Bowel cancer treatment and side effects


Cancer patients hospital care

My OH was recently feeling very poorly, so phoned Christie hotline and they sent an ambulance. Here’s the dilemma - the ambulance crew agreed he needed to be seen by a doctor and needed bloods done but we’re particularly concerned that he was high risk as a cancer patient being treated for low neutrophils and possibly had neutropenia. They did not want to take him into A&E where there is an abundance of germs. The Christie had no beds, the hospital couldn’t take him straight onto a ward. They tried a GP to come to the home but they couldn’t get bloods done, why I do not know as this seems the most sensible option? Has anyone else had this type of experience? In the end he had to go into A&E were bloods diagnosed chest infection, shot of antibiotics and two lots of antibiotics to go home with.


Really hope he starts to feel better soon :x:


Yes we have a number of times. There is something not quite right about the system. Sitting in A and E is just awful. My OH's recent visit to A and E was awful. He had a temperature so I took him to A and E as told. He was there for 2 days as there were no beds at all in the hospital. Two days of drunks, no sleep... finally a bed became available. But then it took days for scans, op all to be organised. I watched him get weaker and weaker. Everything stops at weekends, it's as if no one is ill at weekends! It was a dreadful experience. Don't get me wrong, the staff were wonderful, but the whole system was so stretched.
If someone has cancer wouldn't it better to go somewhere different to A and E? Resources I guess stop this. But going to A and E is awful. My OH has said he won't go there again! He has been so many times now.
There has to be a better way.


I don’t know who would address this issue and if different hospitals GPs have different rules. At the next visit to oncologist I’m going to mention my concerns. I understand nhs resource issues but there just doesn’t seem to be a system to protect the high risk patients. @Bear G is this something your presentation could raise?

Bear G

Sorry @angelj , the video was recorded a couple of weeks ago and we’re just finalising the editing.

Whenever I’ve had an issue such as an 8nfection that needed hospitalisation I called my chemo team (or out of hours number) and they got me straight into the ward, no A&E. Could be worth asking your chemo units if this is an option?


This is tricky @angelj, and I’m sorry to hear that your husband had such a rough time. I have been admitted to hospital via A&E on three occasions with infections and fever, once via ambulance. Each time I was triaged straight away and isolated in A&E away from other patients and then had my own room on the ward. Two different hospitals ....... this worked for me and I did not feel at risk. As I said, this is tricky in terms of resources. Take very good care, Kim :x::x:

Polly 1

When we had a problem the chemo emergency line organised things so hubby didn't go via A&E at all and went straight to a side room in an assessment ward. He stayed overnight.

As @Bear G says worth asking at your chemo unit if this is an option so you are ready if needed again @angelj


Thanks all for your comments, he’s doing fine now the infection is under control and he managed FOLFOX number 8 on Monday so 4 to go, with injections for white blood count to end in April. I will ask questions if chemo unit.


I agree with the rest, @angelj . You should have been given phone numbers to contact your chemo day unit, both during working hours and emergency out-of-hours.
I was lucky in not having any issued to have to call, but I was given the phone numbers with other information in an A4 folder. Were you given such a thing?


We had numbers to ring, which we did and we were told to go straight to A and E!


Hi @yellowhornet we have the Christie hospital hotline who called the ambulance but there was nowhere they had a isolation area that could accommodate him. The Churchill unit an annex of the hospital where he receives his chemo should have been an option but it wasn’t so I’m going to find out why, it was mid morning so would not have been closed.


Yes rung the acute unit at Western park explained breathing was bad feeling of passing out. Legs very unsteady asked to do blood pressure and take temperature did and told them she then told me to ring 111 . I rung 111 told within hour will get doctors callback 2 and half hours later got phone call explained again. Told someone would be with me soon, 45 minutes later the 111 doctor was at my house examined me said to call ambulance or take my self to A&E which I did 3.30am in waiting area then taken to cubicle test x-ray, bloods, blood pressure told to go home and come back at 10am to ambulatory unit.
6.30 got home went to bed got up 9.30 am went to unit examined again done a flu test and was told I had flu,
Next day still Ill went to oncologist at another hospital told to go to ambulatory unit doctor could see I wasn't well so admitted me. Found I had low magnesium, dangerous high lactis, dehydrated, flu and because my white blood count was 140 when we started chemo only went to 101 so cos I started low needed blood.
Think this waiting with everyone else who could kill me with three germs needs sorting out urgently at A&E.
Got to say couldn't have done any of the above without my fantastic wife and love of my life Jeanette XXX love you lots :x::x::x:


@george1960 what a dreadful time you’ve had, looking back on these moments it’s frightening. I wouldnt hesitate to go straight to hospital, don’t wait for people to call back, trust your own instincts. Lovely words for your wife, glad she’s there for you :x::x:


The trouble is when you have chemo your told about so many reaction you could have and if you do start to experience anything ring the acute 24hour emergency help line. It fills you with confidence as it looks very professional and promising. On reflection if anything happened to me we would go straight to the emergency department cos your dealt with as an emergency and they understand your not wasting there time cos blood clots or septicemia or anything else.

I think the acute emergency service for chemo patients needs improvement .

Thanks :x::x: