Friday, 23 January 2009

35. Friday blip out - thats blip not blimp!

Definately not a blimp out on my favourite foodstuffs - just a mental meltdown. It went all quiet on here for a wee while - been either busy, feeling ill or crying in the past 5 days. Hard work but a lot has happened.

Friday - emotion overload!! Tears, tears and more tears and talking for hours on end. First I spoke to the genetics counsellor after a merry-go-round of calls and getting lost in the new automated voice recognition answering service at Derriford Hospital - OMG!

NHS thingy "Say the name of the person or department you would like to speak to"

Me "Genetics Department"

NHS thingy "I heard 'Gavin Hartmen' - is that right?"

Me "No"

NHS thingy "Say the name of the person or department you would like to speak to"

Me "Genetics Department"

NHS thingy "I heard 'Gavin Hartmen' - is that right?"

Me "No you dumbass - operator"

NHS thingy "sorry, I did not understand, please repeat"

Me "That's because you are a machine goddamn it!!"

NHS thingy "sorry, I did not understand, please repeat or say Operator to be put through to the Operator"

Me "Operator"

Operator "Derriford Switchboard"

Me "Genetics Department please."

Genetics Department "This mailbox is full. Please try later."

Great!! A little internet research reveals that the genetics department number is wrong - even switchboard don't know it! Rubbish!! If I was a time waster I could have some mindless fun just screwing up the automation system for a laugh..

Me "Deafasa Post"

NHS thingy "I heard 'Deaf as a Post' is that right?"

Me "Yes you dumbass!!"


I did finally speak to my genetics counsellor after speaking to the rudest woman at the MacMillan centre. I was just looking for information about MRIs and explained that I couldn't get hold of Genetics. I tried to explain to her that I just wanted to speak to someone because I didn't know who I should be speaking to. She repeatedly talked over me, non-stop and prevented me from explaining. I reluctantly bit my tongue and got of the phone by basically saying "W H A T E V E R !!" in a polite way, "Yep. Okay. Thanks (for nothing)." Honestly, she was crap! Definately in the wrong line of work. Good job I'm not phoning for emotional support about a dying family member about cancer, but then she wouldn't have known that would she..she didn't let me explain WHAT I was looking for!! Trout!

Upon finally having a sensible conversation with the genetics counsellor I covered a few questions that I had about my upcoming surgery and MRIs.

Q. Will I have an MRI scan before I have my surgery or after? Apparently neither!! I am due for my annual mammogram in the next month or so and I explained that I am feeling anxious that I am not having one. I also explained that if I am having major surgery, would it not make sense to screen me before the surgery in case they find that I am already harbouring breast cancer? She agreed but said that it probably wasn't scheduled and that there is no MRI screening options for breasts at present, although they are fighting to get this for at least people like me. She is going to write to the head radiographer and ask as I am particularly anxious and would like a clean bill of health in the breast department.

When stories like this are posted - its no wonder I am questioning. The news seems to be tracking my life story at the moment! Damn it!

Q. This link connects to my next question - is there MRI screening for my mother - aged 55 who has BRCA1 (obviously) and is not having preventative breast surgery? I explained that my mum currently,although positive for BRCA1, had no screening programme other than mammogram once every 3 years and never spoken to anyone from the NHS about her gene mutation since finding out. On enquiring (after our chats) she had been told that she was too old (over 50) and that MRI breast screening had no funding so wasn't an option! This means mammogram only and the link above shows the catch 22 situation faced by BRCA+ women.

The genetics counsellor nurse is always calm - she is lovely, softly spoken and sure of her words. I felt better for venting my frustrations. She was very worried that my mother appears to have been left out of the BRCA care regime (if there is such a thing!) and we discussed the need for a standard information pack or phone numbers - although everyone is different, everyone needs to look at all the options - not some of them. It is this that has caused me to stall, go back ten paces, go forward again.

So it is all in hand - she is finding out about everything - my mum's care routine, MRI screening and arranging a date for my next counsel meeting with her to discuss embryo freezing/screening.

I cried a lot more that day - about other worries, out came the past box in my head and my heart and a lot of talking with hubby commenced that evening on our way to stay with friends in Southampton. I can only say that I looked less than appealing and more like a frog than my usual self upon arrival. I explained, just in case they thought I had come down with some awful lurgy or had a pepper spray incident with the police on the way there!!

The rest of the weekend was great - social, fun and then I felt ill..and then better and now back to normal. Back on track - I think!

Time to go and get some milk - before Chris gets back. It will be cuppa and hug time!



Chris said...

It's always cuppa and hug time for you sweetheart X

Anonymous said...

Aw isn't he lovely. I'd like a Chris of my own. So pleased to hear that you are feeling a bit more with it hun. Karen x x x

Shari said...

Hey! Got your note on my blog. MRI seems to be the norm here for BRCA surveillance. I had one last April and they insisted on doing another one before my mastectomy. I didn't want it, but the breast surgeon insisted. I hate them so hopefully that was my last one...ever! I think MRI should be protocol. Mammograms are useless for so many women, especially those like me with dense breasts.

Hope you're doing well. You're in my thoughts.