Gwen is a profoundly deaf sign language user. When she was diagnosed with cancer, she did not have access to the communications support she needed, which made her feel excluded from decisions around her care and medical treatment. Gwen was told she had cancer on a post-it note by a healthcare professional. No-one should be told they have cancer on a post-it note.
In Gwen's words:
I felt there was something strange when I was in bed and turned over. It was like there was a hard pea under my breast. I went to the doctor and got referred to the hospital. At the hospital, I waited for the interpreter but no-one came. After two hours of waiting, the nurse asked me if I wanted to move the appointment or if I wanted to have the appointment now. I said I wanted to do it now.
I had my consultation with no interpreter present, and then waited on my own for the results.
When I was called back in, the nurse pointed to my chest. and said "you have a lump". I looked over to the table in front of me and saw a post-it note that said "you have cancer". I was in shock and thought "oh my goodness'. I became so emotional that I had to leave the room.