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Interview 30

Age at interview: 77
Age at diagnosis: 68
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with colorectal cancer 1992, under went surgery.

More about me...

 

Having to go into hospital at short notice left her needing someone else to collect her pension...

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And even when that phone call came and said I'd gotta go in that evening, but my main concern was that I wasn't ready! I, I hadn't sort of left things ready here or got things, not that I was scared so much about going in the hospital but I, I think it was because it was so quick and I felt oh God you know I'm not ready, and I won't be able to get my pension and pay my rent, and all silly things like that, you know.

So how did that get sorted out?

Well,  I could, that was on the Tuesday and my pension day's Thursday and I always pay my rent and my council tax then like and so I think it was on the Friday when my daughter came down and she brought my pension book and if you sign it on the back somebody else can get it for you. Only for a limited time like that can happen, so that is what I done, you know, the two weeks I was in there, I signed on the back and she got my pension so she was able to pay my rent and my council tax like, so that was my main concern because I don't like owing anybody any, I can't bear owing anybody anything.

 

She delayed taking up her GP's referral for further tests because she was frightened.

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Well it first started really when I just really felt tired and unwell really and I went to round my doctor's and he, he said well you know it, you may be sort of, run down and then I started getting diarrhoea.

And I couldn't go out until about lunch time because I'd go about four or five times during the morning and so I went to the doctor's I suppose about three, well three or four weeks and he said then, because he wanted me to go to a, to hospital and have tests, and he took a couple of blood tests they did, but I'm, I am really scared and I kept saying to him "Well give me another couple of weeks and it might sort of clear up".

Anyway I finally, well my daughter really kept, she said "Mum, I've had enough of this," she said "I'm coming next time and you're gonna go to the hospital and have tests if its," you know. So the blood tests come back and it was a little bit abnormal so, he said about, so she said "Yes, my mum is going" so he made the appointment for me to go.

 

She explains why she appreciated a nurse offering to hold her hand.

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I, I don't know whether I've been fortunate or what but I've found that they've all been very supportive and very well nice, kind, and not made you feel, I mean even the nurses when I used to go for my check-ups, they always had a nurse in there, except this time and, and nearly everyone of 'em have all said to me you know "Do you want me to hold your hand?" And I've always said "Yes" I ain't scared, you know, I said "Yes please" because I just like contact like that you know.

Hmm. That helps does it?

Yeah, I think really and truly this was the biggest thing I missed when you know, when my husband died that um, well you didn't have contact, or you didn't have anybody to sort of give you a hug, like not, I mean my daughter did, like little ones. But not like your husband sort of sitting and saying well you know "Well don't worry love, it'll be alright", you know, blah, blah, blah.

You just, so you had to really a lot of the time put on this front if you're that way. I mean I know some people can't do it because they just can't, it's not, they're not that sort of people and, but as I say it goes back to I can't bear people feeling sorry for me or pitying me.

No, but you found it helpful when the nurses would hold your hand?

Oh yes, and they was nice to you without being over the top you know.

 

She describes her endoscopy.

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Then I had to go and have the camera put down my throat, down there and it was after I had that done, because once again I was scared out of me life because I'd never had nothing like that you know.

So, the nurse there, you know, they was all lovely and she said um, "Do you want the," thing that sort of you know puts you out the way for a little while you know like the local anaesthetic, "or you can have a throat spray."

So I said "What would you have?" So she said um "Oh you know well I can't tell you really," she said "but I can tell you the difference. If you had the like little injection thing you've gotta stop in a couple of hours afterwards till it wears off. But if you have the throat spray, when it's finished you can go straight away." So I said "I'll have the throat spray." I thought well I can go then, you know.

Anyway, so I had the throat spray, I had that. Once again, didn't hurt but it was a funny sensation but it, it really, I mean they, they were so nice with it and they was explaining to me all the time you know and as long as I've got a tissue in my hands, like the doctor says like, "bite the bullet" with me, I must have, and...

What's the tissue for?

I just hold it.

You just hold the tissue?

Yeah, I can, they can do anything with me as long as I've got a tissue in my hand. I don't know why, I just, just something, I wouldn't mind even if it was somebody to hold, like I could hold their hand, I wouldn't mind that even, but I must have something.

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