Re: "Cancer patient faces surgery delay," July 28.
The article about Lydia Wingate's "outrageous" wait for surgery to remove
some breast cancer struck a chord - I was in the same situation a year ago.
In July, 2011 a routine mammogram showed what appeared to be cancer in my left breast. Follow-up testing confirmed the diagnosis and surgery was performed in mid-September.
My experience was that the intervening weeks between diagnosis and surgery were effectively used for testing, assessment, treatment planning and preparation for surgery. As I was self-employed, the time also gave me the opportunity to organize my absence from the workplace.
While I empathize with Wingate and the anxiety she is experiencing, I feel it is unfair to describe her wait for surgery as outrageous. I, too, had Dr. Alison Ross for my surgeon, and I know that if she and the other medical professionals on my team had deemed my condition to be urgent, I would have received surgery immediately.
I think we are all too ready to criticize the "medical system" when, in fact, we are lucky to have access to health care that we do here in Canada and British Columbia. If we are prepared to shoulder the increased tax burden to bolster the services we have come to regard as our right, perhaps then we would be entitled to complain but I have to say that when I needed care, I received top-notch treatment on all levels.
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