The following is a submission by a lady that contacted Brittany Internet to help spread the word about here case. Her aim is to help people dealing with Cancer and disfigurement. It is a compelling story with a link at the bottom to buy her book on the subject. I hope it can help someone going through similar difficulties and I wish her all the best!
Dealing with a disfiguring side effect of Chemotherapy
Standing up for patient’s rights
If you are unlucky enough to be diagnosed with cancer you need to trust your medical team, right? After all you are putting your life in their hands!
In 2005 I was one of those unlucky ones. Well, actually I count myself as ‘lucky’ because I was informed that I stood a very good chance of going into total remission if I had all the treatment being recommended to me. My medical team in Brittany explained in perfect English (thankfully), what my treatment would consist of and the ball began to roll. To say I was dreading it is an understatement but as you don’t really have a lot of choice I put my ‘big girl’s pants on’ and got on with it. Not only was I lucky enough to have a good prognoses but also I was to have a new treatment!
So what happened? What went wrong?
My nightmare started after my treatment finished. I was informed that I had suffered a rare adverse side-effect: very rare, apparently.
Being permanently disfigured by your cancer treatment, when you were not warned about it, is a constant reminder of this terrible disease. My ‘new life’ began with throwing out all the mirrors and trying to remember never to glance in any shop windows. Self-pitying and self-loathing became a daily occurrence. My medical team had never heard or seen this very rare side effect before from this new chemotherapy drug combination.
Imagine my shock when I discovered, according to Google, that I wasn’t a Freak after all!
This began my 7 year battle, a search for the truth, discovering the world of French medical damages tribunal (CRCI), the closing of ranks and the misleading data of the Pharmaceutical world. I never wanted revenge, just the truth and a ‘sorry’ would have sufficed. It has been a long 7 years but have now found my peace.
The final segment of this ‘slice of my life’ was to write a memoir. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. Maybe it happened to me because I have a very loud voice!
Written by S. A. Ledlie
Author of ‘Naked in the Wind –chemo, hairloss and deceit’