Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Rosie’s thoughts on the cancellation of her Ablation operation


I am Rosie Young, retired nurse and Cancer Champ for Oxfordshire Advocacy and I have blogged before about my experiences as a patient living with lung cancer.

I just want to share the shock I felt when the consultant phoned to say my Ablation had been cancelled.    It was almost like a mega bereavement process, having been so ‘psyched up’ for this operation.   I felt cheated in an odd way.    In April there was the shock of the cancer coming back and then the long wait for the first operation date finally set in late June which was then postponed due to lack of hospital beds.   And then the wait for a new date in August.   And now the second cancellation and another 3 month wait as it seems that the area they were worried about in my lung has shrunk, my next scan will be in late October.



It’s a very strange emotional upheaval to go through.    Everybody is incredibly happy that the possible tumour has shrunk and can’t understand why I am not over the moon. I have had to pretend that I am happy too.   I have been feeling so guilty and conflicted, not wanting to burst the bubble, even with my advocate Linda.   I didn’t expect to feel like that.

I guess I’d like every advocate out there to be really aware of the emotional roller coaster a patient goes through when there is a cancellation of an operation or change to planned treatment.   When this happens you feel like you’ve lost control cos you can’t do anything practical to help yourself.   Really listen carefully and do not make any assumptions or have expectations when this happens.

It seems to me from all the research I have done that no one has really got to grips with the psychological impact of cancer both on you and others around you who are in some ways more frightened than you.


Rosie Young, 26.08.15


3 thoughts on “Rosie’s thoughts on the cancellation of her Ablation operation

  1. Roller Coaster. Loss of control or, as I describe it to myself, a feeling of being powerless. Yep, me too.

    Not all the time. When the roller coaster dips it’s easy to think I’m on my own, especially when people around don’t have a clue why I’m feeling down. After all, I was OK yesterday …….


  2. Dear Rosie,
    This is such a powerful message. I hadn’t fully understood how massive a psychological effect a delay like this could have. You have thought me a really important lesson. Thank you.
    Good luck for your our future treatment. I hope it all goes well for you.


  3. Dear Rosie

    I read your blog with interest. You make such an important point. Someone I know had a similar experience where she did not feel over the moon when receiving ‘good news’ about her condition. Her friends were expecting her to be happy and relieved You make such an important point about the ’emotional roller coaster’ and the importance of advocates being sensitive to how people really feel.
    Warm wishes


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