"my mothers battle with bowel cancer"

About: Worcestershire Royal Hospital / Colorectal surgery

(as a relative),

mum was a fit outgoing beautiful funny, irish lady of 70 years. she had no symptoms until being diagnosed with bowel cancer in march 2012. she was given keyhole surgery 1 week later. she had no stoma and seemed to recover fine, the surgeon said the surgery went very well. 2 days later she was in a great amount of pain, and was being sick. she was taken for surgery where they had to open her up completely and clean her out, she had developed peritonitus, and then sepsis from the surgery. she was in surgery 7 hours. the registrar said it was the worst case he had ever seen, even with faeces in her body cavity. we were there all night, the surgeon said it was caused by either the stitches coming undone on her bowel or she could have been punctured during the original surgery.

we were told she would die that night, it was devastating for us, she was put into a coma, and was on life support for 3 weeks! !

she came out of this, she was given a stoma to save her life in the second op she had, it was inverted, and the bags just kept flying off, and she would be covered. she came out of intensive critical care and was transferred to h d unit. she was then transferred to stepping stones for rehab, as she couldn't move when she came out of the coma, she couldn't even scratch her nose. she had lost over 5 stones in weight.

however, she learned to walk again. went back up to 9 stone and was totally independent again after fighting this terrible battle with sepsis.

when we saw the surgeon again, mum told them that they had taken her life away from her, the surgeon said they were very sorry! !

after 5 months in hospital in sept 2012, she began having pain. the surgeon assured her it was only scar tissue, and said she was too weak for chemotherapy after the sepsis anyway.

she had a scan on her liver with a different doctor, in the September, for a different reason, and was told she had cancer. we went to see mums gp, who got the scan results up and said yes you still have cancer, go enjoy what time you have left, this was a terrible bow to us.

the gp made us an appointment with the surgeon, who again promised us that it was not the cancer, but scar tissue, I asked if he was an oncologist as we want to see one, but the surgeon said there would have to be something untoward before an oncologist would see us anyway? ? ?

three weeks before Christmas 2012 mum had another scan, and told us sorry but there was cancer there and mum could see an oncologist in the jan 2013, but it would only be for palliative chemotherapy! ! !

I asked the surgeon why bring her through all that ordeal saving her from the sepsis, to let her die slowly like this, the reply was, its human nature to try and save! !

after Christmas in jan 2013 mum began chemo, I went with her every week until june, when the oncologist said she needed a rest from it. We were told it had worked and she only had a small growth left in her groin, it had gone in the liver and other areas, which they said was good news.

mum felt ok for a month or so, then the terrible pain started, I had to call an ambulance on at least 3 occasions, and explain to doctors, nurses, and ambulance drivers what she had been through. the put her on a trolley as a and e was so busy for at least 5 hours then onto a surgical ward.

The surgeon there did a scan and said it might be gall stones! ! she returned home again with strong pain relief, the gp asked our local hospice if they could see her for pain relief, which they did, but she was made to feel as if she was a hypochondriac, as the original surgeon said it was not the cancer! !

she was eventually taken in to the hospice in august 2013, to sort out pain relief.

while there one of their doctors asked for mums oncologist to see her. I took her from the hospice in a wheel chair as by now she was very weak.

we waited 4 hours in that waiting room. the oncologist was running late, and mum wasn't down to see one of the juniors! ! by the end of the 4 hours, the nurses had to move us into a private waiting area as mum was rolling around and crying in pain. this was torture to see.... as her medication had worn off. the nurse fetched mums oncologist who couldn't believe how ill she had become in just 2 months. The oncologist couldn't tell me if it was the cancer as there were no scans to compare it to. I said yes, she was in a and e 3 weeks before and the doctor there did a scan, he thought she had gall stones. thankfully I remembered that doctors name, the oncologist went to check on the computer and came back quite visibly shocked. The oncologist held mums hand and said im sorry, the tumours are now on your spine and groin and all around, all I can do for you now is radio therapy to try to get rid of the pain in your back. we took mum for the radio therapy. it did help with that pain in her back.

she died in October 2013. I feel we lost her twice, and my god didn't she suffer, I hope the n h s can learn from this awful story, because throughout everything she went through, my mum was always smiling, cheerful and wasn't afraid of dying, I will never get over her loss or her suffering

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