“At Christmas, in 2020, I fell over after tripping up on a kerb and hurt my chest, so went to A&E. Initially, the doctors couldn’t understand why I was in so much pain as they couldn’t see anything on my X-ray,” recalls Brenda Green, who is 75 and from Sudbury.
After being referred to West Suffolk Hospital, Brenda was then sent to the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge for a biopsy. “They discovered a tumour on my spine and a couple of rogue spots on my bones, along with stage 4 lung cancer.”
She was urgently given radiotherapy, but only had one course owing to a higher risk of paralysis due to the tumour on her spine. As soon as she had finished it, she started immunotherapy.
“I remember waiting for over two hours at the hospital to receive the treatment for the first time, and when the nurse saw me, she asked where I had come from. When I told her Bury St Edmunds, she asked me, “Well, would you like to go on the mobile unit?” It was an immediate yes!”
The following week, she started her treatment on the unit, just five minutes from her home, situated at Sudbury Health Centre.
Asked about her experience on it, she sums it up in one word: “Fantastic”.
“You’ve only got four patients on the unit, and the nurse, Ali, she’s brilliant. We all like to have a chat and it feels like we know each other really well. They’ll also say during treatment, “You’ve got 10 minutes left Brenda” so I know then to call my husband to come and collect me!”
“I’ve got two more treatments left on the unit. After then, I don’t know where we go from there, but the good news is my last scans are showing no signs of movement.”
She is adamant that everyone should have access to the service: “I’ll miss the unit, and I only hope more get to benefit from it like I have been able to.”