Carmel's blog - "I remember how the Nurse reassured me as I came round" In June 2016 I was diagnosed with cancer at the base of my tongue, I was told that I would have radical treatment and it would be very tough but I would get through it. I braced myself for the treatment plan of chemo and radiotherapy. In August 2016, I went into Mount Vernon hospital to begin chemotherapy, I was in there for five days but things took a very scary turn for the worse. I became very ill, I tried to cope thinking this is what happens with chemo, but then I couldn’t breathe properly and became very weak. I was told afterwards that my heart was only functioning at 15% and my organs were failing. The doctors decided to halt the chemo treatment and I was rushed to Harefield Hospital. I continued to deteriorate, my speech became slurred, my family and my partner were so worried about me. I was taken to the intensive care unit and was given hemofiltration to cleanse the blood of all the toxins going round my body. That night, I had the most awful hallucinations, which caused me to shout out constantly, I think back at how difficult it must have been for the staff and other patients but I didn’t know what I was doing, the hallucinations seemed to go on for hours but I got through it. I remember how the Nurse reassured me as I came round, I wouldn’t let her leave me as I felt so scared. In ICTU, there is a dedicated nurse per patient and they are so skilled at their jobs with very important roles and meticulous routines. Dr Sunny Kaul, was so positive and kind, giving me confidence that I would be fine and explaining the situation carefully to my family and partner. I found the experience of being in intensive care fascinating, just watching everything going on from my hospital bed, the staff were so calm and professional at all times. I continued to have tests and was told that I might have heart failure, which was devastating, considering I hadn’t even completed my treatment for cancer, but I was then taken for a heart scan and the next day, the doctors came in to tell me that my heart was returning to normal. I had a condition called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (broken heart syndrome) brought on by shock to the system of the chemo treatment. I was so relieved to be recovering and am so grateful that wonderful Harefield Hospital saved my life, It is a very special place and always in my heart. I went on to have radiotherapy treatment and now two years later I am clear of cancer and living a normal life again and am happily getting married next year. Thank you so much.