So by mid July 2010 I had finished my treatment and was looking forward to getting "back to normal" and getting on with my life.
Only it didn't work out that way!
Since then, my health has failed to improve and in reality it has got much worse. Apart from suffering with long term side effects of the cancer treatment - cognitive and memory issues as well as fatigue from the chemo and bowel and bladder issues from the radiotherapy; I have also been diagnosed with an epi gastric hernia; an underactive thyroid and lymphedema in both legs.
Since mid 2010 I have been struggling to improve my health seemingly to no avail! On a visit to my GP a couple of days ago I was told that my health now is as good as its going to get!
Gee, thanks for that!
I have blogged before about the lack of information that I feel cancer patients are given prior to their treatment and this is an issue that is constantly mentioned by many of the women in the support group.
I know that I am one of a small minority and that the vast majority of cancer patients recover and manage to return to a life of relative normality but I still feel that I wasn't given the full picture about the possible long term side effects of my treatment.
In this day and age I think it's time that the relationship between patient and Doctor needs to change. We no longer live in that "them and us" era - where patients are not expected to question what their Doctors say. We have the internet and, if used properly, it allows us to research things and arms us with the ability to find out information and helps re dress the imbalance.
Most Doctors, Consultants etc. are nowadays used to being asked questions during appointments and
we, as patients need to be asking questions.
How can we give informed consent for something like an operation or chemotherapy treatment if we have not been fully informed about all the risks and side effects?
I for one, regret not being better self informed before I had my surgery and treatment. I was scared and frightened and it never crossed my mind to ask questions.
This is why WCSUK is trying to empowering women who are at the beginning of this journey by giving them information to enable them to ask questions of their medical team.
Only by being informed about everything can a women truly give her informed consent.
xx Kaz xx