In January 2020, Ian, who is 58, went to the doctor presenting symptoms which pointed to a suspected urinary tract infection. It ultimately turned out to be something more serious.
Ian explains: “The medication hadn’t worked, so subsequent results from a urine sample saw me referred to a urologist who ran some tests. It was apparent they’d found something abnormal, so I was referred back to the hospital for a biopsy. The results showed metastatic prostate cancer, which had spread to my lymph nodes and bones.
“Unfortunately, at that point it was inoperable, so they started me on chemo at the James Paget Hospital to keep me going. I had the first course in 2021, and the second course, Cabazitaxel (Jevtana®), last year.”
It was after around the sixth infusion of 10 that he found out about the Hope for Tomorrow mobile cancer care unit.
He continues: “What I find good about it is that it frees up space for more patients who really need hospital-based care and who aren’t perhaps quite as well. What’s better for me personally is it cuts out the waiting time and you get to be seen almost straight away. You can see that the hospital staff are under constant pressure so I had no complaints about my experience there, but at the same time, with the unit everything you need is in one place for you. They even welcome me with a cup of tea!”
Ian feels that his stress levels have reduced since, as the environment feels more relaxed: “Some days at the hospital I’d be waiting for around an hour which isn’t too bad, but I know other patients were sometimes waiting up to four hours, which takes out pretty much all of the day. Often, I’d also be waiting a while for a nurse to come and remove the intravenous line once the infusion had finished – this is due to the fact that they are just so stretched looking after everyone else. It’s almost impossible for this scenario to occur on the unit, as it’s more of a one-to-one. There’s always someone with you who will immediately ‘disconnect’ you after, as it were.
“I would definitely recommend the mobile unit. Even if your treatment time takes a while, it significantly reduces the waiting time.”