Doctors strike

My surgery was booked for January 3rd, been getting everything organised at home as I’m main carer for my 83year old husband and psyching myself up ready for it. Then phone call this afternoon - op cancelled due to doctors strike. Feel absolutely numb.

Sorry don’t mean to moan and I will get over it. Won’t get new date until after Christmas, now need to lock it away in the back of my mind and enjoy Christmas.


That’s so frustrating and upsetting as you really do need to prepare both practically and emotionally. Your op will be prioritised above more run of the mill procedures when they reschedule but even so any wait is unbearable when you are dealing with cancer . I hope you manage to shelve it like you say and enjoy Christmas .


Hi @nannabee not much I can say that’s of any use in this frustrating situation. I was a carer for a number of years, firstly for my husband who had MND and, thankfully, after he passed, for my mother who lived with dementia. I know only too well the amount of organisation it takes to arrange something like surgery when you are a carer so I really feel for you. I know it’s probably a forlorn hope but it might be worth speaking to the surgeon or nurse to explain about the responsibility you have as a carer so they can make sure that you’re given priority. Anyway let’s hope that they just push the surgery down the road by a few days. I’m not commenting on the doctors right to strike but for the patients it is an absolute nightmare when so many arrangements have to be made, let alone your emotional state in preparation for surgery. I do hope you’re not messed about again.


I SO feel for you. I don’t know about numb, though. Murderous would be my description. The NHS is a disgrace.

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How truly awful for you

Im so sorry for the waiting you are experiencing but unfortunately thats all quite normal but hard to swallow

You think you’re in control and then whoops you aren’t

Its horrible and so if you can just plan and do today and then tomorrow plan and do that day it might be easy than thinking too much about longer term, but not easy i know

Is it worth talking to social services to see if they can support you with temporary care support or indeed your GP so you have one less thing to worry about?

And yes talk to your team about your situation so they know that changes are having an effect

Good luck and hugs


Thank you for all your answers. I would have said once I got over the shock of it then I was managing quite well. After all there’s not a lot I can do about it. But you have all had me in tears. I feel as if you have put your arms round me and told me it will be ok. Thank you all so much, I didn’t even realise that was exactly what I needed. I’m going to have the best Christmas ever, all of this cancer stuff is being left at home and we are going to our sons, the younger on Christmas Day and the elder on Boxing Day, our grandchildren will keep us entertained and we are having a good old fashioned Christmas, lots of good food, a glass or two of the red stuff and lots of presents and playing games. I’ll get this sorted after that. Boys have both said they have holiday left so will look after their dad and me as and when it gets done. For now cancer’s butt has been kicked out of my mind and it’s all thanks to you all caring and giving me strength. Back at you all, a massive hug flying your way and prayers for a peaceful and happy Christmas filled with beautiful memories and blessings. I love you guys xxx


My breast cancer surgery has been cancelled on January 3rd due to junior doctors strike, then dermatology appointment this afternoon with a very rude doctor and told the rash I’ve had on my back for six years is skin cancer. Prescribed cream I have to use for a month and which will burn out the cancer, will blister my back and make an extremely painful open wound, when I asked if it wouldaffect my breast cancer treatment he just barked NO! I haven’t picked up the prescription so don’t know what the cream is, I figure if I’d had it all this time a few more days wouldn’t make any difference and I so want a good Christmas with my kids and grandkids before my surgery. I don’t know where to turn as obviously everything has closed down for the holiday but I do plan on contacting my breast care nurse on Wednesday and ask to see her. Am I wrong in wanting a second opinion. I feel as if my world has turned upside down. Any words of encouragement would be gratefully welcomed right now,

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Oh that’s appalling - as if you don’t have enough to deal with . I’m feeling really angry on your behalf . As a Health Care Professional I’m also embarrassed .I can quite understand you wanting a second opinion as he doesn’t seem to have explained anything and it can be hard to trust someone when they behave that way, and you certainly should tell your BC team at your earliest opportunity - they need to know. Make it clear to them that if they want to liaise with Dermatology that you absolutely will not be happy to see that Doctor again. As you have said - you’ve had the rash for a long time so it would seem reasonable that waiting a few more days before you start treatment wouldn’t make a difference but I think you should pick up the prescription so that if your BCN / helpline staff ask you can tell them what it is which in turn might make it possible for them to give you a little of the information that the Dr. failed to do. I think the Helpline is open in the morning if you want to talk it through with the Nurses here but I’m thinking Macmillan will probably have a helpline and they deal with different types of cancer . NHS 111 are likely to be extremely busy and there might be a long wait to get help but they have been there for me and for my Dad a couple of times out of hours when our surgeries had let us down.

I know how frustrating and horrible it is to come down with a new and potentially serious condition at the start of a Bank Holiday - I have not so fond memories of Easter 2019 much of which was spent either in A+E then Eye Clinic 40 miles away then Minor Injuries . Most of Easter 2022 trying to get help for my Dad .However once you have got your prescription and talked to whoever you feel it’s appropriate to talk to then I suggest you try to revert to your original plan to enjoy Christmas with your family - and I so hope that this will be possible. I know how important this was to you .

I was stressed out in December 2021 knowing my procedure had failed - waiting for the phone to ring to tell me when my check mammogram would be but I managed to treat Christmas Eve to Boxing Day as a holiday from Drs. and appointments and waiting all and my memories of Christmas Day that year are very precious and still stand out very strongly in my memory .

Sending love and all best wishes

Hi @nannabee what absolutely rotten luck. What the flooping heck (cleaned up for the forum!) is wrong with these doctors? How dare he break such news so insensitively? What happens after the month use of the cream? Is that it, cancer cleared? How does he suggest you manage the impact on your skin? Is this something the GP has to deal with? I’ve heard so many stories of brusque, unsympathetic oncologists and I’ve always thought this must be because they have to give so many people the absolutely worst news possible that if they let themselves feel or empathise too much, it would be impossible to do the job. Other times I think they’re just not very professional in their communication skills. I don’t know your age but in my experience, the older we get, the less bothered about us the medics become.

Obviously I have no business in advising you but I know what I would do in your situation and that would be to prioritise the breast cancer operation which presumably would be impacted if you had skin breakdown on your back, so delay the use of the cream. Obviously you’ll be discussing this with your BC nurse or surgeon when you have the pre-op checks if not before - hopefully early in the New Year - and you’ll be able to get a joined up approach to treating both things. Are both issues being treated at the same hospital? Maybe you could contact the PAL Service at the hospital who should be able to help get answers to your questions. They are supposed to reply within 72 hours but I guess that would be impacted by Christmas.

Christmas is a lovely time of year for lots of people but it is also an infuriating time if you want to get things done. I hope you are able to enjoy it with your lovely family but I also hope there is one person in whom you can confide if it all gets too much. All I can do is offer my sympathy and support and hope that this dreadful series of events are soon resolved in January. Big, big hugs.

@Tigress and @JoanneN for replying and your kind words.

I was actually diagnosed with skin cancer 6 years ago and had two small lumps removed from my back, I had a much smaller version of this rash then and asked about it. I was told it was nothing. This was at a local Community Health clinic, the same clinic I went to today. The doctor then was as bad as the one today. The night of that surgery I ended up in A&E as the wound had opened up completely. I was told he’d put the stitches in so close together my back was like perforated paper. I had to then attend A&E every other morning for four weeks to have the wound packed and dressed and waited 3 months for the pathology report on the removed lumps. When I complained it had taken so long I was told “it’s clear why are you bothered”. Ehm, might that be because I’m not a mind reader and didn’t know. I am going to enjoy Christmas and obviously afterwards getting my breast cancer surgery sorted. Might have to open the Christmas chocolates before bed. Again a big thank you to you both. xxxx


Words fail me! I agree with what has already been said. That is atrocious. I would be straight on the phone in the morning to bcn, macmillan. I hope you get some answers quickly x