Terminal stage four cancer patient forced to miss week of chemotherapy due to doctor strikes
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A woman with terminal stage four cancer was forced to miss a week of chemotherapy due to the doctor strikes.
Rachael Prydderch, from Leicester, was diagnosed with stage four cancer in her liver, lungs, and bones during the 2020 lockdown after suffering from what she thought was back pain.
Despite being told that her condition is terminal, the 53-year-old has been receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment to extend her life as much as possible.
However, while junior doctors protested on Tuesday 11 April to Saturday 15 April, Rachael missed out on a week of treatment, and she's not sure how that will affect her cancer cells.
Even though the mum-of-two was told that she’s ‘in the same boat as a lot of people’, she and her family have been hugely worried about what affect that will have on prolonging her health.
Rachael explains: "Last week I received a letter telling me that they moved the appointment from 18th April to 25th, so a week later.
"They didn’t mention what I would do without my medication and no one has explained even if I will be ok without the chemotherapy medication.
"As no one had spoken to me about it, I kept ringing up and had managed to speak to the secretary who simply told me 'because of the strikes that's just how it is and there's nothing they can do about it.'
"It's not just something you can buy from the chemist, you can't get them anywhere apart from the chemo suite in the hospital.
"All I got from the secretary was that there are many other people in the same boat and there's nothing they can do."
Rachael is also waiting for scan results, which she was meant to receive at the cancelled appointment.
The patient will have to wait another week to find out if her cancer has now spread to her brain.
Speaking of the strikes, she added: "If they decide to go on strike I'm at their mercy.
"I guess I'm looking at it from a patient's POV and most look at it from a doctor's POV.
"I agree that they should get paid more that’s not my problem right now, I just want my life to be as normal as possible.
"I need this treatment. My oncology and my consultant are amazing, but being so short-staffed means they can't do everything they need to, and this is what happens.
"The strikes won't encourage new people to join NHS surely.
"People are missing out on life-saving medication.
"For me, it’s the stress and anxiety of it all as well on me and my kids and husband.
"My missed appointment would have been to get my week's worth of medication and to [get] my head scan and body scan results to check the cancer and see if it has spread to my brain too."