Patients have to face lies… such as “your GP will look after you now”. Believe this – and you will believe anything. Yes, there must be some doctors who genuinely care for their cancer survivor patients, take to heart the advice that they must supervise our after-care, but their patients are probably lucky enough not to have long-term side effects from their treatment. But if you are one of the half-a-million suffering from major problems after taking Tamoxifen, or one of those on any other cancer drugs that haven’t yet been investigated, and you are on your own. After a rushed appointment trying to explain medical problems caused by drugs to a dis-interested GP, she smiled at me, as if to excuse her lack of concern, saying “you know much more about cancer than I do”. Considering one in three of the population is expected to have or get cancer, i find this frightening.

Papers condemn our treatment

Media currently has scary stories, ranging from the average poor diagnosis we can expect if we are concerned that cancer has returned, to the headline in the Daily Mail that we are ‘failed by insensitive NHS doctors’. This comes from latest report from Breast Cancer Care. And it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to find one of the elusive specialist nurses that are, according to the Dept. Health, to be tasked with looking after us once we are discharged from hospital. In my own case it took three years of demanding, before I was given the name of ‘my’ CNS. One appointment with her, and that was the last I saw of her. More fuss, and I am told I have another CNS – but “she isn’t in post yet”. Six months later I have one very positive appointment, then yet again she leaves. And I have given up. I feel that I am making them leave – what’s wrong with mr ?!!

We are Alone

This treatment makes us feel very alone ; we long for the after-care that every Health Minister says is our right – maybe with an election coming up, we could ask prospective MPs “What are YOU doing about long-term after cancer care ?” That would put them on the spot !