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Interview 10

Age at interview: 74
Age at diagnosis: 68
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with colorectal cancer 1995. Under went surgery and chemotherapy.

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Describes how she decided to have chemotherapy.

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I was given a choice and I even went to the, the abdominal surgeon and he was the one that said "Well Professor [name] likes to give chemotherapy after this, would you be prepared to have it?"

And I said "Well prepared to have it, this is a big question do I want to have it or not?" And he, he didn't really try to persuade me, I asked him what he would do (laughs) and that's a hard one, that's a hard one for any doctor.

And he did admit that he, he would and so I went on that and decided to do it. They couldn't tell me 100% that it would be successful or it would even be a better scenario than not doing it. It was a case of, you know, it's likely to be helpful.

A lot of people were, at that time saying that chemotherapy was not a necessary thing to do but he felt that it gave you a bigger, much bigger chance if you did have it, but then you had to go through all that problem of having it. So that was the only the only decision making thing, was it going to increase the chances of getting over this.

And the doctor that I saw thought, well, he couldn't say whether it was and he was very fair and said "Well I can't tell you that it's going to give you any more years really but there's a chance that it might be better to have the chemotherapy. So that's what I did.

 

She failed to receive prompt attention when her wound broke down after surgery.

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They got the house surgeon this first time early in the morning and he suggested to the sister that she pulled it together and bandage it up tightly. But the wound was, hadn't been stitched enough and it was bleeding very badly and so she said "Well I, that won't be enough, I'm going to put some butterfly sutures on."

Well during the day I realised that it was getting quite, I could feel it was all sloshing around and I kept saying "This is bleeding again," "Oh it'll be alright." There was only a staff nurse on all that afternoon and she kept padding it up when a little bit of blood seeped through she kept putting more padding on and I said "But I know it's bleeding." "No, no, no, it'll, no it'll be alright." I said "Well I don't think it is alright."

And then it got towards the time when she was going off duty and I said "Look can you get a house surgeon up to look at this because it is, I know it's bleeding."

So she put some more stuff round, she said "Well I'm certainly not going to take that dressing down tonight, I'm going off duty soon."

Then the night staff came on and by then there was a pool of blood in the bed again with big clots and I was really feeling wafty so I hailed the night sister, night nurse and I said what had happened that I was quite sure that my dressing was, needed something you know and my wound was bleeding.

And she looked in the bed and "Oh my goodness," and then all bells rang.

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