Interview 34

Age at interview: 67
Age at diagnosis: 64
Brief Outline: Diagnosed with colorectal cancer 1998, under went surgery.

More about me...


Being classed as self-employed left him financially vulnerable.

The only financial difficulties we, we went through was when I actually had the operation because we're supposed to be called self-employed in, in the job we was doing. Although you're not self-employed really you know, they tell you what to do all the time, you're not self-employed.

They paid my wages, full wages for the few weeks, three weeks I think it was and then they cut me, wages down. And then I had pressure put on me to go back to work. And I just told them that, "I can't come back to work until my doctor says I can go back to work". 

So they stopped my wages completely and I finished up on Social Benefit like you know. I did not you know, I thought it was a bit much of the company doing that to me because we worked, I worked as a manager for 'em thirteen years and never had a day off before I had the operation.

And they wouldn't give you any sick cover beyond the three weeks?

No. No, because they told me you should cover yourself because you're classed as self-employed.

But I mean if, you know to me self-employment is your own gaffer and all this sort of thing, which you're not, you work for a company and they tell you exactly what you do and what you don't do.

But all it is, is to just relieve them of anything that crops along like you know. That's, that's the only, we had that difficulty, we had to struggle a bit, it's a good job I'd got a bit of savings to fall back on, but I wasn't helped by them like, you know.


His GP was indifferent to his needs after treatment for cancer so he changed to another, much...

But I had to see me doctor, I think it was every fortnight to sign on like, and from the time I went to see my doctor he never examined me, done anything, all he done was just write prescriptions out and give me tablets like, you know.

He never once got out of his chair to examine me or nothing, to even look at me scar or nothing. In fact it got to the stage, before I left him, it got to the stage where he was saying "Oh you can go back to work soon" and I hadn't been, this was about a month along the line, this was.

And in newsagents you're picking up heavy weight, you know papers stacked together, you're picking up weights all the time, and I thought, this is not on, I can't do this like you know.

So the following day I went and changed my doctor and he was completely different. He, every time I've seen him he examines me, he asks questions about different things. When I'd been, you know  through other illnesses that have come up, he's always asked me, referred to me what's its, reports on me cards.

And it's got to the stage now where I, instead of going to the hospital for water and blood tests now, they've asked me to see me doctor and he does it for me which you know, which, which, they said "Have you got any," you know "what's it's against your doctor?" I said "Me doctor's alright," I said "I can trust my doctor a hundred per cent" like you know. And they said "Do you mind him doing all these blood and water tests?" I says "No."

We went away on holiday last year and I was a bit worried going abroad for the first time like you know, and I asked advice off my doctor then and he gave me a thorough examination before I went away.

He said "There's no problem at all," he said "you go away and enjoy yourself." And, and that's, that's really all you want, you know, is somebody who's examined you, you feel a lot better you know, instead of somebody just sitting there writing things out for you, because you're just wasting your time really I think you know, if you do that.

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