I am Rosie Young, retired nurse and Cancer Champ for Oxfordshire Advocacy and I have blogged before about my experiences as a patient living with lung cancer.
I just want to share the shock I felt when the consultant phoned to say my Ablation had been cancelled. It was almost like a mega bereavement process, having been so ‘psyched up’ for this operation. I felt cheated in an odd way. In April there was the shock of the cancer coming back and then the long wait for the first operation date finally set in late June which was then postponed due to lack of hospital beds. And then the wait for a new date in August. And now the second cancellation and another 3 month wait as it seems that the area they were worried about in my lung has shrunk, my next scan will be in late October.
It’s a very strange emotional upheaval to go through. Everybody is incredibly happy that the possible tumour has shrunk and can’t understand why I am not over the moon. I have had to pretend that I am happy too. I have been feeling so guilty and conflicted, not wanting to burst the bubble, even with my advocate Linda. I didn’t expect to feel like that.
I guess I’d like every advocate out there to be really aware of the emotional roller coaster a patient goes through when there is a cancellation of an operation or change to planned treatment. When this happens you feel like you’ve lost control cos you can’t do anything practical to help yourself. Really listen carefully and do not make any assumptions or have expectations when this happens.
It seems to me from all the research I have done that no one has really got to grips with the psychological impact of cancer both on you and others around you who are in some ways more frightened than you.
Rosie Young, 26.08.15