91: The importance of family, friends and Facebook

Today I’m writing these blog entries sitting at my mum’s dining room table.  This is in the sitting room of their flat.  The blue chair is currently at my house, the sofa has been swung round 90 degrees to accommodate the hospital bed that dad is lying in.  The bed arrived last Friday and dad was hugely relieved to have it assembled in their flat.  He wants to die at home surrounded by all his things.

We had been told before his discharge that he could expect a good week to ten days, reasonable quality of life and then the decline would be significant.  Knowing this it was action stations to get everyone home.  I’d given updates about ward life via Facebook and on Monday 30th September the great escape from Derriford happened.  Below are some of the FB entries.

26th September :In Meldon Ward with Sandy Macleod…my goodness these SRN, HCA and support girls are cheery and hardworking. Sandbag has had porridge , banana, tea and banana milk for breakfast, been in the shower with Gemma (not sure what Sheena will make of this) and waiting to see Dr Nick from Ireland. The escape plan using sheets has been dismissed as we are on the 10th floor.

27th September: My bed making on Meldon Ward is not up to scratch but my tidying is … Sandy Macleod has had a shower, shave, porridge and toast…so far we have read the “The Shed” and resisted getting an elastic band to ping sweeties into the open mouth of the poor old boy in the bed opposite.

27th September: So I may have exaggerated a little by saying Sandy Macleod won the Falklands ALL by himself. Sadly Dad’s most recent battle is not going to have such a positive outcome so if you need to be in touch with him I would do so sooner rather than later. Life is precious, to be loved and to know you are loved is a wonderful thing. If you are one of his chums then Bob Blair is a good chap to contact or message me for further information.

28th September: Life on Meldon Ward with Sandy Macleod, we have had a laugh …during the drugs he told the nurse his name was Charlie Brown, he asked for 20 cigars, 2 beers and a bottle of whiskey! There is a shortage of pillows and chloroform (his words) I think he means for the other old buggers on the ward. Poor Renata, Lyndsey and Vicky…working with him but they are having a laugh too.
The air ambulance arrived about 8am but the guards were on duty and it was a bit difficult to use it as a means of escape.

30th September: More Meldon Ward adventures, Sandy Macleod is in his escape clothes, we have been laughing about the Derriford Express…first stop Weston Mill. Dr Nick has been, he can rest easy as the “boys have been called off”. Lots of banter with the girls this morning. Waiting to see the discharge and palliative care nurses for the next part of the escape. We think they cause a diversion and we leg it. Home today one way or another.

Dad did get home on that Monday afternoon and was so relieved to be home.  My brother and wife were on their way down from Yorkshire and Marcus, my eldest son was on his way home to Plymouth from Seattle.  Miles was coming down from Cheltenham, along with my Godmother, Yvonne and Rob.  We were determined to make the most of the quality time and we did.


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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