Choosing The Right Hospital

One of the worst things about being told you have cancer is the feeling of being out of control. There is this thing inside of you that you can do nothing about and ultimately your fate goes into the hands of somebody else. It's a kind of blind faith in doctors. Luckily, I do believe in them (move out the way, Tooth Fairy).

I'm trying to make a point here. What's currently going on with my insides is out of my control, but things on the outside are mine. Like being given the choice of three hospitals to undergo treatment. Finally, something that I can control.

My three choices were:

1) Whipps Cross Hospital
2) St Bartholomew's Hospital
3) University College Hospital

I'll try and summarise each hospital:

1) Whipps Cross Hospital
There was nothing wrong with Whipps Cross Hospital. It is local and convenient. The downside comes when you want something a little more specialised - you really should go to the metaphoric 'Tesco' of the medical world. I need to buy double cream for dessert, but the corner shop only sells single cream - Whipps Cross does the job, but it feels like a compromise choice. 

2) St Bartholomew's

Barts has an excellent reputation as being an active research leader and offering a wide variety of clinical trials. The problem? Chemotherapy is where I'm going to be spending a great deal of time. I didn't see a single face under 60. And all of the tvs were set to that awful Yesterday channel with back-to-back Antiques Roadshow marathons. No.

3) University College Hospital

Completely the opposite to St Barts, UCH has a dedicated 'teenagers and young adults' cancer building. Only the whole thing felt a little fake. You know, when adults try and reach out to the younger generation and it comes across wrong. Lisa may be dressed cool, but really you know she is a dork. It's the same principle. Either that, or I'm a really old 'young adult'. 

So my decision. It was a no-brainer. I picked University College Hospital. I decided that I would feel safer at a specialist hospital, effectively ruling out Whipps Cross. Next, I had the decision of being in a mature environment or a childish one. The childish one has wifi. I'm sold. It's not the deal breaker, but seriously, it's nicer to be around sick young people than sick old people.

The referral has been sent through and I expect a consultation with the specialists there in a week's time.

Joshua Lerner

Hi! I’m the 'star' of Livin' With Lymphoma. The blog was founded on the 31st October 2013, on the day I was diagnosed with Stage 4B Hodgkin's lymphoma. I hope you find it funny and informative.

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