"hottest day of the century not ideal for surgery..."
About: The Royal Marsden Hospital (London) The Royal Marsden Hospital (London) London SW3 6JJ
Posted by Carolyn Harlow
Although the hottest day of the century may not have been ideal for surgery or recovery the staff at the Royal Marsden in Chelsea were as un-flustered as humanly possible. Waiting for surgery is a bit nerve wracking but it was clear, despite the heat, this was just another 'normal' day. I was processed, along with about 15 others, in a clean and tidy preparation area and despite having to wait a further two and a half hours on my own there was sufficient activity to reassure me things were progressing. I was seen by the anaesthetist, the surgeon, a nurse, given my theatre attire, dispatched to nuclear for my radioactive injection, tagged and logged and eventually taken to the 'knock out' area to be sedated. I woke up to a cheery "your surgery is done and it's all gone well" and was nursed back to full consciousness with sips of water and offers of more pain relief. The ward was definitely in need of air conditioning but once we'd agreed the mobile unit wasn't working, the nurse turned it off and went to fix things and returned within 5 mins with jugs of ice and fans. As ever, it's about how problems are solved and this 'fix' worked for me. The post surgery ward is not designed for a good nights sleep, it's to make sure you survive, it's a constant round of checks and a cacophony of bleeps and assorted alarms at regular intervals, but if you need an extra 5 mins snooze, that's allowed. I'm battered and bruised but extremely grateful to the staff at the Royal Marsden Chelsea. The food is pretty good too. With hindsight, I would have opted to have all my diagnostics done in the Rapid Diagnostics and Assessment Unit, as soon as it was evident I needed a biopsy. Breast cancer affects a lot of women, but each in a unique way, I think the staff at the Royal Marsden are extremely sensitive to this and will encourage you to participate in your diagnosis and treatment plan if you choose to engage in this very complex set of topics in a short space of time, or simply look after you, if you don't. I don't want any other women to have this diagnosis but if you do, I can recommend this as the place to be.