READER REPORT:

Cancer diagnosis a 'relief'

SALLY MCRAE
Last updated 05:00 21/06/2014

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Failure to diagnose my cancer meant I spent almost over a year in constant pain and discomfort from a large tumour in a difficult place.

Doctors, hospitals and specialists referred back and forward. 

One doctor told me I was "silly and stupid" to be worried about this.

The misdiagnosis changed who I was - I gained weight due to not being able to exercise, and I was unfit and unwell. 

I was denied surgery at hospital.

I lost my income, my dignity and my self respect, and I am sure the respect of those around me. 

Finally, after getting even more sickly, my GP sent me to a charity hospital, which probably saved my life. 

The lump was removed by an amazing surgeon who knew the hospital had been wrong.

Getting a diagnosis for a rare cancer was a relief, strangely. 

However it also meant more surgery, and more recovery.

From then on it has been the constant round of hospital scanning, scanxiety and check ups. 

It has definitely changed me. I'm finally getting my life back, but it has taken years.

It has impacted all of my relationships, broken some and strained others. 

I do not have the same drives I did and resent their loss. 

I did not have chemo, so no one could tell from looking at me, that I was sick.

I lost it once when one particularly nasty child made rude comments about how fat I was. I said: "Thanks for pointing this out - it is because I have cancer".

Other than that I just take the judgemental and nasty comments from young and old alike.

I miss the body I once trusted. I feel it betrayed me, so it is taking time to build back that trust. 

I miss the innocence of aches and pains, as now there is always the "what if". 

Don't get me started on survivor guilt. As a tiny group internationally with this particular cancer, the drop-off rate is huge, so even surviving makes you feel lucky but guilty, in a weird way.


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