20:20 Vision

Oh crickey! I’ve been looking at the other short listed entries in The Manchester Blog Awards, all categories. There are some great blogs in there, but technically, I’m miles behind. This is where I wish I was 20 years younger. I’m no technophobe by any stretch of the imagination, but creating web pages like some I have seen is way beyond me. I dragged many people into the 20th century, most of them kicking and screaming, but I now wish I has spent more time learning myself rather than teaching others the basics. Do I want to go to the Blog Awards presentation evening? Well I suppose I ought to support them as they have been good enough to shortlist my blog, but then I’d be among people who really know what they are doing. What a dilemma.

The astute among you will have noticed that my anonymity has been well and truly blown. Not for the first time, as my identity was revealed in the recent radio broadcast (no longer available on iPlayer) but now I‘ve inadvertently published it myself. Hey ho! I’m not going to change it now. There are of course many who already know who I am, certainly if you are reading this through a link from Facebook, it’s pretty damn obvious. But if you’re not, and you really want to know who the mystery man is behind this blog………well I’ll leave you to work that one out yourself, it shouldn‘t be too difficult.

Bev, Macmillan nurse came for her coffee morning. Nearly frightened the poor woman to death as I was in the garden when she arrived and she had not spotted me. She almost jumped over the garden wall when I greeted her from behind. Anyway, we chatted, talked about my cancer, and Bev talked me through what I can expect in the coming months, and even years. She didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know, but it’s always good to hear it from someone else rather than reading it on a web page. There is little that can be done right now, but once treatment starts I am reassured that any help I need will be at hand.

Yesterday I attended the Christie once again. This time for a planning scan to mark the areas where radiation is to be given. A slightly different scanning machine this time, in that I could actually see the beams as they were directed at my body. Certainly the best laser show since the last time I saw Muse. My body is now covered in black marker pen lines, and to reinforce it all, I have three tiny tattooed dots marking the precise area where the three high-powered x-ray beams will attack my tumour.

Rather surprisingly, I also witnessed the first bit of conflict I have seen at The Christie. Rather unsurprisingly, it involved staff from what I can only assume was the PR or marketing department. I worked for many years in a support industry for broadcast media, and much of the work carried out was for PR agencies and PR departments. I can usually spot PR staff a mile off, the voice normally gives it away dahling. And of course, they are far more important than anyone else on this earth. The staff in the MRI/CT scan reception area on the other hand are usually very calm and pleasant, always busy, but always willing to help and advise when necessary. During the course of an afternoon, many staff come and go, from different areas of the hospital. Consultants, nurses, porters, admin staff, each with their own requirements and queries. Not only do the reception staff have to deal with these, but also patients and a constant ringing telephone. Sometime mid to late afternoon, the doors burst open and in walked two very attractive and well dressed young ladies carrying a large box encased in bubble wrap. With no hint of waiting to see if the receptionist was busy, they shouted out in their snootiest voice that they were leaving this ‘box’ on the reception counter. My ears pricked up when they mentioned “20:20 Vision”, a consultation process recently launched to find patients, staff’s and other NHS trusts views on how the hospital should develop and improve their services in the years leading up to 2020. I was already aware of this as I happen to follow the chief executives blog, and I had been reading about it only the night before. When the receptionist politely commented that the area they had left it was not suitable (it blocked out most of the counter where patients speak to reception) they proceeded to rudely suggest other places where the box might be placed. There were indeed other places where the box might be placed, but none of these would be suitable in making it accessible to every visitor to the department. The two young ladies were not interested in hearing any comment, either positive or negative, and proudly announced “ Well this comes from Caroline Shaw and she say’s they must be left in every department ” – so there! Now I’m sure Ms. Shaw does indeed wish that the 20:20 Vision campaign is clearly visible in every department, but I am equally sure that she would be horrified to learn that her name was being used in such a manner. The two girls left, having plonked the box on the reception counter, with one of them muttering loudly a derisory comment about staff in the Pat Seed Department. Personally I am not bothered, but there are patients who have far greater things on their mind whilst they are waiting in the reception area. They can do without witnessing this sort of behaviour. I have had no hesitation in praising the staff at The Christie on many previous occasions, my experience to date has been nothing but 100% positive, but I am sad to say on this occasion the two ladies concerned let down their colleagues, and their chief executive in a big big way.

Now, back to my treatment. Still no pathology results, but I am seeing the oncologist next Friday, when I should learn whether I am suitable for the new drug trial or not. If I am, then there might be a few days delay whilst I undergo a few more routine health checks prior to the commencement of the trial drug. If not, then the standard chemo/radiotherapy will begin on the 19th. The day of the Manchester blog awards ceremony !


refelctionsonawastedlife has been short listed in the ‘best personal blog’ category in the 2011 Manchester Blog Awards. If you would like to vote you can do so here http://www.manchesterblogawards.com/


This entry was posted in Cancer, charities, chemotherapy, Drug trials, Health, Macmillan Nurses, Manchester, Music, radiotherapy, Saddleworth, The Christie, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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