MarySmith’sPlace ~ Cancer Diary #15

Monday, December 14: When I met with the oncologist last Monday, I’d already received from the Edinburgh Cancer Centre my appoint for the planning scan (08 December) and the verification scan (16 December) and a complete schedule for radiotherapy treatments, starting on 21 December. 

The oncologist said she was thinking about making some changes to the schedule, perhaps delaying the start date. A week later I still haven’t heard what’s happening. As the accommodation previously provided for patients who have to travel a long distance has been closed – and I really do not want stay on a ward – the DH had booked a hotel room for me from the 21 December. He mentioned this to the oncologist as we need to know when to cancel it.

“Why aren’t you booking it through me?” she asked. “We take some rooms at that hotel and it wouldn’t cost you anything.” Behind out masks we gaped at her – this was the first we’d heard of accommodation being provided for me. We said we were very grateful. She said she couldn’t guarantee there would be a room available. Now, I don’t know when I start radiotherapy (I’ve been holding off writing this in case there was a letter in the post or a phone call today) or if I will have accommodation (other than in a ward). If I do start as originally scheduled I get to see my son as he will come through from Glasgow one day – if it’s later then I won’t see him at all over Christmas. Once again, we play the waiting game.

I know she is trying to extend the time I have to live but at the risk of sounding bloody ungrateful I am mightily ticked off about always being left in limbo waiting for other people to make decisions which affect my life, waiting for answers to my questions, having no direct access to my oncologist, not being able to make any plans.

And it isn’t just me. Sue is in the same position. It’s as if because we have cancer we won’t be doing anything that’s of any importance. The literature we are given talks about the stress of having cancer and the worry of how the treatment will affect us and if it will work. That’s fine. That’s expected. I can’t find anything, though (surely someone has done some research into this?), which talks about the stress and anxiety stemming from being left in the dark, questions unanswered – not to mention the feeling that my oncologist is far too busy to be contacted. Yes, I know that’s what the Cancer Specialist Nurse is for (apart from protecting her boss from patients) but she won’t have the answer to my question so I’ll still be left waiting until she contacts the oncologist to find out and gets back to me.

The day after meeting the oncologist the DH drove us to Edinburgh to the Cancer Centre at the Western General for the planning scan, preceded by the mask fitting. A very nice person talked me through the process and showed me a sample of a mask, and what it looks like before being moulded to fit the patient.

The plastic mesh before being softened

It went in a water bath to be softened, then was fitted over my face, neck and shoulders and screwed onto the table on which I was lying. I’d to wait until it dried terrified I’d need to cough before having it removed. Afterwards, I asked what to do if I did have to cough. “Just cough,” she said. I’m still wondering how. Swallowing felt difficult enough. I dressed, moved next door to the room with the scanner and undressed again. They gave me a ‘modesty cloth’ – a piece of paper about the size of two squares of kitchen roll. Fortunately, despite putting on so much weight since my cancer diagnosis I’m not a big girl and don’t have much to cover up. The mask was re-fitted, now feeling much tighter as it had cooled further, and it and I were screwed down again.

My mask

As always when undergoing scans, I close my eyes and wait until it’s over. This is a newer version of the CT scanner in Dumfries and while there was the sound of an aircraft preparing to take off – and land at the end – there were other sounds I’d not heard before – bells ringing, for one – and a feeling of a bright light washing over me. I’ll ask next time.

Made to measure – never realised what a big nose I have

For some more pictures of how the mask is made, take a look here. The really good thing about having to wear the mask is that I don’t have to keep my arms raised above my head, but can rest them at my side. And I can take it away with me as a souvenir when the treatment is finished.

While waiting for the DH to return for me, I went into the Maggie’s Centre across the road. Oh, my, what a find! I’ve known about the centres and the work they do in providing cancer support and information through support specialists, psychologists and benefits advisors. I live in Dumfries & Galloway, home to Maggie Keswick Jencks who founded the centres but I’d only read about them. I had no appointment but was met by friendly, welcoming staff who introduced themselves, provided coffee, chatted to us (the DH arrived mid-coffee), gave me all sorts of tips, a contact email address and – best of all – for the first time since my diagnosis I felt I was being seen as a person, not a patient. It was a glorious feeling.

When I’m in Edinburgh for my radiotherapy treatments, I’ll certainly be visiting again. And lobbying for one to open in Dumfries!

117 thoughts on “MarySmith’sPlace ~ Cancer Diary #15

  1. What an ordeal and with your usual courage, you meet it head-on. I do wonder if Maggie’s Centre, has an advocacy program? Here we have a group, Cancer Support of South France, which seems to be heavily staffed with British ex-pats. Of course, I only see them at the monthly book exchange which hasn’t happened since February due to Covid-19. They seem very willing and able to help get answers when they are not offered not to mention the support can be a relief. I do believe they are part of a larger network and I would be happy to send you their contact information if you are interested. They are seasoned veterans and eager to help.
    That mask is something… I’ve no doubt one could do something creative with it. All the best.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know if it has an advocacy programme, Lea. I can find out when I’m next there. Certainly from what I heard they provide support and advice, including help with benefits advice. I think they usually have support group meetings but of course these things have had to be stopped for Covid. And they aren’t only for the person with cancer but are there to support family and friends, too. I’ve heard of several creative uses for the mask – I’ll wait until the treatment is over before I decide 🙂

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      • I know that you have the background to advocate, but it is different when one is having to do so for themselves regarding their health. This pandemic has much to answer for. I have had some of my own appointments cancelled due to Covid. I trust you will find the right answer for you. 🙂 All the best.

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  2. Is your inability to see your physician because of Covid? I would think the main thing an individual needs is a chance to talk to their doctor. I am so glad you found some compassion at Maggie’s Centre and I am hopeful you get the free accommodation when you have your treatment. Mary, I laughed reading your comment about your nose. You have the most symmetrical and perfect face I have seen. I continue to keep you in my warm thoughts and constant prayer. Hang in there, Mary.

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    • Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, Maggie – and your kind comments about my nose 🙂 No, not being able to speak to my oncologist is nothing to do with Covid. Consultants are busy people, they walk the earth like Gods (with apologies to those who don’t and who do make time for their patients’ queries) and patients can ask the specialist nurse any questions. Unfortunately, they are not able to answer things like “When do I start my radiotherapy? Where will I sleep for four nights a week?” They can make soothing noises and say they will find out. Sorry, I sound so crabby and sarcastic but being left in limbo – again – is getting to me and I’d rather get it out of my system than let it fester. I do value your support, Maggie.

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  3. Thanks for the detailed update. The Maggie Centre sounds wonderful and I´m glad you found it. At these times one needs all the support one can get. The mask looks very sci fi to me. Sending many hugs. xo

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    • Thanks for the hugs, Darlene – much needed this week 🙂 I think I’ll be a frequent visitor to Maggie’s. The woman who came to talk to us was really supportive and helpful – and she used to be a cancer nurse at the hospital so she is professional and knowledgeable.

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  4. Echoing Darlene almost exactly. Glad you’ve made some steps forward, even if people do seem to think it’s normal to leave you in the dark. I hope you get lots of support from the Maggie’s Centre. Let us know if you start fundraising for one in Dumfries!
    And I’m thinking your mask is the perfect base for your self-portrait sculpture bust!
    Roscoe is tapping on my shoulder to remind me to send you kisses. From him, that is… so ❤ ❤ ❤

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  5. Frustration followed by some small progress. You are doing well by showing some interest in the mask. It reminds me of what I used to wear during my (very short) period of wanting to try Fencing as a sport. Campaigning for a the opening of a Maggie’s Centre in Dumfries sounds like something you would be very good at. Something to concentrate on during all this confusion perhaps?
    Always thinking of you, (and Sue) dear Mary.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    • When I first saw a prototype mask I said it looked like what a fencer would wear. My son fenced for several years. The big difference is this is totally rigid – and wouldn’t be much good for fencing 🙂
      I am frustrated at being left not knowing when the radiotherapy will start (even more so as I’d been sent the very detailed schedule right up to mid-January) or about accommodation. Can’t even book a hair appointment. Thanks for thinking of me and Sue – by some weird coincidence, we’re in this together 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a very strange thing, that mask, John. Jemima suggested I turn it into a self-portrait sculpture but I’m not artistic. Maybe I’ll use it as a planter. Maggie’s will be helpful – already the woman I spoke to gave me tips on how to relax and calm my breathing before the mask is put on. But they can’t tell me when treatment will start so, yes, I am being driven up the wall. I think you have more access to your consultants than we do?

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  6. Mary, one sentence stands out in your post: ‘I felt I was being seen as a person’. This is how it should be all the time. Why is it as soon as one is ill, becomes a patient you cease to be a person and just the illness. It’s good you found the Maggie Centre for support, friendly supportive faces and conversations. The mask looks terrifying, it would have been artistic if for any other purpose. Your ability to share your experience, your strength and courage shines through. My heart goes out for you and all you are going through. I so hope you can see your son soon – that will mean so much to you. hugs xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is exactly how we should be seen, Annika, as ordinary people, not patients or cases. In the half hour talking to the woman in Maggie’s I knew more about her and her family and she about me and mine than my oncologist or the specialist nurse supposedly there to support me know after several meetings. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked a personal question about me that is not cancer related.
      The mask is not comfortable to wear but from what I have gleaned the treatments don’t take very long so it should be bearable. I hope I get to see my son soon – and my sister.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Mary I wish I could do more to support you but it seems to be a common thing now that you can’t talk to a specialist, whatever the problem. I was sent out of hospital too soon and was sent back in later by ambulance same day. When I did get home no follow up were booked and that’s common for everyone now.
    You are doing great and being so brave like Sue.
    As for your mask I would be inclined to spray it multi coloured and pattern it with flowers or op art so it would make an excellent in door or out door feature. Keep those boots polished 💜💜💜😜

    Liked by 1 person

    • The best thing about the mask is it means I didn’t have to spend 20 minutes with my arms behind my head, which I don’t think I could do – 5 minutes, maybe, but not 20. I hope I haven’t made it sound too awful. It isn’t pleasant but it is bearable – and keeps me firmly in place so they can hit the right spot to get the tumour.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love that it’s called Maggie’s Centre – so much more personal – and that you were made to feel yourself and not just a patient.
    Mary, keep in mind that you are a strong woman ( with a marvellous nose!!), of great courage and a sense of humour. I hope you get the best of treatment in all the ways that word means – and that you get to see your son. And a hooray for a lovely DH. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie Jencks (her husband, who died last year was a landscape architect, and he designed their garden as the Garden of Cosmic Speculation and opened it to the public once a year), had breast cancer, which came back. She was treated in the Western General and when she was told the cancer had returned she and her husband were left in a corridor to process the information. She said then she wanted a place that was bright and light and the idea was born. She died with the plans for the centre on her bed.
      When you said a ‘marvellous nose’ I thought for a moment you were referring to my heightened sense of smell, apparently a side effect of the chemo. I’ve been joking I could get a job as a whisky ‘nose’. Actually, it’s a horrendous side effect and I’ll be glad when it wears off.
      He is a lovely DH 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Glad you have a Maggie’s Centre. I wasn’t able to make any real use of the one near the Christie, but like you I dropped in to see what it was like. A real haven of peace and normality after the hospital. A cup of tea, biscuits and a friendly chat. Wonderful being seen as a person and not a patient. Hope you’re sorted soon with dates, Take care xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • That says it all, Jill, a ‘haven of peace and normality after the hospital’. Because of Covid, it isn’t operating as it did before and the group things aren’t going on but that doesn’t bother me, particularly. Fingers crossed I get dates soon. I can feel the passive/aggressive side of me about to kick in and I’d rather it didn’t 🙂

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  10. As soon as I saw the mask I imagined threading wool through those holes to make a sort of tapestry bust. But I also love the suggestion of growing seedlings through the holes to make a garden out of it. Or fixing oasis behind it and sticking flowers in the holes. What enormous difference ‘communication’ would make, so that you knew exactly what was happening, when. I didn’t realise Maggie Keswick Jencks was D & G based. That’s handy as perhaps she could be on hand to cut the ribbon on a Dumfries Maggie’s Centre ! More of their ethos could do to filter into mainstream health services — warmth, gentleness, creativity, a welcoming attitude, and most importantly, the patient is a PERSON !! Following your every step, and thinking of you. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, that’s a different suggestion, Janette. I’ll have a think about that. I’m still planning on taking up your suggestion to turn all the sheets of paper on chemo side effects into a papier mache bowl. Maggie was D&G based but she died a few years ago – just before the first centre in Edinburgh opened. Her husband (who would have been a contender for the ribbon-cutting) died last year. They lived at Portrack where he designed The Garden of Cosmic Speculation – fascinating place. It was opened once a year to the public but I don’t know if that will still happen.
      It would be wonderful if their ethos filtered into the mainstream health services but I fear it won’t. The really good nursing staff who believe the patient is a person will leave mainstream services for places like Maggie’s.

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  11. Thank goodness you finally found helpful friendly people. Is it Covid which is causing the confusion? Your cancer specialist nurse should be connecting to your oncologist. My specialist arranged my radiotherapy round my arranged trips to Portugal but when he sent me the appointment to go back to see him while I was still away I contacted the nurse and he rearranged my appointment with his apology for forgetting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m so pleased to have found Maggie’s. No, it’s not Covid, Liz. My cancer specialist nurse sits in on the meetings I have with the oncologist and to be honest I have no idea why. Occasionally, she calls to say I have an appointment – last time it was to tell me I had an appointment with the oncologist and although she knew the day, she didn’t know the time. She is off on a Friday (my chemo day) and on Monday spends the day following the oncologist around. Whenever I ring her I have to leave a message and wait for her to get back to me, sometimes the same day, sometimes the next day. The one time I asked her to pass something on to the oncologist, she said she would but didn’t. I think she believes her main role is protecting the oncologist from time-wasting patients. If I sound bitter it’s because I am – especially when I hear about your wonderful specialist nurse. These good ones like you got should be cloned and sent round the NHS 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • I hope your sister got on all right and the treatment was successful. Did she find it OK to wear? I believe the actual treatments take les time than the fitting and scans. What’s she going to do with hers? I’m very glad to have found the Maggie’s Centre – I think I’ll become a regular visitor. It’s a place I feel I can just relax and breathe.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Glad to hear of the bright spot you found at the centre! Thoughtful, kind and caring people and places such as these are so needed. Sending healing thoughts, love and prayers for you and your family and so many who are going through similar challenges. Thanks so much for sharing! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a wonderful discovery, Bette. Knowing theoretically about the centres and the work they do is very different from experiencing it. Thanks for your thoughts, love and prayers – much appreciated as always. They do work. I think the DH might even use the Maggie Centre and be able to open up about how he feels about all of this – so far there hasn’t been anyone for him.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – I’m very glad I wandered into the Maggie Centre. You know when you walk into somewhere new on your own and you are a bit unsure of your welcome or if you are even supposed to be there? That feeling lasted less than ten seconds. I’m not yet sure what resources they have but will find out soon. I think, if nothing else, I’ll be able to sound off about how I feel – often a good way to start getting things into perspective.
      I don’t know what I’ll do with my mask. There have been a few suggestions. Let me know if you have any ideas for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so sorry to hear that the medical establishment has been jerking you around. We went through that with the cancer doctors and nurses for my brother. We felt so powerless (and angry). I’m glad you found Maggie’s Centre. It should be a good haven for you. Sending all of the healing thoughts I can muster straight to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Liz, your comment surprised me. I thought in America patients had much more access to and information from their cancer doctors and nurses. You mention feeling powerless – I can’t help thinking, in the case of my cancer nurse, it is a power thing. She operates on a need to know basis and doesn’t think I need to know what she knows about my cancer. Last time she rang me to tell me my bloods were all right, I had to ask her to give me the actual number readings for several. I think I was supposed to accept her word all was well – when actually some of the numbers were lower than before. Not worryingly low but it was if she thought I shouldn’t worry my little head about these things when she knew they were all right. Sorry, I’m angry. I think the Maggie’s Centre will be a perfect sanctuary for me. Keep these healing thought coming – I’m sure they are helping. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In the US, we may have greater ability to choose doctors our insurance will pay for, but it’s pretty much a crapshoot with getting the information we need and want out of them. My mother’s cancer doctor and nurse were in the good group; my brother’s were not. I’ll keep those healing thoughts streaming over the Pond to you.

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    • I think the Maggie’s Centre will prove to be a perfect sanctuary as well as providing useful information. Wish they could find out when I start treatment! No doubt I’ll hear in the next few days. Thanks for following my journey.

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  14. I’m so sorry to hear you’re being put through all this additional stress, but how lovely that you’ve found Maggie’s Centre. Continuing to send you healing thoughts, Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank goodness you’ve finally found a centre that understands and supports your humanity in all this. The medical establishment tends to forget that we are more than a piece of meat! I often wonder if they are emotionally distancing themselves to protect themselves and not you. I admire your reserve, though I suppose ‘letting them have it’ wouldn’t help matters or change anything. I hope you get to see your son, I’m sure it would be a bright spot for you both. Continuing to send my prayers and healing thoughts out to you, Mary. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Eliza. I suppose they have to remain detached for their own emotional protection but a bit of empathy wouldn’t go amiss.
      Strangely, I received a phone call this morning saying the oncologist asked her to call me to say she decided to go with the original schedule. No explanations. I asked if I could contact the oncologist and was told no, but the nurse I was speaking to could email her with anything I wanted to say. Didn’t seem much point – and at least I now know when my treatment starts 🙂

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  16. It was good that you found Maggie’s Centre, Mary! Yes, people treat cancer patients like treating any patients with their regular pace according to their schedule. My process was complicated and it was years before my medical provider had a cancer board to coordinate all the procedure.

    My family member had breast cancer but she had a lumpectomy and reconstruction, so she didn’t go through what you’re going through.

    I hope you’ll see your son in Christmas. It would brighten your days. Continue to pray for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Miriam. I’ve now heard I start the radiotherapy treatments next week. I’m hoping that my son will still be able to travel through to see me before Christmas – though that will depend on what’s happening with Covid restrictions! Thanks for your continued support.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a great progress, Mary. Good to hear that. Many countries reinforce a restriction on travel again. I just read Australia limits traveler’s entrance to 7,000 a week applicable even to Australians. 39,000 Australians are waiting to go home.

        Take care, Mary!

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I am so glad you found Maggie’s Centre, as the need to be seen and heard as an individual are vital. I’m not surprised it wasn’t mentioned in the establishment as they all seem to operate in their own bubbles. Your courage and nose are beautiful to witness, Mary. ❤ xXx

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  18. I’m happy for the good news, Mary. Uncertainty is very difficult to cope with, and there are so many variables that I think no matter how hard everybody tries, it’s difficult to be specific (not that it helps to know that). But Maggie’s centres and similar organisations and places are wonderful and provide exactly what people need. Yes, there should be many more, and they should have more access to resources. Let’s hope all the stars align in your favour and you can see your son soon. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been thinking a lot about the uncertainties, Olga, and while there are the big ones like is this treatment going to work? Am I going to die before my next birthday? it’s often the smaller ones which are the most difficult to cope with. When can I ever make a hair appointment? When can I get some much-needed dental work done?
      I am looking forward to future visits to the Maggie Centre – just to be able to feel like a person again. I hope to see my son before Christmas – but the way things are shaping up with Covid that’s another unknown right now!

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  19. All the uncertainties do sound awful Mary. I hope you at least see David before Christmas. I’ve got some strawberry runners from my original plants, which I put into little pots – just the thing for your Mary-shaped strawberry basket as soon as we are allowed to meet! Maggie’s Centre sounds like a great place to go and be understood and cared about when it’s all too much in the hospital with the unanswered questions etc. I wish there was some way i could help you.
    Juliet x

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are, Juliet. I do at least have the date my treatment starts – the day it was originally supposed to start. So I had over a week wondering about when – and nothing had changed. I think the Maggie’s Centre is wonderful – really hope they succeed in getting one in Dumfries. Strawberry plants for my mask sound like a great idea. We should be able to meet before much longer – unless Covid gets us first!

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  20. Glad you found a place for the comfort and support you need, Mary. Wish there were a Maggie’s Centre closer by! At least you can contact them by email, if you want to. If only they could provide you with a patient advocate…

    I was disheartened to hear you have no access to your oncologist. Here, we can call or direct message our doctors at their offices. It’s inconsiderate and insensitive for the specialist not to keep you informed, especially given the gravity of your situation. I hope you hear something soon and will have free lodging; that is not a perk of U.S. healthcare.

    Will keep you in my prayers as always, Mary. You and Sue.💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think the Maggie’s Centre will be a great place for support. It would have been good to have one in Dumfries from when I received the diagnosis (over the phone by a lung – but not cancer – specialist). There is a campaign to have a centre here. At least the one in Edinburgh is right beside the hospital where I’ll be given the radiotherapy.
      Contact with my general practice doctors is straightforward, but not with specialists. Having said that there was one who spent a lot of time talking to me on the phone and left my name at the hospital reception so I could get a message to him and he’d call me back as soon as he was free – so they are not all the same.
      Thanks for your support, Linda – both Sue and I appreciate it. xx

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  22. What a wonderful place, Maggie’s Centre sounds, Mary. It sounds as if all the staff do care and have plenty of time for anyone, even with no appointment. I’m so pleased that your unplanned visit there helped. Do you know if they have centres all over the UK?
    I’m sorry to hear you’re having to struggle through having to wait for questions to be answered. It’s at times like these that we need to be answered quickly. I hope the answers to some of your questions have already reached you.
    My fingers are crossed that you’ll see your son over Christmas.
    Take care, Mary.
    Hugs to you
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Hugh, Maggie’s does had centres in several places in the UK. Here’s a link to the page on their site which shows where they are: https://www.maggies.org/our-centres/search-results/?location=uk
      The uncertainty and not getting answers to questions is really the toughest part of all this, Hugh. And, sometimes, a question arises after a meeting as I think over what has been said – but then there’s no way to contact the oncologist – other than phone a nurse and ask her to pass on the question.
      I’ve been told when I start my radiotherapy so onwards 🙂 I hope someone there will be able to answer my questions before they start zapping me.
      Hugs back, Hugh.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you for the link, Mary. I didn’t know they had a centre in Swansea, yet when I checked out their webpage, I realised that I have walked past it a few times without realising what it was. Now I know. It’s good to know that I have a local one that is within walking distance.

    I can understand your frustration with having to wait for answers. I’d be the same. It’s often the case that I think of lots of questions after a job has been done or I’ve been to the dentist or to see the doctor.

    Take care, Mary.
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I popped in to catch up and to read the comments which are always uplifting..you mentioned to Hugh that you have a date for your radiotherapy so assume they have sorted your accommodation too.. It is frustrating and when my father was going through his treatment 25 years ago, we had a designated McMillan nurse who was amazing and explained everything very clearly.. I hope the next stage is much more well informed and at least you have the Maggie’s centre handy which I am sure will be a place to go to chat and enjoy the support… They are a wonderful organisation and much needed.. hugsx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sally, the comments are great, aren’t they? They make me feel very supported. I start radiotherapy on Monday – just in time for my next cancer diary! Accommodation sorted, too. I have a feeling the dedicated MacMillan or Marie Curie nurses are provided at the end of life. I suppose that’s because we are assigned a cancer specialist nurse, which is my case has not been a happy relationship. There is a Macmillan centre next to the oncology dept. in Dumfries but it is no longer – because of Covid – operating a drop in service, though you can book an appointment to talk to someone. I’m glad I found Maggie’s.

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  25. Mary

    An important piece to write and so well done. I do hope that your appointments are sorted soon and you can then get on with the treatment. I never got to use Maggie’s because the timing of my chemo appointments clashed and my radiotherapy were at a different hospital and there wasn’t one there. I heard such good things though so am not surprised that you had such a positive experience – I hope that continues. All best wishes, Janet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, Janet. I’m sorry you didn’t get to use Maggie’s. When I was having my chemo I couldn’t book the reiki or massage appointments because the timing was never right but with the radiotherapy being in Edinburgh, home of the first Maggie’s – I’ll be a regular visitor as I have to stay up there during the week. I now have my appointments sorted, thanks – though there may still be tweaking of some of the times. I’ll do an update on Monday.

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  27. Oh, I remember the mask-fitting and how I thought I might not be able to breathe. That was 4 years ago now and I’m still in remission. External beam radiotherapy is very effective, but I remember I did not want to keep the mask as a souvenir after 6 weeks of wearing it! Good luck on your own cancer journey, and best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can breathe all right – just worry about coughing – or sneezing! I think it will depend on the result of the radiotherapy whether or not I keep the mask as a souvenir. Thanks for your good wishes – just plodding on with it 🙂

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