Two days after my oncology appointment in September a letter arrived with the next six monthly appointment .................. 4th March 2014. Amazingly efficient. I also hoped that Dr. Goodman would be seeing me.
I also wouldn't forget it as it fell on the anniversary of my mammogram which started this bloody dance!
Yesterday I had a 4am start for the day job but was back home by 9am to get on with the accounts and vat return which I'd put off doing for over a week ....... talk about going to the wire!
So after a successful vat submission, dogs walked, fritters made and eaten for lunch I turned my attention to banking ..... credit card bill and Birthday money to pay in. However OH was getting twitchy and said we really needed to leave..................
'Ok I'll do it on Wednesday then' (big sighs!!!)
Then he announced that he needed to stop at the bank ................. oh for goodness sake then I do have time.
Rewind a year ago and I'd be the one insisting we left ridiculously early............................ (as you all know)
So I wrote out paying in slips with OH standing over me breathing down my neck ..............
................... and guess what? We left ridiculously early!!!!
No queue at the bank and nothing to report until we got to Exeter other than we still play our lorry game but the lorries weren't playing.
We then got to Exe Bridges .................. where I always twitch, squawk and hang onto the door because of OH's lane discipline or lack of it!!! Actually it was fine until we got to the second set of lights.
'Why have you changed lanes?'
'Which one do I need?'
'The one you were in' squawk 'follow the black car'
'Mind the learner, no look he's going across ....... stop he's going across all three lanes'
At this OH started to laugh uncontrollably and my hanging onto the door got more intense! squawk
No parking places at the hospital.
What to do? 'Park on the grass' 'No! it says not to'
Waitrose? No, only two hours there, the clinics bound to over run.
The triangle car park and put loads of money in? Nope.
'Lets just drive around again' ................ 'Park on the grass' 'NO it says not to and I know we did before but I don't think we should!'
We actually drove around all of the car parks again and luckily came across someone leaving.
How much to pay? Well we're old hands now .... pay the minimum (£2 for two hours) and then when the clinic over runs go to the desk and get an extension.
Despite everything we definitely got there ridiculously early so went for a coffee.
Half an hour before my appointment I checked into Oncology.
Oh dear ................ the receptionist was having a bad day........... thank goodness I know the drill otherwise I would have been less than impressed with my treatment from her.
The waiting room was heaving but to my relief I saw from the board that the dapper Dr. Goodman, he of the bow tie and dyed hair was running the clinic.
A nurse then announced that Dr. Goodman was running 45 minutes late .......... thank goodness for my Birthday present ........ a kindle.
Next announcement ...... he was now running an hour late!
Queue 'Complaining Man' behind me!
Yeah whatever ... we're all in the same boat .... shut up I'm trying to read.
So after he was pacified by a couple of nurses he still went on ....... we learnt that his appointment was 4pm, he was 22nd in the queue and that they clearly make these appointments not to keep them.
Thanks for the info ..... that means I'm 23rd and after you. ...... and by the sounds of it you'll be in for a while!
OH then went to reception to sort out parking .......
Whilst he was gone a nurse again spoke to 'Complaining Man' and said that they now had two Doctors running the clinic so it wouldn't be long before he was called.
My heart sank ..... I knew I wouldn't see Dr. Goodman.
OH came back ......we got an extension to 7pm!
'Complaining Man' was called in ......... To be fair on seeing him, I realised that his need to see Dr. Goodman was greater than mine and this was clearly his first consultation.
Not long after I was called.
In came Dr. Peter 'Someoneorother' ......... a rather brusque young man who hasn't made it onto my Christmas card list this year.
A few questions about how I was getting on and how Tamoxifen was affecting me followed.
Now when I first met Dr. Goodman before my radiotherapy and before I'd started tamoxifen he discussed the the effects of it on periods and went into great depth about it.
Now I'll spare you the details (unless you really want to know) about me, Tamoxifen and my periods and told Dr. Peter 'Someoneorother' about it.
Phut! Not interested ........ 'How old are you?'
'51' aaahhhhh the first time I've mentioned it since my Birthday!
'Well at your age it will be the natural menopause affecting them'
'No it fucking isn't ..........' I wanted to say but being the polite, shy and retiring wallflower that I am I just agreed.
He then asked to examine me if that was alright.
Errr yes I've got the fetching gown on.
Did I want a chaperone???
What?????? Haven't you noticed my husband is sitting next to me???
So he prodded and poked and I breathed in and out as requested.
He felt the non cancer side first and I have to say rather unnerved me as he asked ' have you found any lumps or bumps?'
He looked puzzled and felt a bit longer ........ It seemed to me that he was feeling lumps ... I could feel him feeling them as it were. Oh shit!
He then felt the other side and did all the other bits before declaring everything was fine.
He then had to wait for Dr. Goodman to finish with 'Complaining Man' to find out if he could discharge me back to surgery. Apparently he normally works with Dr. Hong so didn't know his procedures. In the meantime he also went to check the results of my cyst removal as I still haven't had a letter from Mr. Ferguson.
The cysts were benign and Dr. Goodman will see me in 12 months time ........
Oh and my mammogram which is due in March?
Not his department ........ got to wait for surgery to send out the appointment!
We then went to my favourite sanctuary for a night away ......... yes you've guessed it - The Ring of Bells which makes everything better for me!