Eight weeks after my oncologist agreed to write a referral for the problems with my left hip I now have an appointment tomorrow morning at 9.20 at the Royal Bournemouth General Hospital. It might have been quicker if my GPs surgery hadn't just scanned the oncologist's letter and the scan and x-ray results and done nothing about it for 5 weeks; four weeks because it had never been read, and one week waiting for my GP to be at the surgery. Five weeks despite the oncologist mentioning the impact this has been having on my quality of life, my limited life expectancy, and asking this to be done as a matter of urgency. But then my GP is the queen of 'come back when things get worse' - pardon? HOW much worse?
Anyway, I have to admit that I am a little nervous about tomorrow. I don't know the RBGH at all, though I drove past it nearly everyday during the three years I was at Bournemouth University 2002 - 2005, but I am hoping that the experience will be so much better that Southampton General Hospital. I get stressed out even thinking about that place and yesterday ended up spending 7 hours there waiting for a 10 minute slot to see the oncologist and 30 minutes to have an infusion of Zoledronic Acid (Zometa). Not only were things already chaotic, but the oncologist forgot to send through the prescription for the treatment, which wasn't realised until 5 hours after I had seen him! Grrrr. I can feel the blood pressure rising.
I need to be able to approach a new hospital as a totally new experience and leave behind the negativity that I feel for Southampton. I am also thinking about changing my GP so I can have a completely new medical team, and if I like Bournemouth I might move my cancer treatment there. Not sure what the facilities are like at Bournemouth, or whether I would still have to go to Southampton for some things. I don't have anyone to go with me which might have been a good idea, but after waiting so long I was not going to pass on such a quick appointment. I only get the letter from Bournemouth when I got home from work on Monday evening; I phoned yesterday when I finally made it from the hospital and now I have an appointment for tomorrow. So wish me luck, and I will be taking a Teddy for support as well as a book for the wait.