Hi I'm quite newly diagnosed, with invasive SCC under my tongue, involving my neck lymph. I live a couple of hours away from my treating hospital RBWH. I am concerned for my family and the disruption to their lives.. and mine, but don't want this thing to be all consuming (I'm probably dreaming on that score). I am booked for 4th May for surgery. I'm to have radiation and probably chemo, but unsure on the latter. i am very concerned about where to stay closr to hospital and appointments, i know nothing about parking, buses and trains in the area, it is doing my head in... any one know Brisbane hospital precinct? And just some general advice, i don't really know where to start or if I've done enough...
Hey, I'm sorry this reply is a month late - but if you're still checking here ...
The P16 cancers are very responsive to radiation .. your survival rate increases by 20% above the natural data for your type of cancer .. but the radiation is tough. I had 35 weeks, and at the end, my neck was so stiff I couldnt turn it .. I could no longer drive. The burns were quite sore and had to have a dressing reapplied daily.
For Brisbane (assuming your treatment is at the RBWH), my advice on parking - don't pay for it, I have three tips:
1) if it's a long or overnight appointment, drive along Herston Road, just past the hospital .. you'll see on that street there are constant marked parking spaces .. BUT .. just down the hill past the golf course on the right hand side (driving away from the hospital) you'll see a stretch of road where it's unlimited street parking. It's little known and most people don't use it (assuming with all the marked parking around that it's unlawful, I guess) .. but they're actually completely legit spots to park .. there's a row of street long enough for maybe 10 cars .. and I *never* had a problem finding a park there .. and it's just a short walk up the hill to the hospital.
2) If your parking is for more than 2 hours but not overnight, just before the above-mentioned spaces is a golf course. Before you enter the course, immediately after turning onto the access road, is an open grassy area where you will see that staff park their cars. You can park there too .. they don't really monitor it or care .. but if you get a notice on your windshield, someone's onto you, so refrain from that point forward.
3) If you just have a radiation appointment, there are HEAPS of 2 hour free parking places in the suburban housing immediately west of & behind the hospital. If you're coming along Herston Road, you just turn right and go up the hill between the hospital & the university and you'll see a bunch of back streets with free parking for up to 2 hours. You can theoretically park much longer, they seldom check & enforce the area but be aware you could get a ticket.
If you take those tips, you could then find a place almost anywhere in Brisbane. There are places that have room & board near the hospital .. a lot of student population, so it's either students or sickies who utilise it .. but no doubt it's quite expensive to stay there over a typical 35 rad treatments (7 weeks). I'd look for a short-term rental somewhere further north, a little bit out of the city, and drive or commute every day.
(If you choose to commute, ignore the parking tips and just make sure the place is on a bus line. Trains .. the nearest stop to the RBWH is Fortitude Valley .. its about 5 minutes walk from the hospital .. but some days you might not feel up for the walk).
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