Grappling with reality

mensana
Contributor

Grappling with reality

Guess I just need to sound off as I'm isolated, alone in a rural area. A bronchoscopy showed part of my lung is collapsed and there's a tumour suspected to be cancer. The bronchoscopy was a follow up from an xray and a CT scan. They did a biopsy but the results aren't back yet.

 

The doctor who gave me the preliminary findings immediately after the bronchoscopy kept saying "Sorry" and was generally very negative. He didn't want to give me any "false hopes". Told him a few little false hopes wouldn't hurt. The ironic thing is that I've never been a smoker ever in my life. The hurtful thing is that I've been at my doctor for 3 to 4 years about my cough. Have kept telling him there's some thing wrong because it's not a normal cough. But he kept insisting it was just hayfever, or a reaction from reflux, "Don't worry about it".

 

Late last year the cough got so bad had to tell the doctor it was time to really get this checked out. He finally agreed to refer me for an xray. The results showed an anomaly in the left lung. A subsequent CT scan showed a part collapsed lung and a tumorous growth. Then came the bronchoscopy.

 

To make matters worse, my phone went down about 6 weeks ago and I've been in a running battle with Telstra to get it fixed. They just do nothing. My doctor put in a Priority Assistance form to them which guarantees fixing of phone lines in 48 hours. It's made no difference. Went to the Telecommunications Ombudsman just as useless there. Went to my local MLA's office and put in a detailed account of my problem with Telstra, but no response there. Contacted the Minister for Communication's office, after some time got a reply that they had passed it on to the "relevant office". Still no telephone and I'm at my wits end.

 

Trying to stay positive is a bit of a struggle, although living on a rural block there's always a lot of work to do which keeps me occupied, body and mind. Now and again there'll be this twinge of anxiety, but focussing on some work usually overcomes this. Afterall, "the fat lady hasn't sung yet". The hospital was going ring to check in on me because of my isolation, not much chance of that. There's no ringing anyone if really needed. But, knowing the situation I'm in, it's clear what needs to be done - tough it out day by day. Still having good mobility and much to keep me occupied makes it easier.

 

Sorry for the long rave, and thanks to anyone who got through it. But it is nice to be able to put it out there.

46 REPLIES 46
Dee58
Contributor

Re: Grappling with reality

That’s why we are all here... to get it off our chest and share in a safe place. I hope it works out for you... you don’t need all those annoying things in life on top of everything else! Xxx

Budgie
Super Contributor

Re: Grappling with reality

Hi @mensana,

There's no need to apologise for a long rave. Sometimes you need to have a rant to keep your sanity.
Being on a rural property, you wouldn't have much choice of doctors close by, I suppose. So it would be hard to be able to choose who you see, let alone get a second opinion. That doctor may have cut your life short by many years simply because of his apathetic, she'll be right mate attitude. One of my pet hates is people who can't/won't do their job properly simply because they can't be bothered. And it's everywhere, as you've discovered thru your dealings (or lack thereof) with Telstra. Are there any other doctors you could see in your area?

I'm sorry you are having to go thru all this, & hope the results get to you soon, as the waiting can be horrible.

All the best
Budgie



mensana
Contributor

Re: Grappling with reality

Thanks for your supportive comments Dee58 and Budgie. Finding this site has certainly helped me, don't feel so much backed into a corner. Reading other posts helps as well.

 

Alternative GP's aren't all that far away. I've lived much of my life in remote areas, one time where a doctor came once a fortnight for two days to a clinic which was about 100 kms away from where I lived. However, there were nursing staff there all the time. For me, moving into a rural area was like a move into the 'big smoke', LOL.

 

Don't really feel inclined to go back to the same doctor. But shopping around for an alternative is a bit daunting. The thing is, I'm now really in the hands of the specialists. A GP wouldn't have any significant input any more. And anyway, you never know what sort of a GP you might end up with again. Just have to concentrate on getting the "What if's" out of my head. It is what it is and I have to deal with that.

sch
Super Contributor

Re: Grappling with reality

Hi,

Just bear in mind, that if you do want or need to discuss things and your specialists aren't available, you can always Cancer Council telephone support service.

https://www.cancer.org.au/support-and-services/cancer-council-13-11-20

 

-s

Budgie
Super Contributor

Re: Grappling with reality

I understand about not wanting to look around for another GP, but its advisable to have one as they can help treat any side effects that may come up, like pain medication etc, that the specialists don't usually concern themselves with. Anyway, good luck with it all. 🙂

Budgie
mensana
Contributor

Re: Grappling with reality

Thanks sch. But as I mentioned before, Telstra is making sure I don't have any possibility of ringing anyone, or of anyone ringing me.


Budgie, I've been recommended a good GP now. Bit of a further drive, but hopefully an improvement. Thanks.

sch
Super Contributor

Re: Grappling with reality

Hi,

How do you access the cancercouncil website if you don't have any phone line or internet?

Do you have access to the internet via "skymuster" or are you accessing from a neighbours house?

 

I understand the frustration that you're going through utility services.

When I was younger I lived out in a regional area and the telephone and electricity went down for a week+ at a time. It wasn't unusual.

 

What has the ombudsman said so far?

How have you been contacting telstra to log the issue with the telephone? Heading in to town?

 

-s

Reply
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mensana
Contributor

Re: Grappling with reality

@sch

The whole telephone issue is quite involved and not really a focus of this forum. But briefly, there is WiFi even though slow at times. For voice mobile you generally have to drive off to a higher hill. Sometimes I get help from a friend, providing her service isn't off line as well.

 

Telstra is bound by the Universal Service Guarantee, Customer Service Guarantee and the Priority Assistance Guarantee by legislation but it appears it's not enforced so they ignore it.

 

I first reported the fault (online) 12 January, TIO gave Telstra til 17 February to resolve the problem (Priority Assistance states it must be fixed in 48 hours). Late last week (26/2) TIO said Telstra would send someone out to report back on the fault (there have already been two visits/reports on it). And so it keeps going around in circles. But the whole Telstra story is quite big and off topic here.

 

But back on topic, things are okay, still keeping very busy. Although the other night it got a bit iffy with the breathing. Wanted to drive to hospital but then thought that might be more dangerous than riding it out at home. By morning things settled down and the feeling of panic subsided. A visit from a couple of friends later in the day perked me up. It's like riding a yoyo.

sch
Super Contributor

Re: Grappling with reality

Hi mensana,

I'll be honest with you. We're not always perfectly on topic around here, but that's OK.

Good luck with Telstra. It sounds like you're going to need it.

 

Back to your original post and your doctor's response. He probably feels a bit guilty after you have been discussing these symptoms with him for quite a while. Also, many people are not used to talking about cancer. They don't really know how to respond.

 

You sound like a tough cookie, at least on the surface.

How are you holding up otherwise?

 

-s

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