A tale of two mothers with cancer.

There are two things to observe in this story; the first is that both mothers home educate and will continue to do so  come hell and high water and the second is to compare the care these ladies have had/are having.

K is a mother of two and just over 3 years ago was diagnosed with breast cancer. She found the lump and waited a few weeks for the scan. Once they found the cancer the hospital staff got going. She had a mastectomy and chemo. During the time of post surgery and chemo her parents were there to look after the children as her husband couldn’t take much time off being self employed. The education the children received was adjusted so the grandparents could easily keep up with it and then adjusted again as K got through it all. There were many days and weeks during chemo when she just had to get on with it-staggering to the table and sitting with her head on her arms while the children did their work. I am sure Lord Soley would have been appalled, but the children knew what was happening with their mother and because they were there and did not have to deal with whispered secrets or strange things happening while they were shipped off to school, they were able to deal with it. All questions were answered and K’s dd is proud of being there for her mum bringing her bottles of water to drink. It has been a good and healthy experience for them.

K has had a lot more surgery since then and is taking a rather unpleasant drug called Arimidex. She has coped well with all that has been thrown at her. But these last three weeks or so have been a real trial. She has lumps and she shouldn’t have them. When she went to GP it turned out that she couldn’t see her oncologist and so the GP had to re-refer her through the rapid referral clinic. As it turned out it wasn’t that rapid and she had to phone the breast nurse to get the appt pushed through.

She turned up and waited…and waited. Three hours after her appt time she was seen by a doctor who had obviously just had enough. He didn’t want to give the scans she needed and said appts would be sent and he would see her in three weeks. He then told her erroneous info about her breast cancer, having apparently confused her with another patient. She went home.

No appointment came. She phoned and found that she wasn’t in the computer system. The breast nurse had to sort the situation out and finally appointments for her scans came through; all on one day at two different hospitals. But it was the only way the scans would be done before she went back to see the Consultant -two days later. So she had waited nearly three weeks for the scans.

The first scan (bone density) involves radio active dye which needs to go in the right place to show the right things. It didn’t. It went wrong. She had to go back later for another go. Finally she went off to the other hospital for the ultra sound scans to her hand and back (where the strange lumps lurk).

Two days later she sat before the doctor who of course had no results and began telling her results that were from a year ago. He then had to chase down the other results. Bone density was clear, he said. It turned out there simply were no results for the lump on her back so he had to send her for another scan to get that. While she was there she saw the actual results of her bone density which was “inclusive” because the dye had gone to the wrong places.

She was sent away being told she had a couple of “boney lumps”.

Understandably she is not a happy person right now.

The second mother is J who also has two children. She had a cyst. She went to her doctor and within a couple of days the cyst was removed. She had another one and again she went into hospt and it was removed within a couple of days. Two days after that she had histology results showing she has ovarian cancer. A few days after that she was in hospital for the hysterectomy.

I visited her today. I went into the hospital and approached reception where the lady at the desk made immediate eye contact and greeted me. She gave me the directions I asked for.

I went to the ward where J was in a 2 bedded room as the only patient. Bathroom ensuit. Nurses came in and out, always knocking before entry and always efficient and polite. I was given a cup of tea.

We talked about plans for her son’s home education. You see, (Lord Soley might like to know) when one of us is ill the others pick up the slack. Of course we will see to it that the children continue to receive an education that suits them, and her son will be there and have his questions about his mum answered. He will be treated with respect as K’s children have been and will continue to be.

I am sure I read someone suggest that there was really no such thing as a Home Educating Community-and perhaps that’s right; because when something like this happens, it feels more like family.

The consultant arrived and spoke clearly answering all questions put to her. The care J is getting is excellent and she will probably start chemo in a day or two. She knows what is happening and when.

Why is K on the Economy Package and J on the Fortnam and Mason version? Simple. K is being treated by the NHS and J has Bupa.

I wonder what the people of America really want…just asking.

Please pray for my friends. They both need your prayers.

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2 responses to “A tale of two mothers with cancer.

  1. This is really heart-breaking. I honestly do not see why the NHS cannot be more careful and efficient. You are right, though, I think we should be far more of a community as home educators. We should be more like the Quakers where there is a ‘friend’ everywhere you go.

    I hope your friends get well soon.

  2. Prayers for your friends!

    What most of us want is NOT what K has gone through, is NOT what our fearless leader is pushing down our throats. Our system is not perfect either, but most of us do not receive the lack of concern and delays that K has endured.

    Pray for us, too.

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