Tuesday 1st July
The alarm wakes us at 5am, time for a quick shower before heading out on the road to Exeter for my six month review.
First stop as usual is with the dermatologist at 9am. Having stripped off, he checks my body with his dermascope, looking for any moles that might have changed colour or grown since my last appointment. No, all is ok, no dodgy looking blobs here!
Moving on to the second hospital, about a mile down the road, I search out my trials nurse who takes my blood pressure, temperature and weight. She also extracts four vials of blood from my right arm, unfortunately rupturing my vein in the process! I didn’t realise until I looked down and saw the blood soaked swab in the crook of my elbow! Whoops.
I then have a CT scan booked, so make my way through the hospital corridors to that department. I have to wait, in the very unflattering hospital gown, for three quarters of an hour. Hmmmm, didn’t like anxious waiting. Feeling very vulnerable and scared. Anyway, when it was my turn, I was put completely at ease by two marvellous technicians. The whole process is not very comfortable, but I’m soon finished and ready to move on.
An Echo is next. I get undressed, ready to begin, only to be told I need to be seen by the technician who carried out the last test. She is in a different room. Across the corridor. I can’t be bothered to get dressed, only to get undressed again, so I wrap a sheet around me, and dash across the hallway into the designated room! It’s a fairly lengthy procedure, looking at the 3D functioning of my heart. Many images are taken and measurements recorded. I wait for the printed report, then move on.
An ECG is next on my list. This is really quick, simple and painless! Strip off, have little sticky pads attached all over, about ten seconds later the data is printed off, and I’m out of there!
A visit to the Eye Department follows, and I do not have to wait too long. A quick sight test, reading those letters from a poster! Then the stinging eye drops are put into each eye whilst the ophthalmologist checks my retinas. I leave the room crying toxic yellow tears, dabbing my cheeks with a tissue!
We then have time for a quick bite to eat for lunch before heading off to the Oncology Department to meet with consultant. After a short wait it’s time to strip off again for a quick feel!!! Foot, leg, groin, pelvis, abdomen, neck, back. All is good. No lumps or bumps here. Thank goodness.
The final trip of the day us to the pharmacy to collect my issue of a month’s worth of drugs ~ Dabrafenib and Trametinib ~ the Combi Ad trial tablets ~ or maybe they are a placebo.
Whatever; I’m under such close scrutiny with an awesome team, whichever arm of the trial I’ve been placed, I know I have been getting the most amazing care.
We arrive home over twelve hours later, tired, but glad the day is over.