He's my hero

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To say its been a whirlwind of hope, hurt and heart break is an understatement. I still have so many questions even after been told my dad is terminal. I'm just not so good at articulating them. 

  • Pain in his chest starts in mid June.
  • Gp appointment mid July referral to hospital done
  • Appointment 2nd of October camera down throat , tumour found and biopsy taken
  • 12th has pet scan after phoning daily as told had to wait 3 to 4 weeks originally
  • 23rd Oct for results of cancer in lower oesophageal, and in lymph node. Plus spots in thyroid bone and muscle but never told where. Referral to Western Park (Oncologist)as first Dr never put referral through as he said he would.
  • 14th Nov for ent to check vocal area and bloods for prostate all clear.
  • 22nd for thyroid scan and clear.
  • 5th december hospital again to be told second time throat clear.
  • From the 5th of December more phone calls as no appointments coming dad loosing more weight and getting more pain. Gp wouldn't give strong pain relief as waiting on hospitals to do updates.
  • More promises broken for call backs contact details chasing referrals. Found out the referral was done wrong and another was pushed through when I demanded my dad's appointment to be expedited.
  • Finally got a referral to Western Park cancer hospital on the 8th of January. I begged saying its been 3 months with this problem with no treatment surely this isn't right? To be told everyone is in the same boat and if a cancellation came my dad was on a list.

Unfortunately on the 20th of December my dad vomited blood and clots. We rang 999 to be told its 2hrs for an ambulance, he had fetched up around 2 pints in volume. Going dizzy and white as a sheet. I begged him to let me drive but he wouldn't and we waited over an hour for them to arrive. We got to the hospital and waited 3 hours in the ambulance. Then the drivers wheeled my dad in to the a&e waiting area and left him. An hour passed a nurse offered my dad paracetamol. I said he can't swallow solids even those tablets its on his notes. Her reply "no worries" and shut the door. We was helpless, asking anyone for help while he kept fetching up think bile and once the blood started again I shouted who the hell is going to help us please. They wheeled him to a corridor and left us another 40 minutes before giving a private bay with a used bed that we couldn't use for him. 1hour later a Dr came and apologised for our treatment received and sent my dad for a ct scan to check the bleed. 

2 hours later the bed is changed and dad's little more comfortable but still waiting on pain relief. The Dr came and explained that the cancer has spread to his liver now the bone area with cancer is his hip and his muscle area is his right buttock. An a&e Dr told us more then the two Dr's we had met about his original diagnosis. And finally they gave him morphine. Our family was broken, all we asked for was honesty and a fair chance to fight, we had received neither.

Drafter 19hours of waiting my dad was put on a ward and we got an emergency meeting with an oncologist at Western Park. I'll not go in to full mess up of been able to take the call but we ended up in a busy corridor having to stop and start a conversation with the oncologist. During this my dad was told he was terminal and that since he's still active they will offer him some chemo to give him a few extra months. 

I'm telling this story not to put fear in anyone but in the hopes for those who feel things are not moving fast enough that you need to be loud and proactive. You need to fight for your chance to beat this. For my dad the system worked against us. The time lines that the nhs should have adhered to hadnt been in many cases. Where some appointments seemed closer together then others was down to me ringing daily and complaining at the lack of communication and referrals not been completed. I've recorded every conversation we have had with any Dr so I could prove they didn't follow what they had promised. My dad has been the bravest person I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. He is my hero.

  • Oh my goodness, that just sounds absolutely horrible. Definitely not the experience that anyone suffereung from this horrible disease should be put through. You have every right to be furious. I am so sorry for what you have suffered and, although I have no complaints about my own treatment so far, your experience will definitely encourage myself and my family to make a hell of a lot of noise if things change. Love and best wishes to you and your family and, if you can manage it, a happy Christmas xx