Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Mother of All Surgeries comes to Vancouver

MOAS Comes to Vancouver

I had the chance to meet with Dr. Yarrow McConnell, an amazing doctor that trained under the one and only Dr. Temple.

Its no secret that I love Dr. Temple. Adore, in fact, and that is shared by my whole family.  His skill and his kindness helped me make it through the surgery and its aftermath. Still, having to go to Alberta for my surgery was  a huge upheaval for me and my entire family, and it was pure luck that my sister had moved to Calgary about a month before my diagnosis so  we could all stay there.

Fact is, 2012 could've easily ruined us financially if we hadn't had that sort of support. Besides the stresses on family, on work and school(*for my son ), there is also the financial considerations. We are blessed with the possibility of going to Alberta and have that surgery and stay in the hospital covered... but my goodness, how much easier would it be if it were available here!

When Dr. McFadden first asked us, back on diagnosis day, how we felt about Calgary I thought my sister had been calling and pestering him. Seriously, that was what came to mind. He quickly explained that no - the surgery was only offered in a few places in Canada, and the best ( and the one that BC had an agreement with ) was offered at the Tom Baker Center under Dr. Mack and Dr. Temple.

Wow. Suddenly  I had to go to another province, to have a fighting chance. And mind you, I would've gone anywhere where I had a chance to beat the cancer... but I had a young son,  modest incomes... even the thought of Calgary seemed incredibly faraway. Thankfully my family pooled together, and we made it happen. It was an incredible feat of love, dedication and luck. But it WAS hard. How much easier might recovery had been if I could've been home... with my things, my food, my bed? (Not that I don't love my parents and sisters, but there's something about being in your OWN bed!)

This is a chance for people to have that. For people that hear 'Calgary' and know they have no way of making that possible, no chance of getting there or looking after themselves later.

I really like Dr. McConnell. She was kind, enthusiastic and determined to keep a program going here. She trained under Dr. T in Calgary for three years, I believe, and the fact that it will be available here makes it so much easier for anyone needing it.

I am hoping to be able to help with awareness locally too, and give back a little to those in the middle of the journey. Here is to 2014!

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