January 20th for the pre-surgery appointment. I’m to bring all drugs, vitamins, herbals and over the counter medicines I am taking so they can see if there are any contraindications that might kill me. I am reassured by the thoroughness.
They wanted to know if I was ok with being on the ward or do I want a private room at 200 bucks a night! I gotta admit it scares me spitless to share a room with a bunch of sick people with their germs, microbes and other sick breathy stuff for five days after my torso has been carved in two. I have visions of flesh eating viruses attacking my abdomin. No choice though. One thing we have learned most thoroughly is that, despite socialized medicine, cancer is very expensive. Imagine your income suddenly slashed by half and then add a whole bunch of drugs and incidental expenses. As it is, we will be frighteningly deep in debt by the time I am cured or dead. So regular ward it is. At least I’ll have people to talk to.
Speaking of socialized medicine, I have heard many stories about how terrible our health system is. Poor treatment, long waiting lists, rude and obnoxious staff; the stories seem endless. Well I am here to tell you, those bear no resemblance at all to my experience. Maybe cancer is different (I imagine it does get a lot more funding) but my treatment has been swift, efficient and courteously delivered by everyone involved. I am impressed. I can’t imagine how we would cope if we lived in the good old USA.
Next time you talk to a doctor, nurse or hospital worker, thank them for me. I admire all of them for the work they do.