I've had my first drugs trial appointment and things didn't go smoothly.
Mum and I arrived at the unit detailed on the card five minutes before appointment time. I'd researched where it was beforehand as I wanted to keep my walking to a minimum. I'd only had surgery 9 days ago! Reception didn't have my name on the list but didn't seem worried. After ten minutes I started to think something had gone wrong, but my fears were allayed when my cancer nurse who I'd seen just once before, walked in. But she wasn't there to see me, but for a meeting!
I showed her the card, hand written, her hand writing and she couldn't apologise enough. She knew straight away she'd made a mistake. We arranged to meet actually down at the oncology unit, she'd be there straight after her meeting.
So off we toddled to figure out how to get there. My hospital is a bit of a maze (to say the least!) has lots of floors, some wards and units can only be reached from certain banks of lifts. The main entrance is in level 6 for goodness sake! It's a maze I tell you! But we got there and took a seat.
An hour later we're still seated. I've been people watching and listening under the guise of 'reading my kindle' My main observations? Why wear socks with sandals? No-one picks up litter or throws away their coffee cups and some people look so much sicker than others :(
After I'd run out of people to see and my bum was getting sore from the chair, I decided to see what was occuring and went off to reception to explain my predicament. A very friendly chap called Martin made a few calls before visiting me at my now chair of pain to say my nurse is AWOL but they're still looking. I did however get a visit from her opposite number who apologised and sounded like she meant it. She was going to do a bit more ringing around and come back to me. Five minutes later, my nurse was there, her meeting had turned into 90 minutes not the 10 she'd expected! She was extremely apologetic and rushed me through to the research unit.
So two hours after my appointment time, I was sat finally having blood removed and blood pressure taken and chatting with my consultant. At last! I've got a CT scan booked on Friday, the results will be rushed through and as long as they are ok (I don't have any other cancers hiding away in my bowel, liver, pancreas etc etc **) I will start the drugs on Wednesday.
Although things had gone wrong and took longer than expected the way I was treated made all the difference, as a person. I was kept informed, the people I spoke to we're friendly, empathetic, apologetic but more importantly sounded like they meant it. Things go wrong, it's how it puts right which makes the difference.
I can see light at the end of the tunnel, the next step will be getting back to work!
** Notice how I brushed past that point? It's quite a big thing, to get the confirmation I don't have any secondary cancer's lurking. I'm confident it's going to be ok though, just a formality, however will feel better after Tuesday!