Ok. I admit it. I am feeling a bit fed up with everything at the moment. Maybe it is just the time of the year, with the nights drawing in and the short days. More likely it is because I am getting stressed about my pre-operation assessment on Thursday. Over the years I have been ignored by a series of doctors and I am worried that this is going to happen again and I will have to wait until February for the operation to replace my left hip.
The nurse I saw at the chemo clinic last week admitted that I have been going on about this since February. The trouble is that doctors no longer think of their patients as an entire being; it is all about 'their' bit. Chemo clinic is all about cancer, so that is all they are interested in, but they told me that as they are not trying to cure my cancer that the treatment I will be given will be all about Quality of Life. But when you tell them about things that are affecting your Q of L, and which shows up on CT and bone scans, they show no interest. Surely Quality of Life is about my whole being, and not just the cancer. I was born with a slightly deformed left hip which has developed osteoarthritis over the years, especially after 20 years working as a cleaner and using heavy buffing equipment. The aromatase inhibitors that I take to control my hormone positive cancer is not bone friendly and haven't helped, and I also had a fall just over a year ago and things have been going down hill since then. I have been telling the oncologists that I am having problems with my hip since February this year!
One thing that oncologists don't seem to realise is that we need to have hope. Hope is not about being cured, and it is not about having a long time to live. It is about the hope that the life that we do have left can have some quality and some meaning; that we can still be independent and contribute something to society. Why is this so much to ask? If we can find this hope then we can survive longer and better; we can be inspired and empowered to help ourselves and thereby save the NHS a lot of money and stop us having to go on to toxic treatments with a lot of side effects. Hope can cost nothing but give a great deal.