I remember, you know, he [doctor] said, “Well we’ll have to get the biopsies, the next stage.” He said, “We take these things in stages.” And he explained the various stages and the next step is the biopsies to find out exactly what we’re dealing with. And though he was a doctor, it’s a surgeon that authorises the biopsy. And my surgeon that I wanted to see, the man that I’d seen with the mastalgia and liked, was away on holiday and wouldn’t be back for about a week. So what was suggested to me was that I come back and see my GP and see if the GP could do anything to get the ball rolling, the idea being that it would be done and on the surgeon’s desk for when he came back off holiday.
So my husband drove me back home and we went straight round to the doctor’s. Luckily a surgery was on, and by then I was in tears, it was just starting to kick in. And I saw the receptionist and she said, “Oh, for something like this obviously you’ll have an emergency appointment, we’ll see you tonight.” And she offered me a choice of, my usual doctor wasn’t around but there was a lady doctor available, there was a male doctor available. I just opted for the male doctor, I wasn’t bothered. I just wanted to see somebody.
So saw the GP anyway that evening and he said, “Right, well, what we’ll do”, he said, “I will fax the hospital.” Bearing in mind nobody had got any notes or anything to refer to. Now he was going purely on what we told him. He said, “I will fax the hospital and see if we can’t get a consultant to authorise the biopsy.”
He [consultant] said, “As your other consultant” – the man I wanted to see – “is on holiday”, he said, “really, you know, he ought to be part of this meeting and he won’t be here.” He said, “So, you know, are you going to stick with this other consultant?” And I said, “Well yes I want to go to him” because I knew him a little bit and I wanted to go to the other hospital because I’d been there before. So it basically came down to him sort of saying, “Well I can’t help you then.” He wanted to be the consultant, he wanted me to have it done there either NHS or privately there, and he wasn’t prepared to just rubber stamp the biopsy. If he got involved, he said, it’s most sort of irregular to have two consultants involved with one patient, you know. It’s only sort of on very serious sorts of cases, something nobody’d ever heard of or seen of before when you get two consultants treating one patient. And, of course we didn’t know the protocol or anything then. And I’ve never been in hospital for anything at all, major or anything, then we didn’t know what the protocol was. And, I think I came and upset the doctor a little bit because he was kind of, you know, “If you want me to do this you come to me. You know, if you want to go with the other person that’s where you have to go.”
So I said, “Well, I’ll wait then,” because this doctor would be back in a week’s time. And it was a bit scary because knowing you’ve got cancer in you, you want it dealt with promptly. But I thought, well a week, and they are saying it’s something minor, you know. So I said I would wait.