I started radiation on Monday. At the same hospital that I was treated last time. I had my daughter at home because she was unwell so I had to take her with me. It's has only been two years since I had radiation but I've already noticed a few changes in that short time. Some are good and some well....
1. Two years ago the only time I saw the rad nurses was when I started developing blisters from the radiation, about three quarters of the way through. I was treated with lots of creams and bandaging.
This time on my very first day I was taken to meet with the rad nurses for education. I was given cream and information. I had another appointment today but I was allowed to skip this one. Apparently, I will see the rads nurses every week and they will keep check of my burns etc.
2. The radiation section has had a large extension added, with I think two new bays for radiation. The waiting areas inside have improved and there are more of them. Overall, the radiation section is looking really good.
3.So far, as soon as I have sat down to wait I have been called in. I've noticed that compared to last time, two years ago, that the place is almost deserted. Two years ago it was so busy there that you had to always sit near someone else. Now, the waiting room is empty bar 2 or 3 other people. That would be a good thing, a sign that less people in the area are needing radiation right now, only that I have also noticed that there are not nearly as many staff members as there once was. In fact I have only seen one or two machines operating and no more than 5 staff. Sadly, I think it's quite possible that the waiting lists will get longer because staff have been cut.
4. Now part of this is kind of funny. Two years ago I would go to reception , sit in the waiting room,and a nurse would come out and call my name. We would then go to my machine. Yesterday, the receptionist handed me one of those restaurant/club style beepers. The ones that go off when your meal is ready. I didn't know what it was for. When I asked the receptionist what it was for she told me to sit down and wait for it to beep then return it to her. I thought, how strange. As soon as I sat down it went off so I returned it to reception and asked her now what do I do. She said go through to my radiation bay.
I guess that there is another reason why there are less staff. They have been replaced by these beepers.