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15 Jul 2011

Not Coping
I am not coping. I am freaking out.
My husband was not feeling well. He went to the GP, who examined him and told him it looks like he may have cancer. Because we have no medical aid, we made an appointment at the local provincial hospital - we had to wait 5 weeks. He went for the appointment, where they examined him again, took blood samples, and just said it does not look good. They made an appointment for him during November for a biopsy. I phoned the hospital a week later to find out about the blood tests. They said there were no tests done! They asked me what he was at the hospital for, I told them and the kind sister changed the date for the end of this month. At least it is not that long to wait anymore. In the meantime the word " cancer'' and what the future may hold, or not, is freaking me out. I am not sleeping, I can''t get my work done, no concentration. I am trying to cope, I am trying my best to support my husband by not showing panic. I don''t know if this is fooling him.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Of course I understand your distress, and what you describe sounds like appalling negligence. There are different kinds of cancer, of varying severity and responding differently to treatment. The priority, then, is to discover what sort your husband has, and what will be the best way to deal with it. Ask the hospital if they can arrange for you to see a social worker or psychologist for counselling, to help you cope better and of course to be better able to help your husband. Also, contact the Cancer Association which is a strong national organization, and can both provide information and support for you both, but may also be able to make significant inquiries at the hospital to push them towards behaving effectively.
Sadly, as many seem so badly administered and run, provincial hospitals, and individual departments tend to be pot luck - some, fortunately are still excellent. I have a friend who was discovered to have a large tumour in his chest, and he has been excellently handled by his local provincial hospital, apparently receiving the highest standards of care all round, through diagnosis, surgery, nursing and all aspects of management
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