Chemo boy makes his less-than-enthusiastic return today for the start of the third cycle.
B went to the Royal Marsden in Sutton yesterday to have his usual blood test, consultation and collect the drugs. He’s always a bit low before he goes, and even more depressed when he gets back. I had put it down to the simple horror of visiting a public cancer hospital, which isn’t pleasant. But it turns out that the ‘caring and organised’ vibe presented to us at our initial consultation in September has not stood the test of time.
Being a man, and a German one at that, B doesn’t usually say much when he returns from the hospital. It was only after holding him down and beating him about the head with a bratwurst that I discovered that:
- He hasn’t seen his consultant since September
- He hasn’t seen either of the Oncology nurses handling his case since September (despite their assurances that one of them would be present at each of his consultations)
- He has seen a different neuro-oncologist each time, all of them abrupt and dismissive
He feels, understandably, that nobody is taking an interest in him or his welfare during the treatment. This raises my ‘protective wife’ hackles and makes me quite angry. I’ve heard the acronym NHS used in many derogatory ways, but for me at the moment it stands for Not Happy Sistah!
This means that it is time.
Time for a Strongly Worded Letter (SWL).
The hospital has a formal procedure for complaints about patient care, but I think I should contact the Oncology nurses in the first instance, to give them a chance to respond. If there is no joy I will definitely go down the formal route.
I am no stranger to the SWL, in fact it’s one of the skills I bring to the table in my role as Personal Cancer Assistant.
B is mild mannered, polite and patient, and I love him for being that way, but it doesn’t always work in his favour in these situations. Luckily he has a rambunctious wife ready to act on his behalf.