Three years ago this week I left for MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to begin 4 months of chemotherapy for a sarcoma cancer that had been discovered in January of the same year. I am fortunate to work for a great company that has a great health care plan. I am thankful for that. Let me give you a quick summary of how I ended up at MD Anderson and on their plan of treatment. All this happened in 2006.
1) Knot discovered under my left shoulder blade - a few tests were ran and my physician sent me to a general surgeon
2) General removed the knot and sent it for tests and the result was cancer
3) 2 weeks later a second surgery to remove the muscle the knot had been on because margins extended into the muscle.
4) 37 radiation treatments in Tulsa on the area affected.
After the treatments I was told to come back and see them if the cancer came back.
5) I chose to contact MD Anderson to be on the offense instead of waiting for it to come back.
6) After looking at slides and tests at MD Anderson a sarcoma specialist reclassified the cancer and set up an aggressive plan to attack it.
Under a government health care I would have never been able to refer myself to MD Anderson for second opinion and additional care. From the sounds of things I might have been offered some counseling on end of life issues.
I am against more government intrusion into all areas of our life. But on health care I am particularly against it. This is why. My doctor(s) and I should be the ones making the decisions about treatment.
Your Pain Isn't About You
4 years ago