Care, like no other.
Having cancer can be an uncertain time, but with the support of our consultants, healthcare advisors and nurses you can feel reassured. Learn about John’s experience at The Royal Marsden Private Care.
At The Royal Marsden, you will have a dedicated team supporting you before, during and after your treatment, with follow up care including psychological support and rehabilitation. Having a consistent care team will give you continuity of care and the reassurance that they understand your individual needs.
In 2019, The Royal Marsden retained its ‘Outstanding’ rating as a Trust following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission. Inspectors commented on the collegiate and supportive culture, strong teamwork and the quality, kindness and compassion of care given to patients.
Our expert nurses are here to ensure you receive the best possible care and support throughout your journey.
As a private patient you will have your own Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) who will provide 24/7 support throughout your diagnosis and treatment. Our round the clock nursing means we can deliver better more effective care, when you need it most.
John first came to The Royal Marsden over 30 years ago after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1989. Initially treated in Sutton, John was one of the earliest patients to receive carboplatin, an important chemotherapy breakthrough developed by researchers from The Royal Marsden and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR).
“I have been a private patient since the start, a mixture of private through work and NHS. Even back when I was first diagnosed, I was given a lot of options by my healthcare team” John recalls. “I was treated for a year and then went on to quarterly check-ups, which eventually became annual visits to the hospital.”
In 2007, John - who is now 63 - noticed blood in his stool just after a trip to the USA. He went to his GP and was referred for further tests, which revealed he had advanced stage three colorectal cancer, which quickly became stage four. He’s been treated at The Royal Marsden in Chelsea since 2007.
“It’s scary having cancer. You want to know that the people caring for you have as much interest in you as a person and your clinical outcome as they do with getting the job done. For me, it’s important to have people I can talk to and continuity – I don’t want to turn up each time and meet somebody new. I want them to know me.
“I can honestly say that the nursing and care that you get at The Royal Marsden is second to none and, as a result, the atmosphere in my ward is surprisingly upbeat. If there’s a new patient, I notice the nurses often sit them next to someone like me who is further down the line with treatment,” John explains. “If I’m asked, I’m happy to tell them how long I’ve been here for and many are surprised. Perhaps it gives some people hope.”
John lives in Yorkshire with his wife and has a grown-up family. He travels to The Royal Marsden for treatment every two weeks.
Having been a patient at The Royal Marsden for over three decades, John has witnessed first-hand how improvements in cancer care, treatment and research have been pioneered at the hospital.
“When staff set me up on a CT scanner now, they’ll apologise if it takes a while,” John says. “It almost makes me laugh as, when I was first diagnosed, I remember having to drink a litre of water before each scan, which would then take nearly an hour. The technology has advanced so that treatment is faster and less unpleasant for patients.
“To date, I have had 114 cycles of chemotherapy, more than 20 operations including six lymph node removals, CyberKnife therapy twice, and a number of other procedures and rounds of radiotherapy,” John recalls. “I can’t really remember a life without cancer and, after being told my disease is incurable but treatable in 2013, I’m still around.
“I think it’s fair to say that The Royal Marsden has care like no other. You really do get the best staff here, from the nurses and consultants to all the other people that support and help you. They have a warmth about them.”