Since starting this blog, just over 5 months ago, I have mentioned a lot of aspects of the care I have received, and continue to receive. I also attend hospital for three days every fortnight, to receive various treatment regimes. Due to the numerous complications of my disease/treatment, I am dealt with by the same team of nurses each time I visit. This is great, as it means that they are entirely knowledgeable about my case, and will know all the little quirks that my body has. Particularly regarding my terrible veins, that are so difficult to canulate!
For those of you who don’t know, I am treated at St Georges and St Thomas’ in London. Both teams are now very familiar with the workings of my body. I am sure they wish they weren’t! But it makes it very easy when receiving treatment. Both parties are comfortable with each other, and as familiarity increases, then anxiety decreases. We now know each other so well, the treatment dates have almost become part of the social calendar!
But I realise, what this has done. I have felt so comfortable with the nursing teams, that I have taken them for granted!! I can’t believe I have done that.I haven’t yet written about the very important part that they play, in my general well being. Sure, I need the knowledge of the Consultants and Registrars, and the drugs, and the technical machines, but if I analyse things, my nurses have been with me at every step of my journey. The doctors dip in and out, but the nurses pull all the bits together.
Then there were the nurses who gave me chemotherapy. Wow, there’s a job. A full ward everyday. The patients are generally anxious, and awaiting the very toxic drugs that can hopefully improve things for them.Everyone requires a different drug or combination. This requires check after check, and all this set against unforgiving time deadlines. These ladies were absolute angels. I say ladies, which is a bit of a generalisation, as there were several men too! Very patient and knowledgeable people, it was almost a pleasure to see them.
My case was overseen by a Bone Marrow Transplant Coordinator, who looked after all my appointments in the hospital. She coordinated my treatment, and worked with my stem cell donor, through the Anthony Nolan Trust. She became almost my secretary, and made life in the hospital that bit easier for me.
Moving onto my transplant, I was in an isolation unit for 6 weeks and was cared for 24/7 by another wonderful team of nurses. Those people did absolutely everything for me, in that time, including measuring body waste daily! They fed me, bathed me, clothed me, and anything else I required. I felt awful even asking them to do anything, and having your independence removed like that is a massive blow, but these guys totally understood, and nothing was too much trouble for them.
I now realise what a major part, nurses play in our treatment and care, and I feel are very underrated. I think it might be like most things in life.You don’t realise what you have, until it is gone! They seem to do such a good job, I forgot about them. I’m sure they will find a way of repaying me!!!!!
Do you benefit from our wonderful nurses? Feel free to share your experiences.