Lyn’s poem about being a NET patient

What does it mean to you?

What does it mean to you… 

… the Nurse Practitioner who shrugged her shoulders when I begged her for help? 

… the consultant who prescribed me anti-depressants?

… the consultant who advised me to drink mint tea, eat yogurt and stay away from vegetables?

What does it mean to you, the technician who laughed as he did my scan, again, … ‘that’ll do’ he said.  But was it clear enough?

What does it mean to you… 

the locum GP, the newly posted GP, the nearly-ready-to-retire GP, when faced with a tearful female who is complaining, yet again, of having a sore stomach?

”… she’s been told it’s mild gastritis and acid reflux for God’s sake!   What more can I do?!’

What does it mean to you, the person responsible for booking the Octreotide scan? As I sat and waited for three weeks before I asked …’what’s going on?’  

What does it mean to you, the person who told them I was away on the honeymoon I’d had to cancel, because the consultant advised strongly against the long haul flight?

What does it mean to you, the person who failed to pass on my correct mobile number?

What does it mean to you?

It means nothing. 

You sleep at night. 

You aren’t in pain. 

You aren’t worrying. 

You aren’t surrounded by loved ones desperate for some news on the situation. 

You aren’t worried about your future. 

What does it mean to me?

It means 55 months have passed. 

It means I face an uncertain future. 

It means my cancer has probably spread. 

It means my tumour (the one they’ve found so far) is now almost 2cm. 

It means my hopes are fading fast. 

It means I may never see my daughter graduate, walk down the aisle or have my first grandchild. 

It means I probably won’t get to do that PhD I want to. 

It means I may never see Sri Lanka (my honeymoon destination) I may never make my anniversaries (I got married less than 4 weeks ago). 

Will I see my 50th birthday?

Will I ever be pain free?

Or will my remaining time be filled with injections, scans, tests and appointments?

So, next time you see a patient, next time someone sits in front of you, begging for help, next time you fill in that referral form, pass on medical information, complete a scan … 

…next time, remember it may not mean much to you, but it is my life and to me, this is everything. 

It is all I have. 

Lyn Freeman (Jan 2017)