As I sit in hospital for the second time in nine months, I realise just how much hospitals are places you “love to hate”. By that I mean although they are offering the best care, your “life is on hold”. It is also a case of more of the same, each day you sit and you wait, doctors and nurses come and go.

As the nursing staff and doctors prepare our daughter for her second operation to remove more tumours, quite frankly we can’t wait to get back home. Alot has changed in the fifteen years since we were last in this very same hospital with our son Luke who was battling Neuroblastoma.

The wards are slowly being renovated, which to say is well overdue is a gross understatement. Back in 1997, we shared a bay which consisted of four beds plus each patient had a cupboard and a TV, parents had just a recliner chair to sleep in. The only privacy was a curtain, that could be pulled around the bed. There was just one bathroom shared between all patients, consisting of a shower and toilet. If you were really lucky you had a side room, which meant complete privacy.

Today, most wards now have more side rooms as well as bays that can consist of four beds or two. Until you really experience what it is like to spend time in these wards you really appreciate what you have at home.

It is also an expensive exercise, paying for car parking, buying food at the hospital cafeteria’s or nearby cafe’s. But being able to escape the confines of the hospital walls, to regain one’s sanity is also important.

We are lucky as we will only spend a limited amount of time in hospital this time round. But for those long term patients and families which spend countless days, weeks and even months, each day seems to blend into the next.