It’s been a while between posts, but I have definitely been asking myself many questions every day, I just haven’t been posting them publicly.
If you have been following my blog you would have read that I was diagnosed last year with a really rare cancer, WDPM, (Well Differentiated Papillary Mesothelioma) so after fighting through the fog of actually being diagnosed, and then convincing myself that it was actually true, and not some cruelly devised mistake, I set about the seemingly unsurmountable task of making sure that I had the right surgeon, in the right hospital and that he or she would be performing the right operation, like I had any choice on the latter! ha! not a one.
It didn’t take me long to find the Clinical Director of Cancer Surgery at Peter MacCallum in Melbourne, a fine Professor by the name of Sandi Heriot, and I quickly resigned myself to accepting the complicated surgery he offered in order to save my life.
I naïvely thought that was the difficult part, but what I didn’t count on was the wait!
13 months and still counting, an incredibly magnificent cancer hospital has been built and finally opened in Melbourne, and patients are slowly dying to get in.
I waited as long as I could and then contacted my local member of parliament, I had never written a letter of inquiry before, so it was a little long, my questions were to the point and there was only 3:
- Is enough funding being allocated by the government to the new Peter MacCallum Cancer Hospital to perform life saving operations?
- Why was the Private Ward of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Hospital closed?
- Why is the medication that I so desperately need to stop the nausea I am feeling all day not available on PBS?
I am only guessing that the funding allocated to surgery is not enough, because if it was enough, patients like myself would not have to wait over a year for surgery!
I cannot understand why the Private Ward at Peter Mac was closed; I heard that someone wanted to make it a totally Public hospital, yes that seems to be working, “NOT”.
Wouldn’t private patients have injected the hospital with vital money, that could have been used to reduce the public surgery wait-list, making waiting time for life saving surgery a short and timely event?
I’m on a Pension, I struggle daily and yet I still sacrifice over 17% of my entire income to pay for my private health insurance, but honestly what is the purpose of that if I can’t get the surgery that I need to save my life?
And by the way, whoever made the decision to close the Private ward at Peter Mac, probably thought that patients could just pop on over to the nearest Private hospital and have their lifesaving operations there; Well I can’t!
Besides Peter Mac, there is only one other hospital in Australia, St George’s in NSW who can perform the operation that I need, and there is NO private hospital in Australia who has a team of professionals trained to care for patients after such radical surgery, so I can’t just pop anywhere!
And I know why the medication that I need is not on the PBS because NO ONE ELSE HAS WDPM! couldn’t you make an exception? who makes all these rules?
I rang the office of my local to follow up on confirmation that they had actually received my email, not having ever written to a politician before I wasn’t sure of the procedure; sure enough they had received it, and said that they would respond in due time, still waiting 2 weeks later, I reworded my 2 page plea for assistance, thanks to the loving patience of a dear friend, and sent it off to another 10 politicians.
It’s interesting to see who and how they have responded, some immediately, “thanks we have received your email and will formally respond in due process”, others weeks later, “sorry your not in my area”, and they pass the buck to another colleague (like how many Cancer hospitals are in Australia? wouldn’t you think that EVERY politician would want the best for THEIR constituents?)
I’ve never really been into politics, and it confuses the hell out of me, and now I know why, but aren’t we electing these people to make good decisions for all of us?
Well I have suitably stirred the pot, I have had a few emails, and phone calls, and the Public Liaison officer from Peter Mac is personally looking into my case, they have been amazing, the whole hospital and staff is amazing at Peter Mac, I have been blown away at how professional, caring and compassionate they have always been in the short time that I have been unfortunate to have known them, I just wish that they could do their jobs without budget restrictions, they are after all saving our very lives.
It’s also annoying that one has to stir the pot at all, don’t you think?
There you have it, my rant for the last 2 weeks, out of my system and onto the page, it’s always good to let it all out, even if you are totally shitting yourself over the impending outcome.
But then I remind myself that there is nothing given to me that I cannot bear, and thank God I have Him to take me through this, because without my faith, there really would be no point in fighting or living, and Oh my, do I have some living left undone!