I posted before Christmas and got some wonderful advice about pushing for a second opinion about surgery for my Mum after The Christie said they wouldn’t operate after six cylcles of chemo which had left her cancer ‘dormant’.
After some research we asked for a referral to the Queen Charlotte Hospital in London and she has now had surgery and is recovering well at home. Surgery is not usually performed after chemo has finished so Mum is an unusual case but we are so glad we pushed for a second opinion and didn’t give up.
We were originally told Mum (after cycle 3 and 6) was not a candidate for surgery as she had multiple small sites of cancer scattered all over her abdomen. The verdict in London was a lot more positive and after looking at her most recent scan we were told that there wasn’t much cancer to remove, that the operation wouldn’t be too complicated and the risks were minimal in comparison to other surgeries they undertake e.g no involvement of other organs. We were also told that Mum had had an amazing response to chemo and it had worked really really well to have got her to the point she was at prior to eventually being offered surgery. This all begs the question as to why she wasn’t offered it earlier, but that’s another story which we will have to investigate further at her three monthly check up, but for now we are so happy for Mum to be NED.
I’m posting this to remind others that you are entitled to a second opinion on the NHS and to push for one if you are ever in doubt, even if you are being treated at a major cancer centre.
The experience we had in London was amazing and the team were wonderful and very positive about Mum’s situation. They have said Mum can go back there any time to see them again if she would like to. If I ever get diagnosed with this awful disease I’ll be asking for a referral to them straight away.
As an aside Mum is also doing a lot of holistic / natural treatments alongside the conventional and I’m in no doubt that this has contributed to the success she has had so far in her journey. Whilst this obviously cannot be proven it seems to have worked so far and appears to now in hindsight have gotten her to a really good place even with chemo alone despite the prognosis we were given prior to the second opinion.
Thank you to those that responded to my original post and I hope you are all doing well.