28. The Old Rectory Ward

There were several differences between Lynher Ward at Derriford Hospital and The Old Rectory Ward in our home.  To get to the Old Rectory Ward you just came through the front door and walked up the stairs.  It was en suite, there was just the one bed, the food was prepared locally, the curtains were not going to be changed in the middle of the night, visitors were not encouraged to arrive at 7.30am and leave at 10pm…  the sole member of staff had no medical training (maybe an expired first aid certificate).

One of the major differences was the breakfast offer.  As you can see below protein was the order of the day with eggs, ham or smoked salmon on brown bread, spread with peanut butter, with extra seeds thrown on top.  Orange juice, coffee with almond or koko milk and plenty of water to drink.

It was all delicious and I was grateful that Nick made it all, brought it up on a tray and ensured I ate well.  Plenty of fluids too and plenty of rest.  I was strangely absolutely knackered – considering all I’d done for the past few days and nights was loll about on a hospital bed.  I was/am very grateful for the treatment at Derriford and relieved to be at home and in my own bed.

For all that I’d worked hard to be really fit physically for the skin sparing mastectomy I had no appreciation of just how hard surgery was on this body and slept many hours during those first few days at home.


Tip:  Be kind and appreciate the work the home ward staff have done – they have been worrying about you and like to be able to do practical things.   If you get the opportunity to rest – take it up.  



Author: fionaosmaston

I live in Plymouth, Devon with my husband Nick and near my parents Sandy and Sheena. Our three children, Marcus, Phoebe and Miles are grown up. I am a geographer and love teaching Geography. My current role is as an Assistant Vice Principal in an inner city comprehensive school where I lead on coaching and initial teacher training. In August 2017 I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma and following a skin sparing mastectomy and endrocrine/hormone treatment I am now awaiting a final reconstruction. These views are my own and writing this story has helped me come to terms with where I am in this interlude of life which has been dominated by breast cancer.

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