Changing GP's

Today I have to take the first steps in lifestyle changes. My GP tells me I have to lose weight!!

Eighteen months ago, I, like many others was diagnosed with breast cancer, since that day my sense of self worth has gradually deteriorated. Initially I felt I had coped well with the whirlwind of diagnosis, operation, radiotherapy and commencement of hormone therapy.

I had no idea that the emotional effects would insidiously take control of my life leaving me with a feeling of hopelessness. Although the cancer has been dealt with the effect of the weight gain which accompanied Tamoxifen has had a devastating effect on me.

Family members try to bolster my spirits and give reassuring advice such as “exercise, watch what you eat, it’s only temporary, and do the Plank to strengthen your abdominal muscles”. I can see the sense in the advice but it doesn’t help the crying that continues inside of me.

Today I went to my GP, who was completely unsympathetic and condescending when I mentioned, hot flushes, weight gain, aching joints, depression and swollen ankles. She reduced me to tears and I felt a complete fool wasting her valuable time.

I mentioned that my former GP had prescribed Trazadone to ease the anxiety, help me sleep patterns and possibly reduce the hot flushes. The GP was horrified – “ it couldn’t possibly help hot flushes – how could tamoxifen contribute to weight gain – it’s a matter of calorie control. You don’t need as much to eat when you approach 60 – you don’t need as much sleep – assess the routine you have before you go to bed. – blah blah blah.”

Today I wish I hadn’t been diagnosed early today I wish I was dead and people wouldn’t have to put up with me.

Oh gentleninja
I do feel for you and funnily enough was thinking only this morning about similar things except i definately dont wish i was dead, i have done in the past remember being told off on another site for expressing my suicidal thoughts, but it was how i felt at that time.

I do not think many doctors understand and they minimise the affects of having had BC and treatment.
Believe me you are not alone. When i took part in a phone forum for 8 weeks with BCC most of the other ladies complained about the lack of understanding to us emotionally from the medics.

I have found great help from this site and friends who have had BC more than the medics. I know they can’t change my symptoms but its just a relief to be able to express how i feel in an honest way.

My family just say ‘Your well now’ or friends say ‘you look great’ Sometimes i want to scream 'I ache, i am fat, i sweat and i fear it coming back.

Have you another GP in the surgery? I like 2 of my GP’s but one a man can be a bit unpredicatable and unsympathetic. The lady GP i see is great and shares my faith too which is an added bonus. She does not minimise how i feel as i have told her not too and had a good chat with her.

Believe me the weight issue each day depresses me and i have had such insensitive comments from the hosp people.

Would like to email you if you wanted to PM me if not do post on here and although you probably dont believe it now you will find ways to make yourself feel better. Not giving advice as each person is different and definately not minimising how you feel me love.

Take Care

Hi there

Let me first of all say how sorry I am that you feel so low. Please, please never ever wish yourself dead. You have as much right to be here as anyone. You are not a nuisance, you are not trouble, you are clearly depressed.

Your GP is very insensitive. Unfortunately, it is pot luck when it comes to getting a doctor who has people skills - shouldnt be, should be priority but there you have it. She is simply looking at the facts and coming up with the solution. You need to help yourself, lose weight, healthy diet, exercise, better sleep etc etc etc. I bet you felt like saying “OK, tell me something I don’t know, you silly bitch!” Of course we know what we should do, but sometimes if depressed we are unable to do anything almost as though we have all power and control removed. Its part of the illness which is so debilitating so we are just unable to do “the right thing”. You just feel like curling up and dying. But you mustn’t because it is so treatable.

What you need is a sympathetic GP who will first of all treat your depression. You can’t do anything until that is under control. Trazadone is OK for short term anxiety. It sounds as though you need antidepressants. The new ones work so well. Then once you start feeling a bit better, thats the time to tackle the other issues, if you want to, certainly not now. Change your GP. Ring the Practice manager at your practice if there are more than one GP and tell them that you need a GP who understands depression. They will know which one of their doctors who is likely to help. Tiny first steps, but crucial ones.

Good luck


I have had all this with my own GP and also another in the practice who just happens to be his wife! He told me at the beginning of the year that now as my treatment was finished I “just needed to be positive again and get on with it” before writing me a prescription for Tamazepam. He also told me he would not sanction counselling as it was with a clinical psychologist - according to him I didn’t need it.

One of the oncologists referred me to a menopause clinic run by a colleague and she said she was writing a letter to my GP in support of counselling, she was also proposing topical oestrogen for menopause problems, which is very low dose compared to HRT and would be quite safe for me to use. When I contacted my surgery, the practice manager told me the letter about all this had come in, but my GP had said it was for filing and no action was to be taken. I asked to see another GP and was referred to his wife, who told me there must have been a misunderstanding over everything (yeah, right!). She then went on to say she was very surprised about the recommendation for topical oestrogen on account of my BC and said “oh well, we’re very surprised you are going down this route where you feel you need counselling”. I didn’t start with the oestrogen until I spoke with the oncologist at the next appointment; she assured me it was absolutely fine on account of me having no hormone involvement whatsoever.

She also told me she had overruled my GP surgery and had put me forward for counselling. I have had 2 sessions and between that and the menopause treatment I am feeling so much better and am starting to put my life back in order. The psychologist has told me she doesn’t need to tell my GP I am attending sessions with her. She also told me many GPs have a problem with patients going for counselling. I was left wondering if GPs do actually understand what cancer patients go through (mine only saw me when I went for medical certificate renewal as all the other stuff was handled by the hospital). I know one of the receptionists has BC at the moment and I’d like to think she may be getting more sympathy.

One of the reasons for me having counselling is that I was originally told I did not have cancer - I had a benign fibroid which was hiding a tumour and the surgeon had to tell me afterwards. BC has also put a huge distance between me and my sister and we are not getting on now. It was all affecting my confidence and I could not think straight.

Hi friends,
I want to thank you for your support and of course I don’t really wish I was dead. In fact I wish I hadn’t put that in the message.
It was such a shock being treated like that. My former GP was so supportive, and as a former Nurse and Midwife I know a lot about the difference in bedside manner of doctors.
I have asked if I can see another GP in future.

Hi Ladies
I too have been left feeling as if I wasted my docs time.
I went about a persisant cough I have had since february. I had been given 3 lots of antibiotics and a chest x ray(which came back clear thankfully)
I have physio for my breathing and every time I have been, she tells me that whatever it is on my chest is not helping, so I should really go back and check it out…This I did.

Whilst I was there I mentioned that in february I had found another lump in my other boobie, had a scan at the hospital, was told it looked nothing sinister,but to keep my eye on it.
I told him it hadn’t gone, but I was experiencing pains shooting from my boob into my armpit and up into my decollage(!) and I thought my armpit was quite puffy.
He didn’t even check me and said “…was I saying I didn’t trust the hospital and believe what they told me?”
I blurted out that I didn’t trust my body as it had let me down once, and he said thats not how it sounded!!!

I asked if he could arrange councelling for me and was told no he couldn’t as it was more specialist.

The outcome…he will write to the onc and refer me back.

I could have done that myself, but know how busy they are, and I am sure there are people out there that need them more than me now.

Needless to say I will not be seeing him again.

I am sure they must get fed up with people wasting their time with coughs and colds, but surely they should know when to use a little more compasion.

Rant over…

Take care


this reminds me of a joke

‘Doctor, doctor I think I’m a pair of curtains’

‘pull yourself together’

shame it can’t be curtains for some of these GPs