Margaret has just completed her six weeks of radiotherapy. In that time, due to Coronavirus, circumstances around her changed drastically. Here she explains how these changes impacted on her experience in the hospital and her journey there.
Yes I did it!! 30 sessions of stereotactic radiotherapy completed on Monday. I coped much better than I had anticipated. Hair loss (localised) kicked in at week 4 and is continuing and fatigue at week 5, also continues. My biggest fear had been a reoccurrence of seizures but fortunately this has not happened.
How the world has changed in the past six weeks. Less traffic on the road meant that our journey to Oxford from MK was reduced by 10 minutes each way. Steadily increasing infection control measures saw the main entrance at The Churchill go from a busy thoroughfare with shops, cafe and a waiting area where a grand piano was often being played to a ghost area. After week two only those having treatment were allowed in the hospital. Drivers and carers to stay in their cars. Tables and chairs removed from the cafe, seating areas in corridors taped off, checkpoints and screening areas introduced. Supervised hand sanitising, a Perspex screen put up at radiotherapy reception and areas marked on the floor behind which you had to stand when checking in. Self check in was halted. All magazines removed and all jigsaws packed away on the shelf with a laminated sheet requesting you do not touch until further notice and finally all staff wearing PPE. There was constant wiping down of surfaces, handrails, floors and cloakrooms.
I shall now rest up as instructed and let the radiotherapy continue to do its battle inside my head over the next few weeks and emerge victorious in May. I now sport an unusual hairstyle, only visible when the wind blows, have a new friend and I am slowly getting used to wearing hats!!!!Throughout the whole experience the team remained calm, efficient, kind, considerate and supportive. I shall miss seeing them daily and cannot thank them enough for guiding me through this strange experience at this difficult time.