Good Bye Charlotte

Charlotte is gone, it’s been a pretty harrowing year thus far, knowing that the tumour had grown and that it finally had to be removed. This is the moment I have been waiting for.

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For years I had wanted this brain tumour removed. This thing has caused me so many problems. It seemed like I wasn’t going to have an easy removal of the damn thing.

I was given a date and time, I had kept the information only to family. The hospital rang on the week-end before I was to go in. They told me that I wasn’t to have my surgery on the date specified, that I had to wait a bit.

I waited, expecting to get a call up for the following week, but no. I had to wait a month from then.

I fasted and showed up at the hospital at 5:30 AM to get ready, so I could be the first patient. I waited around, got changed in my gown.

I went down to theatre, I had a cannula in my arm.

The anesthetist was putting a line in my wrist, when the surgeon came in and said the images he had were not clear enough for surgery.

I was having it cancelled.

I, understandably was emotional, crying I said why? Why wait until now to do this? The surgeon, who I won’t name was such a patronising prat. He told me that he didn’t feel safe doing the surgery without better images. I asked through my tears, why this hadn’t been sorted before, why do this to me now? He told me that they have checks and that is what happened, the check showed this wasn’t good enough. He told me it was for my benefit and that I might want the surgery done, but he couldn’t in all good conscience do the surgery. See how easily it turned into I was being unreasonable.

I was walked back and given my bag to get dressed. Not a good look to do to a patient. I was sent to a waiting room, with tubes still out of my arms. A young nurse in training found me, she hugged me. She hugged me like I hadn’t been hugged in ages. Then this lovely young lady, got me a cup of tea and called the head of the unit. He took my tubes out and listened to me through my crying. He took my words and put them in a formal complaint. He was genuinely concerned with how I felt.

I was so grateful for Tanya the Indigenous liaison at the hospital. She came and took me away from all of that and organised a cab to take me home, where I cried and cried. I was so pent-up with emotion. It’s hard to psych yourself up to have brain surgery when you know the high chances of what could go wrong.  Tanya sorted out for me to get more scans and was there for me to make sure they got all the scans they needed, which was a good thing. I had one scan, was told I could go, but luckily found out it wasn’t the scan that was needed for the surgery. More waiting and had that then I could go home and wait a couple of days for the surgery.

So one bright and early morning I showed up and went to prep. I kept asking if they had all the scans, if everything was right.

I went into to the theatre, scared they would stop me again, but nothing untoward happened.

Image may contain: one or more people and closeup

It happened. I finally had Charlotte removed.

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About proudblacksista

An Aboriginal woman. mother of 4 diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour 7 years ago.I want to share my story to help others. I am working to help other Aboriginal people face the battles of Cancer. Email me with your stories or concerns at aboriginalcancer.com View all posts by proudblacksista

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