Writer Carol Hedges who is a cancer patient had her stress levels elevated
when her consultant dropped the bombshell that a no-deal Brexit could affect
her access to treatment. Mrs. Hedges told the Cheshire Patriot
“I am a 2 times cancer survivor. Not that any of us really think of ourselves as ‘survivors’ , we all carry the fear that somewhere inside, cells are reforming and transmuting, and sooner or later, we will get the diagnosis we all dread. It keeps us awake at nights.”
“Since Brexit, I have had a lot of those nights. It started with my final appointment at Mount Vernon hospital, where the lovely Hungarian radiographer told me she was returning to Hungary, as she’d had enough of working under the stressful conditions imposed by years of neglect in the NHS. Mind you, the evidence of that was all around: machines breaking down, spare parts not available.
I wished her luck. Then, in an uncharacteristic gesture, she took my hand.
‘You are the one who will need it,’ she said. And she gave me a sad, sad smile.
I shrugged off her remark, grateful that I no longer had to make the 40 minutes
But the Doctor’s words came back to Mrs Hedges at her last appointment when she told the consultant she had decided to bypass chemotherapy and he looked at her with great concern.
“’I will speak frankly,’ he said. ‘We are worried about the future. We are already experiencing staff shortages: some of my best people have left and gone back to their own countries. They have had to deal with abuse that they never expected from patients. And now it looks as if we will leave the EU with nothing sorted, I am worried about our supply of nuclear medicines.
When Mrs Hedges asked how high a priority, she would be for treatment in the event of rationing given her age he did not reply. Carol told us “He didn’t have to. His expression said it all”.
The writer contemplates the future with a huge sense of uncertainty. “I have 2 adorable little grandchildren. They are my life. Before Brexit, and the current proposed No Deal, I was happily looking forward to seeing them grow up, to being part of their lives. Now, like thousands of others, my world has been turned upside down. My right to life has been taken away. My future path is unclear.”
Macmillan Cancer Support estimate that a thousand of us are diagnosed with cancer every day.