Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why Now!

Just took a call from my lead nurse at the cancer center and conclusion after much consultation between doctors is Dr. S. would like me to go for a PET scan!! PET scan? Now? Why Now?

I ask these question in frustration only because I have been suggesting and asking about PET scans every time I've relapsed. Here in Ontario you have to "qualify" for a PET scan in order for the cost to be covered by OHIP (Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan). Being "suspect" of relapse with lymphoma is a qualification to have a PET.
 Now that I am finally being sent for a PET, I have to mention the next obstacle to having a PET scan. You see I live in Windsor, Ontario and the closest "Government" hospital with a PET scanner is in London Ontario, two hours up the highway, and to make it as easy as possible would also mean spending the night in a motel in London. There is another option in Hamilton Ontario but that would add another hour travel time as it is three hours away.

One other thing I need to point out is the fact that there IS a PET scanner here in Windsor but it is privately run and the cost would be prohibitive for me, not to mention the company that owns it has been sending it's "customers" to Toronto, Ontario, four hours away because they need four people a day booked for a scan in order to operate it, not sure why but that is what is going on with it. Also I have to mention that there are probably a dozen diagnostic imaging clinic's across the river in Detroit Michigan, USA. But again privately run and cost prohibitive. None of my additional insurance will cover it either.

This has been a hot topic for me for a few years now. I have written to Cancer Care Ontario, as well as the Ontario Ombudsman about the fact that the PET scan here in Windsor should be covered by OHIP as we do not have one in any of the hospitals here and having to travel hours away from home is not really something you should have to do when there is one sitting here collecting dust.

So, I placed a call to my social worker at the cancer center today to "vent" about this latest news. I will be leaving a message in the morning for my Oncologist to call me by the end of the day to fill me in a little more on this decision. This is a long weekend coming up here in Ontario with Family Day on Monday being a statutory holiday the cancer center will be closed. I do not want to have to be thinking about this all weekend until Tuesday wondering why this decision was made.

Hodgkin Lymphoma cells
I'd be remiss not to mention the fact that cancer cells are growing and dividing within me while all this is going on as well. remember it was a routine C/T scan in late November that showed the two nodes in my chest that  had increased in size, and the Gallium scan that showed cancer activity in my upper right neck. So I think I have a right  to some answers and not have to stress about it all weekend.

Now that all that is off my chest, time to move on the the better news of the day. It's Brenda's birthday!! and I , yes me, made a cake and a half dozen muffins all by myself for her! We will celebrate by having dinner out with some of her family this evening, which is why I have to wrap this up and get ready to head out to celebrate!
Love and Hugs to everyone, no matter where you are in your journey.
Tim, xxx

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