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My Breast Cancer Story

'Dr X'  

I seem to be putting a lot of trust in these Dr’s and Nurses that I have just met. Why do we do that? Just because they have the white coats, utensils and clip boards, we as a nation put all our trust into them. I did this a year ago and look where that got me. It got me absolutely nowhere, just a lecture about being a paranoid and stupid over exaggerating woman, who’s age seemed to be the normal age to have lumpy breasts, but at the same time, having no bloody lump there (according to Dr X that is).  We put so much faith into the NHS and automatically think that they are always right. Well I have proved that they are not. I was right a year ago and she was wrong. I wasn’t paranoid. 

I have been thinking a lot about ‘Dr X’ and am feeling very angry towards her.  I thought that the anger that I felt towards her, the day they told me I had cancer would subside, but it hasn’t.  I feel bitter and have felt that I need to do something about it.  I wanted to put in a complaint against her, but every time I mentioned this everyone keeps telling me that I should forget about it for now, and just concentrate on my treatment, and then do what I feel is right after it is all done.  I know they are probably right but it’s been eating away at me and I don’t like it one little bit.  How many more women has she done this too, How many more has there been before me and how many more will there be in the future.  I must do something and I made up my mind that I was not going to wait until after the treatment.


I did a bit of searching on the internet about clinical negligence and rang one of the numbers that I found. A solicitor rang me back immediately and asked a lot of questions. Talking about that day with ‘Dr X’ and how she treated me I found quite upsetting and found myself apologising for crying a number of times. The solicitor posted out to me their information pack with a letter explaining how to put a complaint letter together, where to send it too and the timescale for acknowledgements and responses. Once I have the response, they have informed me to forward it straight on to them so that they can assess it and start taking action. They have told me that it can be a very long drawn out process but I feel I have to do this, if not for me but for every other women out there.


On the 25th July 2007 I drafted up a complaint letter and sent it the chief Executive of the complaints department, I explained in great detail what had happened with Dr X and about my diagnosis.  On the 3rd Aug I received an acknowledgement letter stating that my complaint had been passed on to the Clinical Lead for the directorate of Cancer and Associated Specialists who will investigate my matter and formulate a written response. 


Today On   Monday 15th October 2007,   I received the response to my complaint.  My initial thought was ‘at last, things are moving’ but on opening the letter, as I read down it, the tears poured down my face as I read through lie after lie and the anger that I already had towards ‘Dr X’ grew and grew.


The opening paragraph said that they hope I will be reassured that they have taken my complaint seriously and that their response deals with my concerns. So turning the page to the actual response I was dumfounded, utterly shocked and the word angry just does not cut it and has to be the biggest understatement ever.  


Now firstly, the procedure for the NHS complaints is that they have to respond back to you within a certain time scale.  This did not happen and the opening paragraph at least had the decency to apologise.



All well and good, and probably a good start to the letter, but to be honest, I cannot remember for the life of me if the person in question did contact me via telephone or not.  Maybe this person did, maybe they didn’t.  What I do know is that day after day I had been counting the days and waiting for this response to come back to me.


It’s what followed that made my blood boil, It’s what followed that caused the small black smudges all over the letter, smudges from me crying over it, not being able to believe what I read and having to read it over and over again to make sure that I did indeed read it right.



The friggin stupid arrogant cow has lied and said that there was another nurse present in the room with her at the time.  There was no-one else present; it was just her and me.  How can she lie so blatantly, is it because these doctors and nurses stick up for one another, lie for each other to get them out of trouble.   As for me, I had no-one, the only evidence that I have is my word, and two against one isn’t a very good leg to stand on.  The letter got worse;



The two cysts in the breast were aspirated on the right side!! What the crap, how many more times do I have to tell this woman, the original lump that I had gone for was NOT aspirated, it wasn’t aspirated because when the ultra sound man went to aspirated it, he couldn’t find the bloody thing.  ‘Dr X’ had now lied about someone else being present in the room and still sticking to her ‘I am God’ status of being a breast doctor, that she knows or should I say, knew my breasts better than me.


The first paragraph below is I think more of the status from when she said that I had lumpy breasts because of my age and to deal with it.  Not once did she advise me to back for a triple assessment if I found more lumps, it was the radiologist who did the ultra sound that said that, before I saw her,  and what the frig is all this about a letter that was sent to me.  I have had no letter from her, and as for her being disappointed that I feel that she ‘groped’ me, how bloody disappointed does she think I am, that she called me paranoid and wouldn’t listen to me.  She should have listened to me when I repeatedly told her and tried to show her where the lump was.  Yes so what, it was tiny back then, it wasn’t the 80mm diameter tumour that it was when I was diagnosed, but I could feel it, I could feel it small and hard and knew it wasn’t one of my usual lumps and bumps that apparently grow because of my (at the time) 38 yrs old pensioner status.



I read the letter over and over, crying constantly and getting so angry that if I had the strength I would have gone over to the hospital and bloody well punched her in the face.   I wish I did have the energy, because I want to hurt her like she has and still is hurting me.  If she had listened, I still feel that I wouldn’t have to go through all this chemo and I wouldn’t have to have a mastectomy.  I know I would still have to go through the emotions of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but if she had listened to me and done further tests or something, I would probably just had to have a lumpectomy and some radiotherapy, just like Lauren did.  After-all Lauren had a small pea sized lump that was Grade 3 and my tumour measuring 80mm is still only a grade 2, so what Grade would I have been a year ago when the size was smaller than the nail on my little finger.


I rang Lee and sobbed down the phone, I shouted at him because… well because I needed to shout at someone, to get all my feelings of emotions and hatred out.  Lee tried to calm me down and said he would go through it with me when he got home.  I know he probably felt as angry as me with the lying that was going off in the response letter, but unlike him, I didn’t want to leave it until later, I want her to admit she is lying, and I want her to admit it now.


After hanging up from Lee, I rang the number of the clinical negligence solicitor and told them that I had received the response.  And just as I thought, I knew the lies were not doing my claim any favours.  I emailed it over and waited it out to hear  from them and all the while thinking up scenario’s of me barging into the Breast Clinic and punching the bloody truth out of her.  I know I can’t do this, because to do this would make me as bad as she is, but would I be as bad as her, at least if I just gave her a mouthful and a bloody good pasting, it’s not giving her the death sentence that she could have given to me.  It would however make her think twice before doing what she did to me to others.  Then I wonder if I went up there and started ranting and raving, shouting her name from the roof tops and how she spoke to me and groped me, if any other women or men for that matter would stand up and say ‘Yeah, she did the same to me’. 


When Lee arrived home and read through the letter, he started shouting at me for exactly the same reason why I shouted at him early “Who the f@@k does she think she is”, “Doesn’t this woman have any remorse at all” I just sat and cried again.


The bad news is that the solicitor rang me back and told me that due to this stupid arrogant cow saying that she there was another nurse present in the room makes it very difficult to create a case against her as it is my word against theirs.  I knew this and think it was why I had gotten so angry and upset when I read it.  So because of this lying the clinic negligence solicitor appologised and said that they could not help me and further.


As for “Dr X” if she thinks that she has stumped me with her lying and thinks that I will forget all about the complaint against her, she has another thing coming because, I am going to fight her to the end.  I will make her pay for how she treated me and make sure that she can no longer do it to anyone else.   


If things had been different that day, if she had listened to me or if I had pushed for her to listen, to believe me and pushed for her to do further tests, then maybe I would be writing a totally different journal.  Maybe I would have called her ‘Mrs Fantastic’ for diagnosing me at an early stage.


You know earlier today, I didn’t even know what ‘Dr X’s’ real name and have quite happily been writing her as the evil ‘Dr X’ out of Austin Powers, not that Dr X out Austin Powers was actually as evil as her, but the complexity of his character, I thought really suited her.  It’s now that I know her name that I am struggling, I did remember to black out her name every time on the extracts of the letter, but the problem that I having is that every time that I had to write her name I am almost slipping up with her real name.  I know for the time being I can’t, and even in my journal I still have to refer to her as ‘Dr X’ just incase.  


For now though, because I am so bloody knackered from the chemo and have my surgery in just over 3 weeks time, I have decided to agree (to Lee’s relief) that I will not do anything further regarding ‘Dr X’ until after my treatment has finished.  I am going to concentrate on getting through my last chemo, get my surgery over and done with, get my radiotherapy over and done with and then she had better watch out, because this girl is guna get her stricken off the medical register and put her in her place.  She is not God and she CANNOT mess with people’s lives like she has done with mine.








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