Other than close friends and family members all names have been omitted,
So I received the diagnosis on the Wednesday and things medially moved very quickly.
I was under the surgical team on call at Kingston and they made a token visit to my bedside every day, it was nice to talk to the consultant but both he and I knew that I was really under the CNS (clinical nurse specialist). However I do appreciate for purposes of continuing care he didn’t ask his juniors to try and get my care taken over by another more appropriate team. Although not sure how long that would have lasted surgeons get bored after a while if there’s nothing to cut.
The CNS was relentless and one of the best NHS members of staff I’ve ever seen. I’m a hard man to please when it comes to specialist nurses who I sometimes feel are overly pious about their little niche and really will refuse to do anything outside their remit. She was exactly what the NHS needs someone who was caring, knowledgeable (she gets involved in writing NICE guidelines ) and most importantly proactive. She impressed because of speed of referral and how quickly she came to see me. Before seeing me she had already organised an outpatient appointment for me at the Royal Marsden under a Prof. Then I told her that actually I was seen regularly at Guy’s by the next morning, she must’ve got in very early to get enough information over for their MDM (read: melanoma meeting with lots of specialists sat around discussing each case) that morning, as their only once weekly affairs. As Guy’s stalled a little bit, she then changed tact went back to the Marsden and got me admitted on Friday under the aforementioned Prof. She also sourced my notes from Bristol and Leicester and the tissue from the cancer I had 10 years ago, from a hospital which is now closed (Frenchay)… I am in awe of her.
The ward itself Alexandra were absolutely lovely, starting the long procession of hugs I’ve got, and gave me a private room presumably to help with coming to terms with the news.
Lastly, there was my pain control nurse. A lady who wanted to try everything quickly and actually by Friday had got me on a very good regimen, starting with a PCA switching to patch, pregabalin and parecoxib*.
By the time I got to the Royal Marsden the pain was pretty much under control and treatment was about to begin. I was asked by a friend if I was “blue lighted” over, actually the two gents who took me over let me stop and by a sandwich for lunch!
*I’d not heard of it either. selective cox 2 inhibitor.