We had a visit the other day from a counsellor attached to the local hospice. Alex was a very nice lady who asked Mrs C & me about our experiences so far and how our family was coping with all the stresses and strains. I have never had a counsellor visit before and after she asked me about support I found I couldn't stop tears from streaming as I talked about all the help and kind words we have had from all our friends. I guess in a way it was a bit of a release and I am glad that there is someone else out there for us.
Yesterday Mrs C and I went along to the Chemo suite at Mount Vernon hospital for a familiarisation. It was a very sobering experience.
First we went to the Lynda Jackson centre which is a volunteer-run care unit, with wicker chairs and mood music playing. Everybody was very nice but the initial cup of tea and quiet chat was quite disconcerting.
Next, we had a slideshow Q & A with a number of other cancer patients of various ages which was very informative, and helped me better understand some of the things that Mrs C is likely to go through and what we will need to watch out for when she is recovering.
Then after a quick tour of the hospital, including the airport style waiting area with bing-bong next patient plasma screens, we went to the Chemo suite which has just been extensively upgraded. It was pleasing to see that the place has been well equipped with comfortable reclining chairs for receiving the treatment and the overall atmosphere is one of calmness and relaxation.
It will be a long and difficult day on Monday but I think we are both reassured to learn that the kind and professional staff and comfortable, modern facilities will go a long way to making this awful process as effective as it can be.