I got the initial diagnosis on 13 September of IDC, 5cm in my right breast. I had a breast reduction 20 years ago and have never been really able to feel anything since then - I only noticed something was up when the nipple retracted. My GP, who I have to say I am not overly fond, chucked me into the system so fast my head spun - two days from GP to Clinic and then another week to the follow up where it was confirmed. No history/health risks other than some seriously dense breast tissue - I'm (barely) 42, no mammogram would have picked this up, and even feeling around what was left of my breasts I never felt anything. I brushed it off for a few months thinking it was maybe fat necrosis (had quite a few heavy falls on that breast) or that the plastic surgeons in '99 indicated I would probably need a touch up lift by now. Since then its been non-stop hospital appointments - CT, bloodwork, MRI, bone scan, another mammo on the left (unaffected) breast - leading up to the big reveal this Friday of final treatment plan. Which is fine, all for thoroughness, but I have zero idea who any of my 'team' are, no one ever seems to introduce themselves with a name or their role, they were three hours late for that consultation to tell me I had it (I was so angry at that point I almost walked out) that lasted maybe ten minutes because I was so tired I just wanted to get out of there, I met the breast care nurse who has been great about getting those appointments set up but I haven't had to call yet with questions. I'm assigned to Homerton University Hospital and frankly I am a little disturbed by the conveyor belt feeling. No one ever seems to have time to talk, I dont know who anyone is, the hospital itself is like a massive, slightly run down bus station, and it gives me doubts about my treatment being specific and done for me, not just to hit some targets. There is all this rushing around and I worry about errors being made. Something else to add - I'm an American expat, so I didn't grow up with this system, have no friends or family here to explain it, and while I greatly appreciate what the diagnostics must have cost to date, I also have private insurance and am considering using it, probably in an NHS facility with private component like the Royal Marsden. I get that consultants work between the two, which is fine, but will it get me a better pace of care where I won't feel so rushed? Where I can maybe get to know my surgeons before I trust them with my life? Where I can maybe have some greater privacy? If I do decide to go private it sounds like the scans don't have to be redone but there could be a slight delay while a new team is assigned and treatment path determined. I'm ok with that, I just want to also feel comfortable with my treatment and team, and I just am not feeling that right now. I guess my question is - should I be questioning my current path to date or is this standard? Have others chose private and for what reasons?
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