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She doesn't want to go and I don't know what to do.

(128 Posts)
ArtNotDishes Mon 06-Apr-20 23:19:43

I'm so anxious and Mumsnet has always helped me in the past so I'm reaching out again. My mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour and a spinal cord tumour and put on a two week cancer wait 5 weeks ago. She now has an appointment on Thursday at a hospital 2 hours drive away. She needs specialist scans. She called me tonight as she doesn't want to go as she scared she might catch the virus. She's 73 and she's been staying inside alone for 3 weeks. She's also scared of the outcome if she doesn't go. She's on her own and looking to me for advice and answers and I just don't know what to say. My instinct is to go with my gut and tell her not to go and to wait it out. I don't want to make the wrong call. Sorry I'm so stressed.

Tolleshunt Mon 06-Apr-20 23:22:13

Gosh, what an awful situation. I really feel for you all. I can well imagine her reluctance to go, but with tumours on the brain and spinal cord, and already being three weeks over the usual waiting time, I would definitely go. Take as many precautions with hand washing etc as possible. Hope all works out for her.

LouiseTrees Mon 06-Apr-20 23:23:19

I think that’s the wrong call. This could be going on months and her tumour could grow. Especially in cancer wards they will be doing everything they can to avoid cross contamination and Coronavirus . But you’ll know the stats on your own local hospital better.

saraclara Mon 06-Apr-20 23:23:54

She needs to go. You need to support her in that. The hospital will not be letting any virus patients anywhere near the other departments.

This virus will cause deaths entirely unrelated to it, if people with such serious conditions as your mother's, don't get treated because of it.

You need to toughen up, reassure your mum and get her there. She's in the two week process for a reason. She needs medical help, and soon.

Splitsunrise Mon 06-Apr-20 23:25:05

I would also go. Coronavirus is serious but that sounds potentially much worse and who knows how serious until she goes. I’m so sorry

softygirl Mon 06-Apr-20 23:25:56

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Wanderlust21 Mon 06-Apr-20 23:26:03

No I think I would take her. She definately has tumors already, they need to be dealt with. She may never catch coronavirus. Deal with the definitive rather than the maybes.

Besides even if she caught corona, she might not get it bad.

I've worked for Macmillan's over the years and if theres one thing I've learned is that you take no chances when it comes to cancer.

Fatted Mon 06-Apr-20 23:26:50

She needs to go. She may not get the virus, but the cancer WILL cause problems if it goes unchecked.

I have family undergoing cancer treatment. They are very strict at the hospital. No visitors, no friends or family members, staff are in full PPE and patients have to wear masks and gloves too. They are doing the best they can to avoid it spreading.

Eskarina1 Mon 06-Apr-20 23:27:08

The hospital will have made this call when they invited her. They think the risk of not seeing her is greater than the risk of seeing her.

Whatever happens with lockdown we're months away from it being "safe" to go to a hospital appointment so she may as well go now.

Hannah021 Mon 06-Apr-20 23:27:21

She should go! There is a manifesting risk (tumour) and there is a potential risk!!

The manifesting risk has to be addressed! Because you already know it is progressing.

StoneofDestiny Mon 06-Apr-20 23:28:15

I'd not advise 'waiting it out' if her condition is serious.
If she is gloved and masked up, and you are healthy and driving her, she should be fine. (There is never a guarantee of course). I'm speaking as someone who has a family member commuting in and out of London for cancer treatment - a high risk case, little immunity at all.
Being afraid of what they find is normal, but being afraid of how things might advance without treatment is normal too.
If it's not an emergency they won't treat her - no emergency cancer treatments have been pushed back because of Covid 19.

Hope things work out.

saraclara Mon 06-Apr-20 23:30:07

Most of our patients have postponed their CT scans for a couple of months at their own request.

But they're already your patients under treatment, right? This lady hasn't even had her first appointment yet. Are you seriously encouraging her to not go to her first hospital appointment, when she and the consultant don't yet know how bad things are?

Please don't use your admin experience to advise on a medical decision.

angelikacpickles Mon 06-Apr-20 23:30:14

She needs to go. Serious conditions need to be treated regardless of coronavirus.

Doyoumind Mon 06-Apr-20 23:30:20

Hospitals are putting all possible measures in place to protect vulnerable patients. I think she needs to go.

notangelinajolie Mon 06-Apr-20 23:30:45

She should go.

Susue999 Mon 06-Apr-20 23:31:50

I would take hospital advice. They have cancelled some cancer treatments. If they haven’t cancelled your mums I would assume (but you can check) that they believe the benefit of her getting treatment would outweigh the risks of her being exposed to the virus whilst she is there. Horrible and very tough for you to have to be the one to advise.

converseandjeans Mon 06-Apr-20 23:32:58

Aah that sounds awful & she must be scared. Take her to the appointment & perhaps look at where she should go after. Not sure she should be isolating alone. Poor thing.

Chipmonkeypoopoo Mon 06-Apr-20 23:36:09

I'm sorry you're all having to deal with this. She needs to get her treatment. This could go on for months. My dad isn't in the UK but he has been having chemo for 15 months or so now. He is still going once a week for his treatment - sometimes twice. He and my mum are worried but honestly, cancer patients are on a totally different ward to COVID patients. The doctors and nurses are restricted to the cancer wards. They practice excellent sanitation etc. He is probably safer there than he is at the supermarket.

Outtedagain Mon 06-Apr-20 23:37:58

She should go unless hospital tell her not to. Are hospitals separating covid-19 patients anyway?

HyperactivePineapple Mon 06-Apr-20 23:41:41

I would go.

In my area they are dealing with cancer patients in a different hospital to Coronavirus patients, and even if that's not possible they will be doing everything they cab to keep them as safe as possible.

ArtNotDishes Mon 06-Apr-20 23:41:46

Thank you all for your replies, I can't tell you how much this means. I said I will call my mum tomorrow to discuss it further. My mum wants me to meet her at the hospital and be with her at the CT scan and the MRI full body scan so it will be most of the day. If I'm honest I'm also worried for myself (I know this sounds selfish) I have young children and a husband who is a key worker. She wants me there if she goes. I feel so crap and sad.

TheGoogleMum Mon 06-Apr-20 23:42:14

I work in radiotherapy and my understanding is only those cancer treatments that can afford to wait (slower growing) are being delayed, for most the benefit of treatment will outweigh the risks. If the hospital thought the appointment was avoidable they would have discussed putting it off, clearly this isn't so I really think you should go but be very careful.

softygirl Mon 06-Apr-20 23:43:18

Saraclara I'm not saying I can make a medical decision. OP said her gut instinct was not to go and mum's decision was also not to go. She is very vulnerable and delaying a scan for a few weeks might be preferable to catching a very aggressive virus, of course the hospital will be prepared to protect patients but there will also be patients with the virus in the hospital so on balance it may be more sensible to wait a few weeks until the risk of catching Coronavirus is considerably less.

Fluffymule Mon 06-Apr-20 23:51:26

As someone living with Cancer myself, and having attended an appointment with my Consultant last week, I would suggest she goes.

The unit was calm, had extra hygiene measures in place, but ultimately was pretty much business as usual. The only real difference was I had no problem parking for once.

My consultant was also able to talk to me about immunocompromisation and covid-19 which I found useful and reassuring.

ArtNotDishes Mon 06-Apr-20 23:55:10

Thank you for your replies. They have been very helpful to me. It's insightful to get the views from different perspectives. I'll speak to her tomorrow and we can talk through all the points. It's such a shitty time for so many.

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