Rochdales BBC

I didn’t realise at the time of writing it, but my last blog entry was out of date by the time it was published the following morning. The appointment for my CT scan arrived, even if it was in a strange way. With this comes the reality that I’m back in the hands of my local health authority – The Pennine Acute Trust. So far I’ve been under the sole care of The Christie, an NHS trust in itself. However, as it does not have a specialist liver unit (Liver cancer is very rare) liver surgery is referred back to the local health authority. Their first involvement went horribly wrong ! The ‘urgent’ letter I have been waiting for was hand delivered to my ex’s address. I have not lived there for almost 6 years !  The Christie know where I live, my GP knows where I live, my dentists knows where I live, even Oldham hospital knows where I live. But the health authority – No, they don’t seem to have been able to update their records from six years ago.

It could have been quite embarrassing. I might not have got the appointment at all, that really would have sent me into eruptions. As it turned out I did, just in time, thanks to M. At 10.30pm I got a text  completely out of the blue asking me to call her. Five minutes later, “It’s urgent, give me a call”. Not easy considering we’ve hardly spoken in the last 4 years. We had a brief exchange of communication about 18 months ago but that was all. I did phone, and we did speak. The letter advising of the CT liver scan was hand delivered to her address, scheduled for 10.40 the following morning, Tuesday. This time at Rochdale Infirmary, a new one for me. M was obviously not aware what this was for, and obviously is not aware of this blog. She knew something was wrong, they don’t hand deliver letters as a matter of routine. Telling someone you have cancer is not the normal way to break the ice, but it did. She was shocked of course, how could she not be, she could not have been expecting that. But we spoke for 20 minutes. I’m glad we did, and I’m glad she knows. We spoke again the following night, more mail, it arrived by normal post a few days earlier. That’s more like the M I know, not even looking at post for days. The ice was very thick, but I think it’s been broken, which can only be good for the two of us. It’s hard not being friends with someone who was a huge part of your life, but whilst the ice remains dodgy, I’m taking very gentle steps.

And so a day in Rochdale followed. Oh what joy. Seeing Rochdale again reminds me of how lucky I am to live in Oldham. Boy it’s depressing. Other than driving through, the last time I was here was with M, what an eerie coincidence. Apart from the majestic town hall there’s nothing much else to commend the town for.  The main shopping street consists of beggars, buskers and charity shops. Rochdale’s BBC. Apart from pawn brokers , pound shops and pay day loan shops, the rest of the shops are hidden away inside two small indoor shopping centres, where they can be safely locked away at night-time. I don’t think there was anything that could entice me to return to the town centre again.

I had phoned the liver CNS at North Manchester General to advise her of the address cock up, and to make sure there had been no more letters sent to the wrong address. I arrived at the CT department, Rochdale Infirmary. I advised the receptionist of the address problem.

“it’s not our fault it’s just the system”

“I haven’t lived there for 6 years”

“have you got your letter”

“No I haven’t got the letter, it was sent to the wrong address”.

I could see where this was heading. She got me to write my address down on a scrap of paper. It didn’t exactly inspire me with confidence that the records would be changed.

Time for another cannula. First attempt – fail. “I’ll try a smaller needle”. Second attempt, ouch !  “I’ll try somewhere else”. Third attempt, back of hand, Ouch Ouch ! “I’m only supposed to have three attempts” I won’t tell anyone. Fourth attempt “I’m not having a good day” Well thanks for telling me that, made me feel much better.

Second nurse, different arm – success. But it has left me with a humungous bruise, oh well, better than the four on the other arm. I’m not sure what the machine pumped into my veins this time but I did get a bit hot and sweaty, but other than that, the scan was uneventful. I’m far to familiar with the procedure now.

To cap it all, the doctors surgery phoned, they’ve received a copy letter from North Manchester – had I moved ? Another explanation. At least it gave me the opportunity to make the appointment to see my GP, a day after my double date on Wednesday with The Christie and North Manchester General. That leaves me a week to deal with everything else going around in my head. I need to find some distractions.


If you have any concerns about bowel cancer, or just want more information or check cancer rates in your area you can find all the information advice and help you need here.


This entry was posted in Be Clear On Cancer, Be Loud Be Clear, Beating Bowel Cancer, Bowel Cancer, Bowel Cancer UK, Cancer, chemotherapy, colonoscopy, CT scan, Health, Liver, Manchester, Manchester Blog Awards, Metastatic Bowel Cancer, MRI SCAN, Oldham, radiotherapy, Rochdale, Saddleworth, Springhead, The Christie, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Rochdales BBC

  1. bbc health says:

    This helpt me alot! Thank you very much for sharing 😀

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