draw all over you with marker pens. You are so pleased the session is over and you can go that it is easy to forget about markings. I lost count how many times I did a supermarket shop with all my marks on show. It was during Dec and I was having hot flushes so only wore t shirts. I started taking a pack of make up remover wipes with me

Good luck to everyone. Oh and if they tell you to put your cream in the fridge to cool it, make sure you tell your family. I decant mine into pretty jars and my hubbie thought it was mayonnaise…Lol
Debbie
xxx

Hi Norma, just reading thru your story again…hope you don’t mind but having a real giggle with OH & my mum!! just wondered how the last couple of rad vists have been.
A xx

Hi Andrea

Oh don’t even go there. My best day was Wednesday and I was actually home at 4.45. Yesterday I was deperate to be home early as we had friends coming up from Kent for a meal. Hubby had the day of to prepare everything and he was cooking( good lad). Ther were 5 of us yesterday and poor lady who came Tuesday also suffers from travel sickness. On Tuesday when she was sick we had 2 drivers on the bus so one was able to help her. Yesterday we had only one driver and so deperate were we not to be held up we were supplier her with bowls and tissues all the way there. The journey there was 2 hours and the lady who was sick was with me for treatment . We all usually meet in the lobby at MV and one by one we arrived and I’m thinking great, we’ll soon be on our way. Anyway we waited and waited and no sign of our sick lady. Eventually 40 minutes later our driver went down to see what happened and she was still sitting there bless her. She hadn’t even got an appointment that day. I mean bless her she is 82 and has just had a broken hip also and they tried to make out it was all her fault. I doudt that because she WAS on the transport list. Anyway back to the bus again and poor lass was sick all the way back and the driver put the air-con on full blast and I was bl**dy freezing! By this stage I wanted to cry and I said to the others another 2 weeks of this and they’ll be sending me to the funny farm!!

Anyway the meal was great and now I have 2 days off Yipeeee!!!

Love Norma x

Poor Norma

You are having a time of it, aren’t you? It makes me feel very humble, as my work have arranged a lift rota for me, so I am very lucky.

Hope you have a great weekend and try to put it to the back of your mind until Monday!

Love Julie.

Thanks Julie

Shouldn’t grumble, only 3 weeks out of my life hey! At least thanks to load of people I still have one!

Am going to enjoy the Rugby, Grand Prix and doss around!

Have a good one too

Norma xx

Norma - you poor thing - this sounds like a story my granny would tell me - you know, along the lines of “we were so poor back then we had bread or jam for tea”. How can this be going on - not only for you, who deserves so much better, but also for that elderly woman? Couldnt’ someone just have the humanity please to check appointments and make sure that you get something to eat? I’m impressed that you’re putting such a brave face on it, but this is nothing short of a national disgrace. Looks like it would be a great BCC campaign!
Sarah
XXX