Two weeks after I made my decision to have my treatment for prostate cancer by way of brachytherapy I went into hospital for my first stay. It was a cold damp day which I had been looking forward to with trepidation. During those two weeks my Mother-in-Law had been in declining health, and on the afternoon of my admission, she died. I felt dreadful for my wife Gloria and terribly sad for her Mum. I wanted to be with Gloria, but was “locked in” to go into the hospital, with my second session already booked for two weeks later. The hospital stays straddled Easter.
When I got to the hospital in the late afternoon having made my own way by taxi, I was very emotional. I was also frightened about the treatment, worried about the early morning enema I knew was in store, and wanting a bed close to the toilet. It sounds ridiculous now, but at the time there was too much going on. I am afraid to say I threw a tantrum with the nursing staff. Later I was quite rightly embarrassed and apologised. Oh, and I had plenty of time to get to the bathroom in the morning as it turned out.
I was allocated a bed, and the procedure (volume study) was the following morning. The one complaint I had that evening was that they did not feed me. They forgot, and I did not realise, I could have had at least a sandwich. I ended up feeling starving hungry.
Nevertheless, despite my earlier temper, the nursing staff did make me feel reasonably comfortable.
Just after five the following morning I had my enema and then was visited by my consultant and the anaesthetist. I had to hang about until mid-morning before i was taken down to theatre. The anaesthetic seemed all OK, I woke up in the recovery room and was wheeled back to the ward. I polished off a pile of sandwiches. still being very hungry.
During the afternoon i felt much better. I had an early evening meal of a quite passable curry and it was decided that I could actually go home. No, that bit wasn’t as hard as I expected.
Of course poor Gloria collected me. In the circumstances we were happy to cling to one another, and I wish I could have been there to give her a big hug the previous evening.