"Where would I be without Salford Royal"

About: Salford Royal Tameside and Glossop PCT / Community physiotherapy The Christie

(as the patient),

I had breast cancer in 2009, in January 2012 I hurt my back, at my breast cancer check up in February 2012 at my local hospital I was asked to have a bone scan to see the cause of my back pain. This was done late February, by this time I was off work sick as the pain was so severe, I was also seeing a physiotherapist, she would not treat me until she received the results from my bone scan. I phoned my breast specialist secretary, for my results, only to be told that I had some degeneration of the thoracic spine, my bloods were fine and there was no cancer.

I was also booked to have spinal x-rays at my local hospital which would have been done at the end of March, with this I went to see my doctor again for stronger pain relief, Doctor Metcalfe from the Smithy surgery Hollingworth who is my GP felt I needed to have a more urgent X-ray and organised this for the next evening.

The next day Doctor Metcalfe called at my home to say after attending a training seminar on pain management she felt that one of the scenarios applied to me, so she arranged an emergency MRI scan to be done at my local hospital, she also felt that I may be admitted after having my x-rays at my local hospital. I wasn't, so the next morning, I had a MRI scan. On the Friday, Doctor Metcalfe came to my house to explain to me the MRI scan showed I had two collapsed vertebra thoracic due to cancer of the spine, the collapsed vertebrae were pressing onto my spinal cord.

Doctor Metcalfe, after giving me reassurance, left to speak to my breast surgeon at my local hospital, she phoned me to explain he felt that I would be alright until Monday and to attend his clinic at 1pm. Doctor Metcalfe felt that not enough was being done and she spoke to my consultant at Salford Royal and also my oncologist from The Christie. She then phoned me to explain that they will review my MRI scan and I would be admitted to Salford Royal or the Christie the next day.

I was admitted to ward B8 at Salford Royal. As you can imagine, I was so distressed not only having cancer again, which I know is not curable, but to have been told I did not have cancer, telling my family and friends, then to have to tell them I did and what it had done to my back.

The staff on ward B8 were excellent, they were so professional, they listened to me and they gave me reassurance, the ward was so clean, the staff treated me as a individual with individual needs. I was clerked in by a orthopaedic surgeon called Neil who explained everything to my husband and I, he also reviewed the MRI scan to explain what had happened and to draw what he felt Mr Sadique would do, he gave me confidence, treated me with dignity at all times and listened to my worries and concerns. The next day I met Mr Sadique who had been in theatre when I was admitted, he was so kind, listening to me explaining that the problem was with the pressure on my spinal cord from the collapsed vertebrae that this could cause me to be paralysed from the thoracic down. He explained to me that I would be staying in hospital until after I had been to theatre and he explained to me he would have to secure my spine to stop me becoming paralysed by using two steel rods and pins and plates, and he explained to me he would like me to have a CT scan whilst in hospital to assess the cancer.

I had this done and Doctor Magee from The Christie at Salford Royal came the next day to explain to me that I had two spots of cancer on my spine and also a small spot on my left hip, when Mr Sadique had all the information I went to theatre.

Before theatre a nurse called Amanda came to see me to explain what will happen in theatre, she was so kind as I was so frightened, when I got to the orthopaedic theatre in the anaesthetics room everyone was so nice they explained to me what they were going to do and I felt more at ease.

I was in theatre seven hours, in recovery Kay looked after me not only making sure I was alright but also speaking to my husband to give him reassurance as he did not think I would be that long in theatre, she was so kind and gave me reassurance. I was with Kay two hours before being taken to a high dependency unit.

Once again the staff were excellent and later the following day I was taken to ward B3. Once again I can not thank the excellent staff on the ward, they were so kind nothing was to much trouble although they were all busy, the ward was so clean, I felt so at ease. After three days I was allowed home after going through physiotherapy assessments. The care I received was excellent I would have not been cared for any better if I was paying private in a private hospital. Thank you to all the excellent staff and surgeons at Salford Royal and also to my excellent Doctor Metcalfe for without her feeling I was not getting the correct treatment, speaking to Salford Royal and The Christie I could be paralysed today.

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