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Cathy
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby Cathy » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:42 pm

Trust me Steve, if I am ever invited onto a quiz show I will never mention this! Though I think I'd prefer to describe it more as an ongoing obsession as opposed to a hobby.... :)

xx

Slewis7313
Posts: 688
Joined: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:48 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby Slewis7313 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:58 pm

I have just had a real chuckle in the Doctor's waiting room. I picked up a copy of National Geographical, opened it randomly and saw the article heading "you can learn a lot about a species by what they leave behind"! Amsused me after our earlier conversation.

Steve
X

Cathy
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby Cathy » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:13 pm

LOL! I shudder to think! :shock:

Oh dear - I do hope Sarah doesn't mind the direction her thread is headed....!

xx

InfoForMum
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby InfoForMum » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:32 pm

Tee Hee.

Being a closet geek having worked in IT for mumble, mumble, mumble years I now have the sense of humour of a 14 year old boy (well not all the time, but it creeps out too often). So I find that sharing perfectly acceptable, but can't speak for others!

BTW. I've sent a version of my excel template to the support mailbox so anyone interested can get hold of it. Use, abuse, slice, dice or bin depending on what you think and need.

Mum's now due for discharge tomorrow after missing rounds with her consultant today. She was ffing and blinding enough to make me blush, possibly because of that and possibly because they left her on a fixed drip stand for the antibiotics last night and she ended up in tears cos they didn't answer the bell when she needed the loo. Had to damp down my instinct to murder someone for making her cry for the first time since this started. Then today, when she was far more robust, they did it again! I arrived in the midst of that and feel I may have not made too many friends!

They are brutally overworked, with horrid shifts, but these apparently "small" things, that take 2 seconds to rectify make the difference between someone feeling able, adult and in control of their situation vs someone feeling disabled, dehumanised and victimised. She almost started to give in and tow the line, be thankful for the things that went well, ignoring the things that didn't as it was apparent those who did got the thicker end of that thin wedge. This doesn't reflect the care overall, but I find it hard to overlook something so close to serious neglect that didn't need to happen.

Had to leave her with strict instructions not to deck anyone (mind you I'm glad she's feeling angry rather than helpless or humiliated now). At least not until she gets her meds from pharmacy and discharge notes.

Sarah
XX

Cathy
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby Cathy » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:34 am

Hi Sarah

Well, good news that your Mum is clearly feeling a lot better, enough to fight her own corner it sounds like!

Hopefully her discharge will go smoohtly today (without the need to eff and jeff) and she'll get back home to recupperate.


xx

nikkis
Posts: 513
Joined: Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:29 am

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby nikkis » Thu Sep 12, 2013 1:50 pm

Hi Sarah,
As a nurse myself I would advise you to seriously consider making a complaint if you are unhappy about your Mum's care. It really is the only way things can change, and if staffing levels are the issue, complaints from patients and relatives are the thing most likely to make management do something about it. You could ask to speak to the ward sister or charge nurse or if you prefer there is normally a PALS department who's job it is to investigate complaints. anything put in writing has to be investigated. Take it as high as you need to until you feel reassured.

Your Mum deserves good care, and any decent nurse will understand why you are unhappy. As you say it is just little things but they really add up.
Best wishes,
Nikki

InfoForMum
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby InfoForMum » Fri Sep 13, 2013 7:59 pm

Thanks Cathy :-) V V nice to have my mum back in full force, if slimmer. She's also now regained her appetitie.

Nikki, thanks for that prompting. It makes so much sense to do so, but there's the obvious trepidation about alienating staff we may have to rely on for future care. Will try and nudge her in that direction if she's got the energy for more than one fight.

Overall some other updates. Our local oncologist saw us for the first time today. He's lovely :-). Completely took on board that for us it's the more information the better and provided it. The scary part was a review of the CT taken while mum was in hospital. Shows a slightly enlarged lymph node (11mm) and some <5mm anomalies in her liver. He said there's no confirmation they're anything suspect and said lymph enlargement could be a result of the recent pancreatitis and likely infection and liver anomalies could be scars resulting from bile back up from biliary blockage, but going to do an MRI to know more.

It's not derailing starting FOLFIRINOX, although his left field news was that he didn't feel comfortable doing it for us as he has little experience with the regime, so he's referred us to a consultant at our local specialist centre for that (he'd already handed details of our case over and booked an appointment when we saw him!). With his frankness about everything else it was reassuring to have him admit his limitations. Overall enhanced the trust quickly established. Although our local specialist centre is a long way away, it is only twice a month and he has put his team on point to treat any serious symptoms or complications locally and is a high tech radiotherapy specialist, so the 5 times per week chemoradiotherapy part can be at our local hospital. He's also co-ordinating all doctors involved to make sure they all remain updated.

So slightly mixed bag there, but overall we are feeling very very fortunate and positive. Mum remains very proactive and confident about next steps and has to keep reassuring the professionals she's not in denial about the still relatively low chance of a "cure" even if the whipple can happen down the line. For her it's obvious she'll fight for the best chance, reserving the right to change that decision should the odds later stack against her. She converted their double garage into a rental property after Dad died. It was a project to help counteract the grief and achieve something positive for the future. She said she's treating this as very much the same thing. Very very proud of her and very pleased we have such a proactive and lovely oncologist now on board.

So Tuesday over to specialist centre with chemo likely to start end next week or start of following and MRI in about a week. She's expecting things to poleaxe her periodically (the stay in hospital brought her future dependence on others crashing in) and I'm poised to catch her after those inevitable emotional tsunamis, but generally we're in a very good place.

From Sunday onwards it's now about enjoying having my sis being around and preparing for the real fight.

Sarah
XX
Last edited by InfoForMum on Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cathy
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby Cathy » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:48 pm

Hi Sarah

Excellent news about your Mum being home and excellent news about the oncologist as well. He sounds super. It is so important to have someone you feel you can trust and someone gunning for you - I've read a few stories on here where that hasn't happened and it makes a world of difference.

Hopefully your Mum will continue to recuperate now she is home and can start Folfironox on schedule.

BTW - tried to email you today on your email address but it kept bouncing back for some reason. Will try again over the weekend if I can.

Cathy xx

InfoForMum
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby InfoForMum » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:56 pm

Thanks Cathy,

I've emailled support again to re-confirm my email addresses. Hopefully they'll pass that on and it will work.

I'm doing my emotional roller coaster thing again at the mo. The liver lesions are making me fret. I know...no point fretting til we know, but as usual I've been off researching and lesions plural doesn't look like a great sign. Damn..wine tonight maybe not such a good idea. Will shut up for fear of p*ss*ing everyone here off. Have mailed the oncologist for more info on likely outcome of MRI. Will prob get TTFO til there's more info, but always like to get one step ahead of any potential bad news so I'm back up off the floor before Mum gets there. Gotta remember that no matter what the MRI says, chemo is the next best step, so should go to sleep and turn my head off!!!

Pessimistic Optimism seems to be the best description of the approach - plan for the worst, jump for joy if I'm proved wrong.

S

karen17
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:38 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby karen17 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:17 am

Hi Sarah,
So pleased mum is home and also relieved you will be going to {name removed - moderator} as I was aware there is little knowledge of folfirinox at {name removed - moderator}. We ended up in {name removed - moderator} a couple of times ourselves when Bob became pyrexial and I would have to agree with you about the basic nursing care. Unfortunately I think this is a sign of our times because we have experienced this in all hospitals. {name removed - moderator} has been the only one where qualified nurses are happy to fill the water jug and perform the basic tasks but even there care is not as I would like purely because of lack of staff resources. In my opinion basic nursing skills went out of the window when it was decided all nurses should be educated to degree level. I won't get on my soapbox as we will be here all day just suffice to say that I also have a nursing background and have been appalled by the things I have seen.
Quick Bob update - still in {name removed - moderator}, still uncomfortable but things moving upwards following lots of complaints and phone calls from myself. He is now having joint care from the palliative care team who despite what I had been told where not aware he was sitting on the surgical unit. I have nothing but praise for the oncology and palliative team there plus the specialist nurses.
Would love to know who you are seeing Sarah but have heard positive reports of all consultants. You may be in for a long wait as they often get behind so take some reading material plus remember to book in at main desk with your parking ticket as you can pay the minimal rate. You may also find it will be a weekly visit as on the alternate weeks they like to take bloods to ensure ok for chemo the next week. That's a bit of a pain! You have my number so txt or call if you want a chat xxx

InfoForMum
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby InfoForMum » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:52 am

Great tips Karen. Feels very real now.

Sorry to hear Bob is still in hospital, but that your tenacity and the oncology team have helped things get back on track. In terms of nursing care the whole thing scares me. Will have to stay vigilant and all over it obviously. Best wishes to you both!

Sarah

Bee
Posts: 219
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 9:39 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby Bee » Sat Sep 14, 2013 4:24 pm

Hi Sarah,
Glad to hear your mum is feeling better and it sounds like you have clear plan which makes a massive difference!
Onwards and upwards!!

Bee xx

Cathy
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:43 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby Cathy » Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:19 am

Hi Sarah

Have resent email to you. I'm sure it was the right address as Jeni forwarded your email. I was trying to email from my work email address which kept saying it was undeliverable but seemed to go ok from home email address.

Hope all ok at your end this weekend and your Mum continues to improve

Cathy xx

InfoForMum
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby InfoForMum » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:22 pm

Hi Cathy, still no mail this end. Checked spam/junk mail folder (that's a spoonerism waiting to happen isnt' it :-S). Have asked support to send your mail address to me to try other way around.

Hope it works.

Sarah

InfoForMum
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:01 pm

Re: Planning Chemo in Prep for Surgery

Postby InfoForMum » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:18 pm

Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this thread. It's been invaluable. My war and peace updates have moved house to the patient experience forum. That in its self is a bit daunting. I hope that's appropriate given I'm posting on behalf of my Mum. Moderators, please do let me know.

The new link is here if you're not bored with my whittering on http://forum.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/vi ... =28&t=1168