Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Doctor

By the time our appointment came to see the specialist we had somewhat come to terms with everything. The hospital was very familiar to me because it hadn't been too long ago that I had spent so much time there with the husband when he had a partially detached retina (that's a story for another day). We were the first in the waiting room and all of a sudden, true to Alicia-form, I got all choked up and got Stu to do the talking to the receptionist. I didn't cry though! The "Today Show" was a great distraction until we were called in by the doctor.

He talked, looked at scans, felt for lumps and then explained clearly and succinctly the operation that he would perform. He was calm and very reassuring. In fact, he was particularly reassuring about how he would take great care not to taint the look of my breasts. The cosmetic side of things was of much greater concern for him. As long as the cancerous tumour was gone I was ok with whatever needed to be done. He would perform a lumpectomy and it was no big deal. I guess I was imagining that he would be as shocked as we were about the news. He wasn't.

The only thing that concerned us now was that we would have to wait three weeks for the operation! What if the tumour grew, spread, exploded?

Ok, it probably wasn't going to explode but everyone knows that cancer spreads and I wanted this thing out of me. Now!

So begins the private versus public debate. Every year the husband and I say that next year will be the year that we will get private health cover. We are for real this time. I turn 31 next year so it's the latest that we can leave it. It's pretty funny though, (not really actually), because we will have joined private health after giving birth to two children, after the husband has had a partially detached retina, after child number two's pulmonary stenosis and after my brush with breast cancer...who will take us?

We are without private cover. In this instance, should we pay our way, we would actually only knock off a week of the wait and pay out quite a bit. We discussed the matter with the doctor who convinced us that the tumour would actually have taken 6-8months to have grown to 12mm so it is really at no risk for me to wait the three weeks. Still unsure we spoke with the Breast Care Nurse.

She was amazing from the onset. Thanks A! With patience, she answered our questions and settled it for us that waiting was the best thing to do.

Having entered the hospital with trepidation, I reckon we both walked out feeling quietly confident that the decisions being made were right. It was very clear to us that this team really was interested in seeing that I received the best care. What more could you ask for?

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