The Christie Hospital, in south Manchester, is where I am undergoing treatment right now. It might take more than two hours to get there from our Leamington home but the care I have received there so far has made the trip more than worth it. During my IL-2 treatment I relied on the brilliant nurses to keep me going both physically and mentally – and my consultant is a renowned professor who is at the top of his field.
The IL-2 treatment is also very expensive to administer so I was very grateful for the opportunity to have it. Not everyone in my situation is eligible and The Christie is one of only two hospitals in the UK to do it. I am now one of only a handful of people to be receiving Nivolumab – a very new immunotherapy drug. I have not yet experienced any side effects but it is too early to say whether it has been effective or not.
The hospital’s charity is therefore one that is very close to my heart. Click here to find out more.
The hospital featured in a BBC One documentary aired over three episodes in June. The Big C And Me followed people with cancer for a year to film their ups and downs. The Christie’s Oak Road Treatment Centre, which I visit every two weeks, was fitted with cameras and filmed conversations between patients and staff. Unfortunately I don’t think I featured in it! Although I did spot a couple of brilliant nurses who have cared for me in the past.
Episode Two actually included a young patient with a kidney tumour who received Proton Beam Therapy in America – a treatment that is coming to The Christie in 2018. The patient, Phoebe, is also writing a blog which is absolutely brilliant.
You can find it here: thefaultinourstereotypes.wordpress.com
The programme is still available on iPlayer, although will soon become unavailable. Check it out while you still can: bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b07f2gwd?suggid=b07f2gwd