Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Burns had it right

"The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley" said the bard and he was certainly right about that. The appointment with the consultant turned out to be 45 minutes late (the previous one was even later) and not with him but "one of his staff" - another oncology doctor. The radiology report as a result of the scan (done at the same hospital a week earlier) had not been received so all I could be told was that my usual consultant and this "one of his staff" had looked at the scan and they felt the nasty bit was smaller. News of my thyroid they could not give until they'd had the scan report. That's good news then and yes, it confirms what I feel in my body. Hurrah! It also confirms that the chemo recipe is correct.

"How would I receive the report?" I asked. Another appointment. "Surely not," said I, "there's no need to waste time and resources on that?" They agreed that they might, after clearing it with all the relevant people, be able to phone me news of this picture of my own insides.

Next stop the GP's surgery to get a print out of the blood test results (and hopefully avoid the magnesium cock up last time). They had not been received there yet. Back home to ring the chemo ward, as instructed, to check that the blood results are OK for tomorrow's treatment. No results there either. "So what do I do?" I asked. Ring the GP. I did - they said the blood had been sent to the hospital where I have treatment (not the results - the blood!) Rang the chemo ward back and left them with the problem.

One of the lovely chemo nurses Sally phoned me back to say that my results are in, from the MK pathology laboratory (what does the surgery know anyway!) They are all fine though the haemoglobin is a little down and "they might want to give you some blood, we'll talk about it tomorrow". Arghhhhh - that's what I didn't want to hear and what all this liver and spinach eating is about. Perhaps if they do want to give me blood I can get them to do another test first, because the blood test was done two days before treatment and my subsequent two meals of asparagus (folic acid) spinach (iron) won't have been sampled.

Now the diagnosis didn't stress me much, the treatment doesn't stress me, the feeling crap for four days doesn't stress me, the persistently late appointments don't cause me stress, but this blood test routine is a fiasco. There should surely be a better way.


  1. I bet there WILL be a better way after you've finished with them, too.

  2. Now you see, over here that is greatly simplified; doc gives you a "prescription" for whatever blood tests he wants done - you go along (no app needed) to the local laboratoires d'analyses - blood taken - results faxed next day to you/doc/specialist etc. Incredibly efficient.