Hi everyone, im John and I was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma of the right Kidney. I am going through the public system here in Sydney and the specialist has given me 3 months to get a partial or full nephrectomy. Well today is the 1st of August and marks the 3rd month and still NO call from the hospital 😞 as to when I might be going in, I have contacted the hospital like a month ago and they did say ill get a call in August, like anyone going through this I'm just scared and worried that I'll be forgotten 😔 and go through the cracks so to speak. My sleeping patterns has changed tremendously where I don't sleep much or just wake up early in the AM and just think about everything that's going on. Think of my wife my 8 year old daughter, work life in general. The reality is I just want this surgery done already and the more I wait the more im starting to feel forgotten, yes I know they gave me 3 months I was so hoping and praying that I would have been operated on with in the first month or two not have to wait the whole 3 months. Please forgive me if I'm coming off as selfish or what ever, just needing to vent and get this off my chest..
Thankyou everyone 💛
Hi John, sorry you’re having to wait so long. That would just be making your stress even worse. Have you got a GP who can find out for you what’s going on? You can call the Cancer Council too for a chat about your fears. They are really helpful. I will pray for you to hear from the hospital soon 🙏💕 Linda G
Thankyou Linda, I spoke to my GP and asked him if they're is anything he can do, he said that there isn't much he can do unfortunately, he just asked me cause it's the 3rd month to call the admissions section and ask the question, he also said to call my specialist I was seeing, I was going to go private but that went South unfortunately so had to go public, my GP just said to call his office up and to inform them that it's the 3rd month and that I haven't heard any news on an admissions date? My GP did say the specialist still has a duty of care towards me as I was paying $150 a pop seeing him and that he should be made aware that I have not been given any dates as of yet.
But you are right Linda, my head is every where and I'm not thinking straight at home or at work and I don't think mentally I'm coping as good as I thought, it has me in a spin that is getting faster n faster
I get your situation. You have your diagnosis...so what next? Let's go, hurry up, etc. Through sheer luck and stars aligning I was diagnosed and had my partial nephrectomy surgery booked and carried out in the space of a few weeks. I've had a few scares during vigilance post surgery (just over 2 years ago), and waiting for referrals, appointments etc is torture.
My advice to you is to call them every day. Honestly i would. I have an elderly friend in her 70s who has had several types of cancer and she is still alive because she is an absolute pest to the public system. Various specialists at two hospitals are well aware of her and she gets the royal treatment, because frankly, life is easier for them if she doesn't phone them every day.
You have nobody else fighting your corner sometimes, so you do have to push. It might be that there is nothing that can be done to speed things up, but if you are in the front of people's minds, you have a better chance at getting things done. I recently did this for a referral to an ENT specialist (I have some lumps that might be RCC spread or not...) I had an appointment in a month and called every day for a week. Suddenly a cancellation happened and I got the call to go in the next day. Was it because of the clinical need in my case? Or was it because if I get my appointment I'll stop annoying them? I suspect a bit of both.
It's not my nature to be pushy, in fact it's quite difficult for me...but it's my life I'm talking about here, so I got pushy and got results.
I'm not saying be horrible. Frequency and making people know your name might be enough to get things moved along. There might've been an issue. There might not. You can be persistent and pleasant at the same time.
Does the specialist have any cancellations? Would the specialist take you as a public patient in another hospital in case the hold up is with the hospital? These are all perfectly valid questions that you won't know if you don't ask. And who do you ask? Everyone! Anyone who can remember you. Medical Secretary, PA, any reception staff. Get on first name terms. Your Specialist themselves. They might not be the hold up, like I said, it could be the hospital...and if that's the case some public sector ops are being carried out in private hospitals.
Worst case scenario...Get your GP to recommend other specialists and call them about lead times.
The quicker you get this dealt with the better you will feel physically and mentally. You can focus on your recovery rather than waiting for an operation.
Totally agree 100% I called up the hospital yesterday and the lady in admissions was nice so I asked the questions and again she said due to stupid covid it's back logged alot of surgeries, she also said that it might be possible that I might have to wait another 3 months ontop of what I've waited already, I said to her im sure this isn't good for my cancer to be waiting for to long? She then said for me to contact my specialist. Anyways I called up my specialist office and explained to the receptionist the situation, first thing she said was its weird that the admissions office at the hospital asked you to call here? Since you have gone public! That comment was bloody weird to me because this specialist was seeing me and now just because I am not going private they try to wipe their hands of me? That's the thought I had, anyways she opened up my file and said that due I still have 2 weeks left to actually complete my 3 months thsts due to when they sent me the papers to go public and had to take those papers signed and all to Liverpool hospital. She said John please call back here in two weeks from today, she said call the hospital first if they by chance say you have to wait another 2/3 months then call us back immediately and we can talk to the Dr to see if he can expedite your admission.
Im quite confused as to the roll of these specialists, these guy's have an office near the hospital they mainly deal with private hospitals as they made comments that going pvt is better with nill waiting times felt like they were pushing this narrative but I haven't $25000 to get this done in a pvt hospital but I just can't believe that they kinda wipe their hands of you once you say you can't go pvt but have to go public. The receptionist gave me this feeling and I'm assuming the specialist is the same, the only other Dr im seeing is my GP, im lost as to what else to do? I'm seeing my GP this morning to talk to him about all of this because I feel it's complet BS tbh.
I know it doesn't feel like it, but I actually think you've made a bit of progress!
The Specialist admin staff have said to call them if there is an issue in 2 weeks. That's good. It's not great, it's not an appointment for this afternoon, but it's more specific than telling you nobody can do anything.
What is your current situation? What stage are you, what size tumour, do you have any symptoms, etc? I know you won't want to hear this, but it may be that 3 months wait won't make any significant clinical difference. I'd want it out ASAP to be honest, but mine was borderline...my tumour was just over 3cm when discovered. The surgeon said there was guidance to suggest vigilance in an RCC under 3cm. but given my age (47 at the time) and scan 2 years earlier for an unrelated back issue that showed no signs of abnormality in the kidney, he decided I'd need it out at some point so best to do it while I was young and generally healthy, so I got booked in straight away and was really lucky as he had just been given some operating time when they were opening up surgeries after the first covid wave (Surgery was June 2020.)
I'd keep phoning every few days...hospital and specialist. very polite, just checking in to see if there has been any update etc...give them updates too...have any symptoms changed, etc Might not make it any quicker...but it will help stop it from being any slower.
You could change specialist but you run the risk of going to the back of the queue. Hospitals are swamped right now, so that does sound like the reason for your delay. My wife works in a private hospital and they have wards closed because they don't have enough staff to use them safely. That means surgeries are being delayed as there are no beds for people to be in after surgery. At various points in the last few months they've had 25%+ nursing staff off sick with Covid. They have no agency staff as they are in the same boat and there is nobody to fill the roles. None of that helps you though...so do what you can (without getting yourself too worked up!)
EDIT TO ADD:
Next time you talk to your GP...ask if there are any resources they can recommend to help your state of mind. Mine recommended mindfulness courses and got me a login to some online materials. I found it really useful. If you can't change the wait, can you change how you feel during the wait? It'll help you during recovery too when you are feeling sore and sorry for yourself.
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