Whilst waiting for blood tests last Friday, I worked out that I am spending >£65/month on parking at UHCW, my free NHS hospital. And then about £30/month in the shop on chemo reading materials and drinks/water. The hospital provide free parking to Oncology chemotherapy patients, but not Rheumatology apparently. ??? Either way, i am constantly reminded I should not drive after my infusion. Helpful. Rergardless of the costs and the constant blunders of the day case unit with my chemo treatment, I have been impressed with the efforts and attention from senior medical personnel, doctors and consultants since diagnosis at UHCW, and it remains worthwhile every 80 mile round trip I make. My local hospital in comparison just could not provide the same skill or expertise (which I learnt during my last admission). I no longer feel like a moaning hyperchondriach wasting valuable time, although...
So had cycle 5 yesterday. No mistakes at all yesterday, but funnily I was the only patient on the day care ward. So for the 5 hours I was there I had the full service of a ward sister, staff nurse and health care assistant. I was made team from a kettle in a proper staff mug, shown all my blood and test results on screen and had some VIP time from sister (happily not the one that pierced my still numb and painful radial nerve in cycle 1). But for 5 hours I have never seen 3 members of staff look quite so bored; they even read my paper! Due to drug and patient protocols, none of them were allowed back to the in patient ward until I had left. Terribly wasteful and shocking waste of time and effort; when did the NHS lose all its common sense?
Had some good news too; last chemo cycle showed a shocking amount of leukocytes in my urine, but the subsequent urinalysis revealed no sign of infection and only a trace of red and white cells. I had 2 aorta CT angiograms last week; the radiologist wanted to run a second as he was confused by what the first told him. i asked him if he'd seen a patient with PAN before; clearly not! The second scan is still being reported, but I was told it was run as they had discoverd "nodules" (aneuryisms) on some of the organ blood supplied, and wanted to identify if they were active or remission. Yesterday's urine tests were marginal for leukocytes and protein, although my urine is still strong smelling and foamy. One for the urologist.
Next week I'm back to UHCW 3 times...an appointment with my rheumotologist to despite therapy progress (sister thinks they will want to add another 6 cycles), and to discuss scan results. An appointment with the urologist to run through all my recent GU symptoms. And end of week blood tests in prep for the next chemo cycle. I'm guessing both the rheumotologist and urologist will also want to run all their own series of blood tests. You soon get used to being cannulated.
Every cloud has a silver lining. Yesterday the car park barriers were broken so I saved the £7.80 parking cost I would have spent.