Sunday, September 06, 2009


This is  rather sad.  The other day I met a young woman I have known sometime, to say 'hello' to.  We stopped for a rare chat.  Her hair was wispy and very thin. There was enough to still create head cover. She was dark around the eyes, the expression in them was weariness and anger.  I commented she appeared to be recovering from a cold.

"Yes......I am also being treated for colonic cancer, it's come back for the second time in twelve months.  It was never really fully treated the first time".

The poor woman comes from a family with who have all recovered from different cancers.  She felt she has drawn the short straw.  Not surprising really, as following her first round of therapy, it was assumed she had been cured, rather than been fully checked and given an accurate clean bill of health.  Sheer accident had taken her to the GP who had got her checked out immediately.  The second cancer growth was discovered.  There appears to have been a trail of poor communication with an oncology registrar, who also seemed to be talking of her 'last rites'.  Back with the GP, the registrar's notes were brought up on computer. An immediate referral was made to the senior consultant oncologist who now has this patient under his care.  There is no doubt she is fighting to live and is letting the oncology department know it.

Various thoughts went through my mind, I kept them to myself.  I am sure, this lady would be thinking about all the possibilities anyway.  She has certainly been checking up on treatments.  Sadly, she is in a state now, where she does not feel confident in seeking further practical or medical advice from support agencies.  It is clear she feels her trust in those who could help most has been betrayed, and she has not got the physical or mental energy to try to communicate endlessly by herself with other organisations to obtain practical help.

Perhaps getting her frustration out in the open may have been useful....I do hope so.


TG said...

Stories like this make me think... Although I think doctors should do their work as good as possible, there only so much they can do... I wonder why some people get cance... Why? Why? It doesn't make sense... Whenever I hear about something like this, my problems seem to become tiny and insignificant.

ZACL said...

Yes...I know what you mean MKL. This person also has a teenage daughter.

One thing the lady did say to me was, that she could have been given twelve chemotherapy treatments intravenously, for some reason, she was given six. She tolerated her first treatments very well. Perhaps her blood tests registered good progress, who knows? I am surprised that she was not given regular follow-up appointments after the first round of treatment. That is the usual procedure, I believe.

As I have not been with her through her treatments and experiences, it is hard for me to fully analyse what is happening apart from what I could see and the fact that there has been a relapse so soon after a 'successful' treatment programme.

adamantixx said...

that's a very sad tale indeed on several makes me feel like counting my blessings and stop moaning so much.

ZACL said...

It brings up all sorts of feelings, when you encounter a situation such as this.

MKL said...

It's probably a topic where less said is more.

ZACL said...


Enigmatic, but could be true in this case. I would not concur with this thought, more generally.