1. Nurses are wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Well, of course we all know that – but it probably takes seeing them working 12 hour shifts with a bunch of difficult customers to appreciate fully just how lovely they are.
2. More goes on in one day on an NHS ward than in a year’s worth of Eastenders. I met a great bunch of people and it was really helpful to talk to women with the same type of cancer. We laughed a lot!
3. Mind you, painkillers can do very odd things to people’s inhibitions. I’m sure most people wouldn’t usually treat a ward full of total strangers to a rendition of Let It Go from Frozen. On repeat.
4. If you’re staying at St Thomas’s, you won’t need to bring your watch…..
5. Everybody loves their own visitors. Everybody also grits their teeth at everyone else’s visitors.
6. If you’re going to start shouting, ‘nobody seems to appreciate that I’ve been through a terrible ordeal,’ it’s best not to do it on a cancer ward at 3am. Actually, we’ve all got that T-shirt.
7. Breakfast is by far the best meal. I haven’t had Ready Brek for 30 years but it was a revelation. Yum.
8. It’s rather amazing to be at the heart of a great British institution, and to see it running and working despite everything it’s been through. The NHS is the greatest survivor of us all.
9. There truly is nothing better than a nice cup of tea, brought to your bedside by someone with a sympathetic smile.
10. It’s good to be alive.