Radio – Day 2 (and healthcare lets me down….)

24/04/19

Day 2 of radio, and the early morning start was standard. As was the driving. Just today, we had a bit of passive aggressive road rage! In a spot that I used to drive every day for three years, and had already pre-warned my dad that in all likelihood, during the 20 days we spent travelling this journey he would have to suck it up when someone cheated the traffic, or he could join the cheaters. He chose to not join the cheaters but then lost his temper when one did try to cheat (and succeeded may I add!). Cue horn tooting which led to window wipers going off – both front and back, full beam on and indicators left and right which likely confused/annoyed all of those around us more than the cheating car that was now a good mile in front and oblivious of this chaos! We then proceeded to spend another ten minutes of the journey with the back window wiper going on intermittently as he didn’t know how to turn it off. Give me strength. A lot of it.

Radio done today and I now feel like a pro two days in. My dad and I both need a coffee when we arrive (he even told me today to pick up a loyalty card!), he sits and reads his paper/book while I go through to the inner waiting room, whip into a changing room, top half clothing off, gown on, horizontal pose, get pulled about into place and then get abandoned for approx four mins – in this time I get two big blasts (starting to time them now) on my boob, then I get re-positioned slightly and then get one short blast on my neckline. And that’s me done. Off I go with my day.

Today, I have an emergency appointment sorted at the Doctors to get another batch of the contraceptive pill. Now I have anticipated no issues. I continued to take the pill right up until I started chemotherapy, as advised by my Consultant and Oncologist as my cancer wasn’t hormone related. As soon as chemo was finished and I saw my Oncologist and checked if I could start back up again – no problem. While it is very likely that I am going through the menopause  and that chemo would have made me infertile due to not taking any fertility drugs to suppress my ovaries (this area of chemo is a minefield), I still don’t want any accidents to happen.

I resumed the tablets where I left off, but what I had forgotten was that I get a yearly prescription and this runs from December to December – because I stopped taking it in November and restarted at the back end of March, I only had a months worth left. So blind panic this week when I realised on Monday I was about to run out. Hence the emergency appointment today with a nurse.

I arrived at the surgery this afternoon and proceeded to watch the nurse who was due to see me pass across the waiting room twice, while I just sat there like an obedient child waiting to be called in. Now at this point I should also point out that this nurse hadn’t scored highly in my niceness chart from a previous interaction. I had taken the cub down when she was little as she had a rash and was advised on the phone to pop down. It was the middle of winter, we had walked down (fifteen minute walk) so we were dressed for the middle of winter. As soon as we arrived it must have been a quiet day as we were called straight in to the appointment, so the cub was still wrapped up like a fractured skull. As I explained to said nurse what was wrong while removing clothes, she stated ‘well she’s going to be too hot in all of that which would surely aggravate any rash’. Woooooo. Kept my calm, but only just.

So I wasn’t looking forward to this encounter, but thought it surely couldn’t be that bad. A quick blood pressure check, the usual health questions and I would be off to the pharmacy with a prescription for a year.

Nope. That scenario was not to be.

Upon being called into the room, I was immediately met with ‘you can’t have the contraceptive pill’. Completely blindsided, I turned into a bumbling 12 year old girl and stuttered ‘why’? I could already feel my temperature rising and fury building. So apparently, some ‘Gold standard regulations’ stated that contraceptive pills could not be issued to those with breast cancer. Now bear in mind – there are numerous (and I don’t have Google to consult but I’m going to knock out 50 for a starter) types of breast cancer, but this Gold standard just states that ‘no’ breast cancer patient can have the contraceptive pill. Bear in mind I also have a letter, held on file with the doctor, that states clearly that I can resume the contraceptive pill (all of my hospital letters are copied to the doctors surgery).

After the nurse had patronised me more thoroughly by trying to show me the ‘Gold standard’ bollacks on her screen, and then telling me that the letter from my very well educated (compared to her) Oncologist wasn’t enough for her to release medication, I asked what I could do now. The response – ‘use condoms’ wasn’t well received. At this point I had tears in my eyes, mainly out of frustration and fury. I stated that I was well aware of contraceptive methods (I mean, I’m not 12) and that wasn’t what I meant by the question. She started saying that I could have a coil fitted but by this point I had zoned so far out due to red mist mist that I decided to leave. I stood up, walked towards the  door, with no words said, and it took everything, (I still don’t know how I did it), absolutely everything I had not to slam the door; however I did close it with some purpose.

I left the surgery in absolute fury. I have never felt so out of control of my own treatment in my life, and I have spent the last six months having other people tell me what would happen. At no point in all of my cancer treatment have I felt out of control, and I have pretty much been led down a garden path by someone else most of the time without feeling like I’ve been ambushed. It also endlessly baffles me that people who have not a caring bone in their body are in a position that is supposed to be caring. I mean, I do not have the capability to do it – which is exactly why I don’t do a role that requires it. But this bloody Nurse has chosen her occupation and then still acts like a sanctimonious **** (insert any word here as I used them all).

However, later on this evening, once I have shouted the ears off the man cub, I realised there is a bigger problem here. If this ‘Gold standard’ says that I shouldn’t be taking the pill, what could have been the damage by me taking it back when I was diagnosed and resuming it when chemo finished for the last month? I also realised that my consultant had also mentioned that I could resume the pill – so two people who are well qualified in the field of cancer have said I can take it. WTAF. I am also left in absolute limbo and don’t know what to do. Bad thing? Minor thing? Not to worry thing?

 

I don’t have this one, and I am channelling all of my psychologist coping mechanisms but still don’t have it. Aaaaagh……

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