Patient Stories

Robert Shaw shares his train journey story from earlier this year…

Cancer Type : Oral cancer

“On Wednesday 3rd August we went to see my consultant for results of my PDI markers to see what immunotherapy I could have. It was all good news, we left with option of core immunotherapy and additional drug trial which is great. It was a hot day and the last four weeks had been a complete emotional oscillation from my swollen lymph nodes could be infection from covid through to cancer with poor outcomes. When we got the results it was cancer this tipped my wife and I over the edge. However, with the support of clinical team at UCLH, friends and family we pulled ourselves together and by the 3rd of August kind of relieved that we knew what the next steps were and had good range of options with positive outcomes.

We went back to Euston station to get the 5:57 train back to Lancaster, this was cancelled and we got moved onto 6:30. The train was very busy, as in effect two trains in one, and to add to the endurance in three of the carriages the air conditioning didn’t work either … great ! We ended up moving into standard premium so we could at least get two seats together with some air conditioning. We found some seats, where opposite a lady was working on her laptop.

Whilst travelling back my friends and family were calling to see how we were got on at the hospital. I told them how it had gone and how relieved we were that we had next steps now and that I was being positive. I think the combination of a sense of relief after the last four weeks, and the heat my wife became upset. We cuddled together and said that we will be fine, what ever the side effects that I may encounter we will continue to build our lives together. As we pulled into Preston the lady sat opposite got her things together and we said good evening. Next thing we knew she was walking past us and she placed a bottle of water with a post it note on …. By the time we had read it she had left the train. The note you can see was a lovely heartfelt message from a complete stranger to my wife and I …. What a wonderful and kind thing to do”

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