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Denise Parrott

I will go and have my treatment and tie it in with having my hair done afterwards, it makes it a nicer day

Denise Parrott, 49, who lives in Middle Rasen, is a lab technician at Lincoln County Hospital. She is also now a patient there.

“I live near Louth, which is where the unit is, and I often pop in for things like shopping and hair appointments. Take tomorrow for instance; I will go and have my treatment and tie it in with having my hair done afterwards, it makes it a nicer day.”

Denise was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 after discovering a rash on her breast. She underwent treatment at Lincoln, and has recently had a mastectomy. “I found out about the unit a year later in 2018, and it has made the experience a bit more pleasurable, rather than going up to the hospital, attempting to find a parking space and all that rigmarole.”

Her name was added to the list and before long, they had a vacancy for her to go to the unit. Even though the journey to hospital only takes her half an hour – roughly the same distance as it takes her to go to Louth – it is easier for her to go to the unit as “the parking at Lincoln Hospital can be a bit of a nightmare.” It means too she is making the same journey less often, as the site’s Histology Department is also her place of work.

“At the hospital you’re invariably waiting longer for your appointment whereas as on the unit, I go straight in. The staff work so hard at the hospital and they’re under a lot of pressure to see so many patients. The whole process takes around a couple of hours from start to finish. It’s not so much the treatment itself that takes so long, it’s the waiting beforehand and afterwards. I’m often waiting for someone to come and remove the intravenous drip when the treatment’s finished but that’s no fault of the staff. Whereas on the unit, there’s only a very limited number of people on there at any one time and I just seem to be on and off very quickly.”

Her treatment on the unit consists of an infusion of Herceptin and Pertuzumab every three weeks, a process which takes 40 minutes in total, allowing for 15 minutes’ rest after the infusion to ensure no adverse reactions. As she often combines the trip with some shopping, she has noticed this has helped her pocket too, as it “helps keep the cost of fuel down.”


She also cites the experience on the unit as being good for her wellbeing, as she finds the environment less clinical and more relaxed than the hospital.

Mentally it benefits you as it is much nicer and more personal
“I would imagine there are some people who have to travel miles and miles for their treatment, a lot further than I do, and if they had access to the unit I think the experience would be more pleasurable, if that’s the right word. It makes you feel more normal, more human; it’s just part of my day, rather than me wondering, ‘how long am I going to be sat in the hospital today?’ I found it very draining going to hospital with all the machines beeping constantly. Now going to the unit is fab; the best thing I did was to start going on it.”

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