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Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi everyone,

 

After an agonising 5 weeks wait I got my results this week, no sign of malignancy, follow up mammogram in 6 months. I assume that is the usual procedure after a suspicious mammogram???

 

I wanted to tell everyone thank you so so much for all the support, also to try to help some of you still waiting to know that the mammogram recall followed by stereotactic core biopsy does not necessarily mean bad news!! While I was waiting I imagined the worst and couldn't believe that I would be in the lucky 75% of clear results. I hope for the best of news for all of you who are still going through that horrible long wait.

Best wishes

Cog

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

PS

Thx for the suggestion about writing down my questions & having someone with me. I've had plenty of time to get my list ready!!!!

 

Also thinking that I might make a bullet point list of helpful advice for patients going for a biopsy at this particular place since no explanations are given at all about what to expect and the guy doing the biopsy wouldn't answer my questions. The only thing he did answer was when I asked how long would I wait for the results. He said 2 weeks. ha ha. It just makes you feel like an unimportant piece of meat.

 

I hope you are continuing to do well. It's so nice to hear from you.  I'll post as soon as I get my results.

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi Lynda,

 

Thanks, that's good to know that a month's delay is not a problem.

Good job too since I am STILL waiting for my results. They have no idea at the hospital how much longer I will have to wait.  Must say I wish I could be back home in the capable hands of the NHS!!

I am trying very hard to be patient but 5 weeks is a long time to wait especially when they can't give me a date to hear the results.

Cog

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi,

If it's any help I had my diagnosis 2 weeks before Christmas, my oncologist gave me the choice of operating before or after Christmas and said a months delay would not make any difference.

Fingers crossed your results are clear anyway.

Lynda

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Couldn't stand the wait any longer after 2 weeks. Called the hospital. They said I had been given the wrong info. It is a 3 week wait & even then the doctor's office will only call to arrange an appointment for up to a week later. If only they had told me it would be a month of waiting I would have paced myself a little better.

 

Now I'm wondering, If the result is not good, will this one month of waiting allow the cancer to grow. I was already a year late going for my normal mammogram because i fell out of their recall system......

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi Lakeslover,

 Good to hear your last check up was clear. Thank you for taking the trouble to support me. You know what waiting for results is like so thx for replying to me.  I was sorry to hear your recall turned out to require treatment.

I should get my results tomorrow after a 2 week wait & during the wait this forum has been really helpful. 

A local doctor reassured me that I shouldn't let the dreadful lack of people skills at the hospital put me off because their technical skills are good. Also to expect the results to be delayed so i will just have to keep praying to remain sane! Let's see what happens tomorrow.

All the best

Cog

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Dear Emily,

Thanks for your post. I'm so glad to hear that your referral had a good outcome. It has really helped over the past week to know people are there & sharing. I've kept as busy as poss to avoid worrying while waiting for the results & at last it's results day tomorrow!

Thought I'd write to tell you know that I had great reassurance from a local doctor about the quality of care at the hospital here. Although their people skills are truly abysmal - which is partly why I went off the deep end a bit!!!- their pathologist & oncologist are highly rated so now I feel more able to trust the results. This 2 week wait has been hard but I'm feeling positive after reading the advice on this forum realising that statistically I have a good chance of a negative result, i.e, a lot of worry about nothing. Also if there is something it has been caught early. Let's see what tomorrow brings!

All the best

Cog

 

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi Cog,

 

Hope some of the info on the various links given will be helpful. 

 

I'm fine thanks. My GP referred me to get a lump checked. I was lucky, it turned out to be cysts. I do understand what a worrying time this is, and how it's important to feel you have confidence in your medical team. It's also important to look after yourself and get support. 

 

Take care, and do keep sharing your thoughts and feelings if it helps. 

Emily x

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

That's good if your husband can go with you. I found it best to take mine anyway, not because of the language barrier but to help take everything in as it can be a lot of information. It also helped to write down any questions I had in advance as it is easy to forget at the appointment, and also write down the answers.

I know what you mean about not wanting to worry people, especially when you don't know the outcome yet. Do come on here and vent as much as you need to, we understand what you are going through, and how hard the waiting is.

Incidentally I had a recall after routine mammogram in Nov 2011, breast cancer diagnosed, had it removed, and then radiotherapy. I'm still on Tamoxifen, and likely to be on that or a similar drug for another 8 years but my last check up was clear.

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to send me that link. I'm going to look at it right after I finish this post.

It's so nice to have this blog & find people I don't even know helping out. I was feeling quite lonely because my good friend is away for a few weeks visiting family abroad & my cat doesn't have a lot to say!!

Seriously, I'm not alone, my husband is great & my (adult) daughter & husband have just returned to the country to live with us for a bit. Sounds daft but I can't really let them see how I feel because I think they feel there's no report so it's a non event and i don't want them to worry so I'm acting like nothing's happened. It reminds me of when I miscarried - not a real baby & you can always have another-  kind of reaction from people. So it's extra nice that I can talk to this board. Thanks.

All the best for whatever reason you are part of this community.

 

Cog

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi

Thank you so much for replying! This is wonderful! My best friend is away in the States right now so it's so good to have contact with people through this forum.

 

Yes, piriton is a great idea, I have a local brand that I use when the olive season starts my usual allergies off so spot on there. The itchiness & blisters are going down now.

 

Yep, my son lives in London & my parents in Birmingham & Sussex so potentially able to stay with them if necessary but not my son in his tiny tiny shared pad!

 

My best friend is away in the States right now. I do have some friends here, Irish, American but like me they feel a bit flummoxed even though they are good at the language under normal conditions you get tongue tied & your head turns to mush in situations like this!! But it will be fine when I go for the results because my husband is a native speaker & promises to take time off work to come with me. He's so loving but I'm feeling that I need to support him right now & not show my worry, do you know what I mean???

 

Thanks again for your helpful thoughts. I hope all is well with you.

 

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi Emily,

Thank you so much! I just copy/pasted the link & will look at it now. Cheers!

It was such a nice surprise to find your answer.....it sounds corny but knowing you are not alone is really helpful.

Hope things are going well for you

Cog

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi June,

Thx a lot, much appreciated

Cog

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi Cog

 

I've also found this link on the Macmillans website which might have some appropriate information for you.

 

http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Cancerinformation/Cancertreatment/Gettingtreatment/Overseasvisitors.aspx

 

Best Wishes

 

poemsgalore xx

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi, sorry you find yourself in this position. A couple of thoughts which may, or may not help.

On a practical level I am allergic to plasters and dressings and your description sounds like the red itchy marks I get. Can you get hold of Piriton or a similar anti histamine which might help?

Maybe your son could ask his GP about private hospitals in his area? If you did need treatment it could be over several months (on an outpatient basis) so I assume you might want to be close to your kids.

From time to time I have seen other people posting from abroad, maybe try a post asking if there is anyone here now living abroad for support.

Is there an expat community where you are? Any friend who could go along with you and help with translation? I expect you have already thought about that one yourself.

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hello, 

 

I'm really sorry that as well as the worry of the tests and getting the results, you also haven't got confidence in the system where you are. Waiting is really hard as it is without extra worries. I'm afraid I don't know anything about private costs but I know there's some info the CRUK website which can be found here http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/coping-with-cancer/coping-practically/overseas/getting-p... Hope it's ok to post a link on here? Anyway, it might give you somewhere to start. Might be best to contact a specialist and ask for costs?

 

Wishing you all the best. Emily x

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Re: Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hello Cog

 

Welcome to the forums, this must be a very difficult time for you.  I'm sure the users of the site will be along to support you soon.

With regards to your questions on treatment in the UK I will refer your post to the appropriate department on Monday to see if we have answers for you.

 

With best wishes

June, moderator

 

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Living abroad had biopsy, system here not great

Hi, not sure if it's OK to post because I'm not living in the Uk at the moment...don't want you to think I'm one of those health tourists you read about in the papers! I had a biopsy 2 days ago & have to wait 2 weeks for result. It was scary because I am not confident in the language here & felt like a piece of meat. Nothing was explained except phone us in 2 weeks for your result. I came home & Googled the name I found on the payment receipt for my procedure. It said VACORA. i think I understand what they did now and what calcifications are. There isn't a contact number to ask them about my queries. Would you mind if I ask you?

 

1) I took off the dressing today which was very itchy. Red raised welts where the adhesive tapes were & 10cm away from the puncture wound a 1 cm raised blister full of fluid. I'm assuming this is just an allergic reaction to the adhesive? The puncture wound started to bleed so i put a plaster on it. Is that Ok?

 

2) I went for the biopsy because they said calcifications had changed since my original mammogram where they were present. They forgot to recall me after that initial mammogram so I called them

 I shouldn't have left it but I didn't know anything suspicious was on the original mammogram. I had the 2nd mammogram done the day before I went back to England to see my son. They called me while I was in England to come back to see the doctor but I had to wait 2 weeks before I flew back, saw the doctor the next day & he wanted a biopsy the very next day. I'm panicking that it must therefore be serious. They wouldn't answer my questions then or at the biopsy. I'm now feeling I won't trust the result they give me good or bad. i was seen at a "government"hospital but I still had to pay because it's means tested. I have private medical insurance here but it doesn't cover everything and I know it's a bit unprofessional here & twice already I've paid for unecessary procedures not realising at the time. So you can understand why I feel like I don't trust them!! I have tried to educate myself using the internet but still feeling unclear.

 

3) sooooo is it possible to come back to England for a private appointment to sort this out? Can you recommend anyone & roughly what might it cost? I'm not entitled to NHS treatment any more because I'm living (in the EU) abroad. I don't want to say where i am cos this place is so small I don't want people to know. The irony is we had planned to go home to England this year but the financial crisis meant we can't sell our house so we are stuck here. I'm 58 BTW. I'm trying hard to be calm. People say waiting for the results is the worse part but I feel getting the results will be the worst part because I won't know if i can trust them. This makes me sound paranoid, doesn't it!!!!!!

Thanks