I thought it was just me and a few like-minded folks out here in the wilderness shouting at the health professionals that once your cancer treatment is finished, you're politely told to do something connected with sex and travel - if you're lucky, maybe "come back next year for a checkup." And that's it. Diddly squat.
As many of you will know from experience, while you're going through chemo and radiotherapy you feel supported and cocooned by doctors, nurses and other wallahs plus the whole cancer system itself. This is generally considered to be an important part of your therapy; you are not alone, you have a key worker or other mentor you can call in the middle of the night and rant at if you want to, and on your regular visits to the onco unit or "tanning booths" you're warmly welcomed and entertained by all your friends and co-patients.
As soon as the treatments end though, you get pushed over the cliff and you're on your own. All that nice, comfy support, cups of tea, letters, pamphlets, cosy chats, little ring-binders with your treatment notes in them etc. etc. vaporise in an instant and you're dumped back in the world of real life, feeling about as fit for coping with it as a one-legged man at a butt-kicking party.
At last, here in the UK, Macmillan Cancer Support
- bless 'em - are campaigning for the system to stop abandoning successfully-treated cancer patients like stolen cars by the side of the road, and get them - or rather, us - the follow-up care we need.
Macmillan not unreasonably are focusing on the medical issues involved in post-cancer care here, but I hope they don't forget the psychological side of it - we cancer patients get withdrawal symptoms when our toy-toys and security blankets are whipped out from under our noses. But we can hardly rate as spoilt brats who should just be told to grow up and get on with it.This article
on the BBC website makes interesting reading.
What do you think?