male medical photographer

Hi Moorcow

I am very impressed that you stood up for yourself and demanded to be treated with dignity, that takes courage.I seem to have mislaid my assertiveness somewhere through this almost 3yr ordeal. You are so right though - we should feed back, complain etc but I think almost three years of feeling like this is just me being out of step has taken it’s toll and I am choosing to just opt out now. Result is I don’t go for check ups as I know I would not submit to any more treatment if it recurs. I’ve had the get naked or you are wasting the doctors time thing too and again, it’s foul lying there naked with no cover up. No blankets or modesty allowed at this hospital. The surgeon gets prickly when he comes in and women are trying to keep arms folded over a dodgy recon/ mx, it clearly really annoys him. He gets impatient and sharp and for me I just feel even more violated. Nurse led clinic is much the same, you lie exposed whilst being briefly quizzed by BCN about how you feel psychologically. So far the Onc was the best, although she still had to have a posse of nurses about while she looked at it but she actually spoke to me whilst I had clothes on and that made a difference.Normally I don’t hear what they say as I am panicking at being naked. I’m sick of Dr’s and Nurses who assume we are past caring and I particularly dislike it when they say that I should be past caring - I am not a diseased breast or a reconstruction site, I’m a woman.

Best Wishes and Hugs to you too

Jane x

What rotten treatment many of you are suffering, I didn’t realise that people could be so thoughtless - because usually that’s what it is - lack of thought or consideration for how someone might feel.
My breast consultant and onc both talk to me first, ask how I’m getting on etc whilst I’m still fully dressed, then ask me if it’s OK if they have a look at me and I go behind a curtain or into a separate room to undress my top half. The onc (male) also asks if it’s OK for him to touch me when he checks me over. I assumed everyone would be treated the same way.
Sarah x

My experiences so far have been like Cheshire Cheese and Clematis. It makes such a difference to your emotional state to be treated with consideration and dignity. I’ve always been introduced to any students and asked if I mind if they look on. If I wasn’t asked in this way I think I’d refuse as how do you know who they are? Could be the windowcleaner.

I think as well as feeding back bad experiences, we should feed back the good and let them know what a difference it makes to us and how others aren’t so lucky. I’ll start the ball rolling on Wednesday when I see Onc.

Great idea hipchick, will do the same. Jane, good for you for knowing you don’t want to put your energies into feedback now or maybe ever, using it for whatever you want to is so much more fun! Isn’t it amazing about this assertiveness disappearing act -I lost all mine and yet am normally right up there…
bw Nicola

My experiences have been positive as my onc and surgeon have both been kind, considerate and very respectful always asking if they could examine me. The only person that has ever taken photos has been the surgeon and he has always asked if I mind and shown me the photos. The only time that I have felt embarrassed is when I went for my consultation for a reduction of my good breast the studen nurse asked me which breast I was having reduced - which doesn’t sound too bad but I was undressed at the time. I have one pert but a bit flat breast and the other is very much heading south. She realised what she’d said and looked very embarassed. I didn’t say anything as I’m sure that she bitterly regetted her words, and no doubt she would have had a taking too by the BCN. Perhaps a change of career wouldn’t be a bad idea!!

For all the years I have attended the Breast Unit ( 23 years now!) I would say that my good experiences far outweigh the thoughtless or bad ones. My current Consultant Oncologist and her team always treat me with respect. I too sit with her and we discuss what has been happening then she asks me if it is ok to examine me.
But that is no excuse for the thoughtless acts. Have these people no compassion at all? Can’t they just think how they would feel if it was them sitting on that bed? I once complained about the lack of confidentiality when members of staff openly discussed the health problems of the person sitting in the next seat to me. It makes me wonder just what is taught about bedside manner and compassion. But all in all I find most of my memories are good ones. besides when you are going through treatment you just don’t have the energy to complain. Hugs to everyone who has felt vulnerable. Val