Port De Soller Mallorca

Port De Soller Mallorca

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Dying, it really can be frustrating...

So, you all see the photos of me that I post from time to time and let's be honest, even almost a year after being initially confirmed as a person who has cancer I still look pretty good if still somewhat rotund ....

If the doctors are to be believed I now only have 7 months left of the year they estimated that I have left to live, but again being honest I really don't even think about it except along the lines of, yeah, right.  No, I think I will last the seven months and like the Duracell bunny I'll just keep going on and on and on until one day suddenly the cancer will probably sit up and say, ' hey, this tit is giving me a run for my money so I think I'll up my game a bit and make him suffer!'

Well if that's the case then so be it, but until that date it can go and get stuffed and I will continue to grab onto life and enjoy it with Ishbel, the kids and the Grandkids  and with all you wonderful folk popping in from time to time to keep me company.

Since the day the surgeon suggested it wouldn't be a good idea to operate I have been resigned to the fact that my death is going to come a lot earlier than expected and there is no doubt that I did feel more than a tad down about that especially as the Grandkids, apart from one are at ages where it will hurt them the most, with the youngest Lacey Mae still too young to comprehend what would be happening and even when she missed me she would still be so young that she would soon get over it and forget me apart from the silly stories her mum, and sisters would relate to her to try and remind her of me.

Death is not something, we as a family dwell on too much apart from me using it as a means to an end ... 'what, you're kidding, I can't do that or go there, I'm dying, give me a break...', usually to be told to piss off by Jennifer with the added rejoinder, you're taking your time then......

And then I get the call from the GP 'a surgery from a new nurse inviting me in for my annual asthma check up. On learning that she is new I ask if she has checked my records, no, not really, she replies. Oh, right, says I, so you don't know I have terminal cancer and there is not much point in me coming in, is there.

To be honest and thinking about it later I felt like a complete shit putting her on the spot like that but again I have never really been a fan of that annual check up. My first question to the old nurse ( who wasn't old really) was usually, have you found a cure yet for asthma. No, she'd reply. Then why am I here then, I've got better things to do with my life than take time out to come here ONCE A YEAR ...... yeah I know what an arse hole,  I know, I know......

And then I have to attend the hospital every two months at the moment and these oncologists are busy folk, there seems to be a lot of cancer patients to see and I imagine that it wears them down.  But with the cancer, apart from attending Broomfields hospital, there was just something about that place that really got to me and my irritation did show through, but generally I have accepted my fate and just get on with it. I attend hospital, I sit there and feel sorry for some of the others who look close to deaths door and clearly with much further advanced cancer than me and I feel sorry for them BUT glad that it isn't me ...

Not once have we attended the hospital and been seen by the oncologist or registrar anywhere near to the time of our appointment.  Today was typical of that.  Our appointment was for 4.15 and as usual I turn up a good 50 minutes early, a) to get a parking space and b) in the hope that I might get in early! Not much chance of that, but I keep trying anyway. We were finally called to see the registrar at 5PM, 45 minutes after the scheduled time.

It's one of those things and as I said earlier, there seems to be an awful lot of folk with cancer to be seen and I've noticed that depending on how poorly or well the person looks like going in, depends on the time spent with the doctor.  I also imagine as well that where a person is having difficulty in dealing with their situation and maybe tearful , etc, I can't imagine the doctors rushing through the consultation and throwing them out of the consulting room. It's just the way it is.

So then there was this one guy there today.  He looked a good bit younger than me, which also may have accounted somewhat for his attitude, but he also looked about as bad as me and you know what I'm saying here... Not that bad, considering the diagnosis .... So, he had been in there when we arrived. I noticed him as there were plenty of chairs in the waiting room, which was it's usual busy self, but he was perched leaning against the window ledge, staring at the corridor and the consulting room doors.  Eventually one of the nurses spoke to him and the next thing we hear is him ranting at the nurse. 'I've been here for ages, all these others are coming in after me and they're being bloody taken in to see the doctor in front of me. I've only been given 6 months to bloody live and I've got better things to do with my bloody time than to stand here and be ignored ....'

And with that he turned and stormed out the door.

Now, I can and do understand his frustration. You can see from my own experiences above, that I too, along with every other cancer patient attending the clinic, have to sit for long periods and the first thing you do on turning up, you look at the board.  Today it said, 'waiting time for Dr Chan, 30 minutes' but mine was 45 minutes.  Is there not enough oncologists and registrars, clearly not.  Is that the fault of the doctors, probably not? Is it the fault of the nurses, most definitely not?

Obviously I don't know this chaps particular circumstances. And my attitude, again as you know, having been shot, stabbed, crippled, nearly drowned (3 times) and all that as an adult and then of course there was all the near misses I had as a kid, I really was reckless and nearly died on a couple of occasions between the ages of 6 and 12 as I didn't recognise the danger of situations I put myself into, I accepted, quite calmly the news that my days were finally numbered.  Having accepted it, I now just get on with living my life enjoying almost every minute of it and dragging myself out of bed to go to work every day, even when I really don't feel like it.

Will this state of mind continue as my condition begins to deteriorate, I would like to think so, but who can tell.  I just hope this chap comes to terms with his situation, for his sake and those close to him.  All the doctors and nurses who look after me, and him, at Basildon hospital really are there to help and assist and make life as comfortable for us as they are able to and through no fault of theirs, we, the cancer patients, will always outnumber the number of people who are giving every day of their lives to look after us to the best of their ability, training and calling.  They are not there, when we turn up, huddled behind a closed door, drawing our names from a hat, to see who is going to get seen. Some patients condition are much more progressed than others and some have conditions that are much more complicated.

Some of us, need to have the information given to us by the doctor repeated ad infinitum, and in simple terms that we can understand.  This isn't a visit to the GP that you know will only last 5 or 10 minutes and the sooner that poor chap comes to realise that, hopefully for him, he can get on with living his life and maybe, just maybe getting rid of his anger may slow the progress of his deterioration.

BTW: I didn't get to see pretty wee Olivia Chan my oncologist and ended up with tall handsome Ewan, her new registrar, which pleased Ishbel no end as apparently he was delicious ...... Sheesh and all I got was an increase in meds.  ah well, maybe  I'll get wee Olly next time .....


  1. Oh that Ishbel, she does have an eye for the cutie pies. Cancer is lousy but cancer does not always kill a person. It's true.
    We all have to deal with is numbered days. It's just that unlike in your case, nobody told us our days were numbered. And I have to say being all pissy but polite is much better. It's better for you. My pissy patients live a long long long time.
    What I've experienced with cancer patients is the people who are just fine, but then somebody tells them they have cancer and poof! Gone in 24 hours. For no reason whatsoever but that they believed their days were really really really numbered. Mind over matter I guess.
    I'm trying hard to get everyone all better so I can come see you, ye olde git!

    1. Crappy typing - that's on me. We all have to deal with numbered days. There, got it right.

    2. I agree, get pissy about the condition and even get pissy with the treatment / care but I'm sure having thought about it after, there was no need to take it out on the wee nurse. Me, I would have waited until I got in to the consulting room and given them what for, and I did early on at Broomfields. But your are much more experienced in these things than me too and you are probably right. I felt more sorry for the nurse than I did for him .....


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