Sep 292016

To quote Richard Wilson, I don’t believe it.  First let me make clear I have no complaint with the staff at The Christie.  They deserve praise for sorting this mess these messes out.

It started when I rolled up for chemo.  The system is you arrive 2 hours early so they can take a blood sample and check details like are you breathing and so on.  When you report in, you are given a number (125 for me).  Then you wait till the automatic system  calls your number. So I waited.  121, 126, 127 (all with very long delays). Eventually there was a human voice “Is Malcolm Cowen there?”

Somehow they had lost my number. They only realized what had happened when they found an envelope with my name on and a preprinted form inside.

The second one was when we finally got called upstairs to the ward.  “You’ve got to see Mrs F.”   This surprised me somewhat. She’s the surgeon and works 3 miles away at the MRI, not the Christie.  So we did a parade round the ward, until it was decided there was a mistake, I really was here for the chemo.

Not a big deal and not mch time lost.

The third followed at once. “Have you had your anti-nausea tablet yet? It’s got to be given an hour before the chemo starts.”  No, nobody told me, and nobody told me to come up here for it. So now we are looking at another hour delay.

However Nr four did clarify that. It looks like I was prescribed the wrong anti-nausea tablet, so she takes  the opportunity to get the prescription changed.

And finally the coup de gras, the fifth one.  “Can we check your weight?  Oh we have a problem, you’ve lost too much weight”  No I haven’t, I’ve been stable or maybe putting it on a little since you last weighed me a fortnight ago.

Turns out they don’t have my fortnight old weight, only the reading taken in April at the start of the first chemo (10 Kg heavier) , so they used that to make up my chemo. So the chemo is wrong and will take 3 hours to make up, so we can’t start before 3pm. The treatment last 9 hours minimum and the ward closes at 10pm.   So I’m coming back tomorrow.

I’m just glad the staff were so on the ball, and able to fix the system. I can think of some places where Jobsworth idiots could have made it much worse.

And tomorrow I’m back at 8:30 for the chemo.


 Posted by at 12:05 am

  5 Responses to “Oh No It Doesn’t – A Comedy of Erorrs”

  1. Thinking and praying for you both.

  2. I would look at ‘going back tomorrow’ as a bonus….yes, I realise it could be a total pain in the neck! However, after spending 6 months in there, it’s my ‘safe’ place. I know it’s morbid, but I actually enjoy being there.. .

  3. You couldn’t make it up! It’s a bit worrying when such professionals at the Christie can get it so
    wrong, but do hope things go much more smoothly for you tomorrow Malcolm.

  4. Well my old friend, you had better be on the ball for me to see you. I’m travelling down from darkest Scotland next Friday and hope to find you seriously humorous!

    Love and hugs


  5. Hi Malcolm,

    Alls well that ends well.

    kind regards

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