Throughout my time at the Royal Marsden, I met many people, from the nurses in the children’s ward to the doctors to the radiotherapy nurses to well the list goes on.
Before I started my cancer journey I was extremely shy and would have never spoken to anyone who wasn’t in my family or my group of friends. Meeting all these people at the Royal Marsden helped me out with this, having to meet new people every day, who were all so lovely to me, helped me gain a trust in new people and I think that made me the person I am today.
Being treated in a children’s ward was good for me, the staff were used to treating little ones and almost treated me in the same way. They were all so enthusiastic, whether it was a tap on the back or simply a smile, they always made me feel great about my progress and made me see how well I was doing.
One doctor was absolutely great, his name was Frank and he was my radiotherapy doctor, there to see me through my treatment. Lovely Frank as he is now known always had a big grin when I was wheeled into his office once a week to talk about how it was all going. I remember when I had started to walk again, albeit not very far and using the wheelchair as a kind of walker to help my stability. One week towards the end of my radiotherapy treatment I was sitting in the waiting area with Mum & Dad waiting to go in to see Frank with a great plan. When Frank popped his head round the door to call me in, we told him to stop, as he would usually go straight back into his office and wait for us to join him. He stood by the door and watched me get myself up off the seat and walk holding my wheelchair into his office. He was so pleased for me and bless him had tears in his eyes. He said he was so happy to see me up walking again after not even being able to sit up straight.
Another lovely person was a lady called Lucy, what a great name she has! The first time I met her was on the day of my first radiotherapy treatment. It was just after the failure of the first go and I was feeling pretty frustrated. Lucy and another lady came to see me & Mum to talk about the medicines I was going to be put on. At this point in the day I just wanted to go home and with my foot already starting to stamp, I really didn’t want to have to wait around much longer, my arm was in intense pain. I remember this lady talking to me about medicines and then asking me what I thought I should be having. There were very few people that I didn’t ‘click’ with at the Marsden and she was one of them. I remember thinking, ‘what are you on about? You’re meant to be the medical expert here why are you asking me?’ I refused to answer her question and by this time I was wailing out in pain. My Mum could tell that I wasn’t happy and I got the impression that Lucy did as well. With my foot stamping away it was getting worse and worse, Lucy started to speak with me whilst the other lady spoke with my Mum. I can remember Lucy being lovely, not asking me stupid questions about what I thought about what medicines I should take. After that day I never saw that lady again, although I did see Lucy loads. She became the person who would look after the medicine side of things for me and was great. Lucy totally got me and I saw her a lot of times throughout my time at the Royal Marsden and when going back for check ups. We always had a giggle with her and she was truly brilliant throughout.
I could write so much more about the rest of the staff I met at the Marsden and well you will see them pop up in other posts, they are all a true credit to that hospital.