‘My girlfriend only has a short time to live: I stand by helplessly’ | Reader’s Column

„As I write this letter, in the background sounds You’ve got a friend from James Taylor. A song about friendship and being there for each other in the darkest nights. These dark nights have come for my dear friend…

Of course you are there for each other, you support each other and you cry together. But I too, as a friend, stand helplessly to the side.

She has informed me that she still has one fervent wish: to urge people to always follow their intuition (and not blindly your doctor) if you yourself have a suspicion that something is not right with your body.

Wipe off the table

My friend, 55 years young in the prime of her life… 17 years ago, 38 years, she went to her GP because she found a lump in her breast. Her doctor sent her home: you are much too young for breast cancer, and it must be an inflamed mammary gland. A referral letter for a mammogram was brushed aside. Follow-up appointments were not made. You are young and you trust your doctor.

A year later, complaints arose and she was finally referred directly to an oncologist by another doctor. December 6, 2006 she will never forget. Doctors already gave her up: breast cancer with metastases… Concern was expressed about her GP’s failure to act on time.

The courses were started with five different hormone pills over the years. The tumors responded well to this, doctors called her a miracle on two legs. Nevertheless, my friend decided on her initiative to have her breasts removed. This was about three years after this diagnosis. Three monthly emotional checkups followed from diagnosis for 16 years, during which she reflects on the good care of the doctors in the hospital. She is very grateful for this.

At the end of last year she developed stomach and intestinal complaints, but instead of a referral she was given antidepressants from her GP. She didn’t want this herself. At the beginning of this year, her stomach started to change. Because her oncologist was on vacation, she went to her (same) GP three times. She was now sent home with medication bags for better bowel movements (which was not her complaint at all).


After repeated requests, she was finally referred. There they discovered fluid in her abdomen. After tests, no metastases could be found, but the oncologist suspected that there were metastases in her liver.

She came home dejected. Her doctor said she didn’t have long to live. Completely empathetic. The next day the doctor showed up with three advance directives…

After a lot of pain from fluid in her abdomen, her doctor came by again, without a stethoscope and asked her to pass on the data from her Fitbit. Then she was told without emotion that she would deteriorate every day; she still has to sign the statements and that the request for a second opinion was no longer necessary.

My girlfriend was hopeful though, there were no tests showing this, right? Perhaps the liver values ​​​​were abnormal due to the many medications? That is why a request has been made via the oncologist for a second opinion. Waiting a month until July 1st is very long if you don’t have any extra time.

However, they were not metastases, but liver cirrhosis due to the many drug use. However, the bad news also came that she only has a short time to live.

At the moment she is weak, so she has asked me to share her story. If she only helps one person with her story, then the goal has been achieved for her.”

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