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Feelings about follow up

Grandparents and children sharing tips and stories

From Leslie Stuart

After my "successful" operation for malignant melanoma and the spread of the cancer cells to my lymph system I moved into an initially irregular and subsequently regular pattern of three monthly check-ups at the two hospitals involved with my care. Preston Royal Plastic surgery dept, where the initial operation took place, and The Christie Hospital, who provide follow-up and support.

At each three months I move into a "crabby" phase of being short-tempered with those around me whilst revealing little of the true fear of the point during the interview when the doctor says, "I'm sorry but...". The latter hasn't happened after 18 months. At the end of the consultation I feel elated for a short time then deflated as, of course, the doctor can't say - "It's all gone away....you're cured." Gradually I forget it and get back to some kind of normality for the next three months. This isn't really true as about every twenty minutes every day I remember what I've got and reflect on it.

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Updated: 28 September 2009