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"The stress of waiting for my cancer operation"

About: Good Hope Hospital

(as the patient),

I was admitted to Good Hope Hospital on 21st January as an emergency patient. I was a patient for two weeks where I was diagnosed as having cancer of my right kidney. After being discharged after two weeks I was advised that I would be re admitted for an operation to remove my kidney.

After waiting patiently for an appointment to come through I contacted my consultant for a date. He arranged for me to see one of his aides at the hospital to discuss the diagnosis and also, as it was cancer, if I have any worries or questions about the operation or the after treatment I was also advised that at the same meeting I would be given the date of my operation, which I was.

It is now 26th February and week before I am due to be admitted into hospital for my operation and to date I have still not received written confirmation or indeed an appointment for a pre operative assessment.

I have called three times today to both the consultant’s secretary and also the admissions department for confirmation that the operation will still be going ahead. The first phone call was at 9am where I was advised someone would contact me ‘later’ with the confirmation. Hadn’t heard by 1 pm called again was told someone would contact me before the end of the day with confirmation. 4.30pm still no call back so I called again to be told ‘ the clinic is so full they are unable to confirm and some one will call back tomorrow if confirmed’. I find this unacceptable.

I am a mother of 3 children and the amount of stress this is putting on my husband and my children as well as myself is more than you can imagine. Are all cancer patients treated this way? Is life so cheap that you leave patients who may have a chance of survival so long until the cancer has spread to other organs that their illness then becomes terminal?

It is now 6 weeks since I was diagnosed with cancer I still do not know if the cancer has spread or what my chances of survival are. I now have the same pain in my left side. Perhaps I have the disease in my other kidney. If they are both removed I’m sure the cost for dialysis will be more of a burden on the national health service. I can only imagine what the cost would be to my family.

I can understand why people suffer depression once cancer is diagnosed. As well as living with the fact that your life could end you also have to deal with the bureaucracy of who is more important in the eyes of “management “ within the NHS. I have contacted the hospital over the past two days again to confirm if i will be admitted into hospital and I still haven't received confirmation.

I am very emotional as most people would understand but I find it extremely distressing and patronising when i am told by admission managers to ‘keep calm and try not to worry we are doing our best’. All I can say is it isn't happening to these people. Perhaps they would like to be in my shoes for half a day?

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