BRAVE Rosemary Head is facing a devastating nine-month wait to find out the results of her cancer treatment as she spends “every day anxiously sitting by the phone”. 

The 83-year-old initially had to wait nine months to be diagnosed with lung cancer due to delayed appointments and finally had treatment on the tumour in January - but is yet to be told the results. 

Rosemary, from Langdon Hills, has no idea if her treatment was effective and has been told her follow up appointment will not take place until October. 

As a result, she has been left anxiously waiting by the phone in the hope she will receive a call from the hospital with good news. 

Her daughter Jackie, from Chalkwell, currently cares for her and has branded her treatment a “disgrace” as she speaks out in support of charity Macmillan’s national campaign warning cancer care in the UK is “stuck in the noughties”. 

Jackie says the waiting has made them both anxious.Jackie says the waiting has made them both anxious. (Image: Jackie Head)


Being a cancer survivor herself, Jackie says she feels “guilty” that she was treated so quickly for her condition yet her mother is made to suffer.

She said: “It is a bit pointless to have a call because they can’t tell us anything about her results till they have a better scan. My mother is constantly waiting by the phone to hear what the status of her cancer is. We both regularly feel anxious.

“It’s not knowing and being led on by false promises of phone calls and cancelled appointments that builds up hope in a situation which is literally life and death and it makes me sad that she doesn’t have answers.

“The waiting just seems to be endless and she still worries that its growing inside her. Any small thing that goes wrong with her now makes her think it’s because of the cancer.

“She even questions me if she is being treated this way because she’s 83 and they want to wash their hands off her.”

Rosemary was first suspected to have lung cancer in January 2023 when a CT scan showed a suspicious nodule in her lungs.

However, after several delays and cancellations of tests and appointments, the 83-year-old was finally told she had cancer nine months later in October last year after a call from her GP.

She then went through treatments in January 2024 and went for a follow up scan in April which turned out to be faulty.

Since then, Rosemary has only received a letter that a blood test has been scheduled in September and has been told that she will be receiving a call from her hospital in October, almost two years after she was first suspected to have cancer.
Rosemary was initially diagnosed with lung cancer in October 2023.Rosemary was initially diagnosed with lung cancer in October 2023. (Image: Jackie Head)


Jackie is a lung cancer survivor herself after being diagnosed in January last year.

She was treated as part of a trial by Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and declared cancer free in less than three months. 

“I was treated separately from the normal people that had cancer because I was with the foundation,” Jackie said.

“I thought to myself ‘ ‘this is incredible’. I had so many appointments and was signed up for surgery so quick.

“Now, I am in remission but I still feel like I’m living with cancer because of the treatment of my mother. 

“If I had gone about my treatment the normal way, I would probably be in the same position as her. I feel heartbroken and guilty that I was treated so well but my mother isn’t.

“She should be enjoying the moment, not constantly worrying. It is so unfair, she doesn’t deserve this.”

Data from Macmillan Cancer Support has revealed that cancer waiting times across the UK were among the worst on record last year.

The study has also shown the UK’s survival rates are 25 years behind other European countries.

The charity is now calling calling on the next government to “commit to transforming cancer care.

Gemma Peters, the charity’s CEO, said: “It’s clear that cancer care is at breaking point but this is a political choice and better is possible.

“Together, with politicians and partners, we can transform cancer care for a more hopeful future for people with cancer and the people who support them.”