Movies & Series

SBS6 follows the sick and their major surgery in My Hands In Their Lives

In My Life In Their Hands From today, SBS6 will follow seven sick Dutch people on their way to and after their all-important surgery. What will happen to you then? How is that for a doctor and how does such a process go with a patient?

Subway spoke the sick Lotte and her oncology surgeon, Babs Zonderhuis. You see them together My Life In Their Hands, as well as six other people and specialists facing extreme medical procedures. For some, the procedure is a matter of life or death.

Abdominal cramps, out of the blue

“I no longer want to be that woman who is sick, but just enjoy every day,” says Lotte (30) in the first episode of the impressive My Life In Their Hands. It went so well until now exactly two years ago. De Twente lived wonderfully together with her beloved Bob and was very busy – and enjoying – her work as a staff employee and with horse riding and going out. Thoughts of children started to come. And then the stomach cramps came out of nowhere. They became more and more intense, but each time her problem was not found. Lotte became confined to her home and became too ill to even receive visitors. After several studies, it became clear on Valentine’s Day 2019: colon cancer, which has spread to the liver. The fact that this disease mainly occurs in people over 55 was the reason it took so long for her serious ailment to be found.

A photo of Lotte with her boyfriend Bob
Lotte with her beloved Bob. Photo: Talpa

Some nasty chemotherapy followed, but what came next was decisive: two serious operations, first on the liver, then on the intestine. Babs Zonderhuis (40) came into the picture, oncology surgeon of the Amsterdam UMC. According to the title of the TV program: Lotte’s life came into the hands of surgeon Zonderhuis (“you can say Babs, both are fine”).

Bad news

We are a year and a few months after the operations. “That all went well, but the cancer is back,” said Lotte yesterday Subway. She sounds cheerful on the phone, by the way. “I had some bad news in May that I can no longer be cured, but at the moment I am very stable. The cancer is under control and is stretched for as long as possible. It is in several places, including my neck and my peritoneum. I can no longer be operated on, but I am getting chemo from a hospital in the area. ”

Babs Zonderhuis in Amsterdam is now out of the picture, but she remembers Lotte as today. Also because they meet together My Life In Their Hands cooperated, of course. “Lotte had metastatic colon cancer,” said the oncology surgeon, who is also a teacher at “her” hospital. “That is almost unique at her age and that is why it took a while to be diagnosed. Maybe it has been there for longer or even a few years, you can never be entirely sure. I’ve seen it with a young person before, but it’s rare. Lotte had to be treated within a few weeks, the disease was too extensive. ”

Just Think About My Life In Their Hands

Lotte had to think for a while when her surgeon and SBS6 asked if she “wanted to participate”. “It happened to me and it shocked me for a moment, because it is not necessarily something that was reserved for me and Bob. I had never even flown before (she has to do a lot for the program, ed.). After conversations with Bob and my parents, I agreed. I mainly did it to let you know that young people can also get colon cancer, because it is weird and rare. If as a result the cancer would be detected in one person earlier, then I would have done my part. ”

A photo of My Life In Their Hands with surgeon Babs on the left
Left: oncology surgeon Babs Zonderhuis. Photo: Talpa

Babs also had to think “quite a while” about participating in the program. “As doctors, we don’t often seek publicity. In this COVID time it is of course different, healthcare is much more in the media. That is positive, because there are staff shortages and working in healthcare is great fun, we think. At the beginning of 2019 it was not so obvious to participate in something like this, but the reason I do it is to show what impact a surgical procedure and the entire process has for a patient. That is also the approach of the program. See, I operate every week and for the rest of my working life. The patient often experiences something like this only once and Lotte twice. One never forgets such a thing. You can also see that I build a bond with people, in this case Lotte. I also follow patients for a few years after the operation. Beforehand you have a very good conversation about what can happen. I think showing all those aspects contributes; more than many other medical programs. I participated to show that there is real interest in the patient. ”

Operations in My Life In Their Hands

Lotte already has parts of it My Life In Their Hands back, also the operations that are prominently featured. She didn’t think it was scary or crazy. “No, more interesting. You are not there in such an operation yourself, as it were. You have lost a whole part and I now have a piece of memory back. ” Surgeon Babs: “The viewer will see that an operation is intensive and a period in your life with an enormous impact. Both physical and psychological. But also that everyone in the hospital is there for you with good intentions. That you get a warm team that guides you and that delivers people work. I hope we radiate that anyway. Everything is shown fairly in the program, even if things are not going well and people have complications. ”

The Amsterdam UMC and Babs Zonderhuis felt good for Lotte in that respect. “I was in the right place and with the right person. Even though it was going to be tough, it gave me peace of mind. “I hope people will watch who are very much against an operation. In this program they see how it goes. I don’t know if it applies to everyone, but the process felt very personal and familiar to me; I was not a number. ”

Lotte handles it vigorously

Babs calls it “very clever” how Lotte got through her illness and the operations. She is an exemplary patient. “Everyone can react differently, by the way, being sick is different for everyone. As a doctor I try to empathize with this. Lotte is very down to earth in a way. But yes, as said: being so young and having to experience this… She copes powerfully with that. That was one reason for me to ask her to My Life In Their Hands to participate. She can also tell it well. ”

A photo of My Life In Their Hands with the various participants

The situation in which Lotte is now was of course not expected at all. “You start filming with the idea of ​​getting better. And not that later scans would tell: not at all. I was then asked if I wanted to let the program continue. Of course, my answer was. It has taken so much time, but I also want people to see it. ”

Lotte is now back home (after the operations she slowly tried to work again). She has to be careful in corona time. “The chemo affects the immune system, but my current doctor does not require me to shut myself up completely. I still do things, but pay attention. Especially when it comes to keeping your distance, the only one who comes close to me is my friend. ” And about the first broadcast tonight? “I am curious and I hope for good reactions.”

New lives in her hands

Surgeon Babs Zonderhuis now has new lives that are in her hands. How does she bear that responsibility over and over again? “Young doctors ask me that too, but you grow into it and build it up slowly. Once you start as an intern with a wound closed, you can open someone and that continues until you literally have someone’s body in your hands and repair things or remove the disease. If you can’t take that responsibility, then you shouldn’t be doing the job. You shouldn’t lie awake at night. I admit I take the work home, but lying awake at night does not happen. I think about it, for sure. If I am on the weekend and there is a very major operation coming up that week or it has just been, I will still visit that person to see how it goes. I think that’s part of major surgery. ”

My Life In Their Hands can be seen six Thursdays from tonight on SBS6 (8.30 pm) and Kijk.nl.

Also read: Single Carré in Temptation Island: “No longer the lust, but the love”

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What happens when you have to put your life in the hands of a doctor

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