My husband received 3 cystoscopic examinations during 2002 - 2003 in an effort to diagnose his painful problem.(How many times would a U.S. insurance company permit a repetition of an examination that had found nothing? I'm guessing none.)
When his urologist eventually pinpointed the problem in July of 2003,(bladder cancer) my husband was referred to a world class urologist in London, Ontario, for treatment. This second urologist saw my husband 16 days after his referral. He oversaw a programme of regional chemotherapy in which cancer-fighting drugs were instilled into my husband's bladder. Traditional BCG instillations failed, so he was placed on experimental drugs of varying strengths until he went into remission. This amounted to 5 sessions of 5 treatments, one a week, for a total of 25 instillations.(How many times would a U.S. insurance company have permitted repetition of a programme that was apparently failing? I'm guessing none.)
Shortly after beginning the instillations, the urologist operated and removed 3 malignant tumours from the neck and side of my husband's bladder, then resumed the course of regional chemotherapy. The cancer appeared to have been defeated; nevertheless, our London urologist kept him on a schedule of quarterly examinations, meaning that he "scoped" my husband every 3 months instead of at the customary 6 month interval.(How many U.S. insurance companies would permit this deviation from the prescribed schedule of observation? I'm guessing none.)
He continued this tight monitoring of my husband until late in 2008, when an MRI revealed that his cancer had re-surfaced.
He ordered surgery, to be done as soon as an O.R. could be located. On Christmas Eve of 2008, my husband underwent surgery.(Could Shona Holmes's U.S. doctors have beaten the 19 days that it took to get my husband into surgery? Maybe.)
Post-surgery, our urologist referred us to an oncologist and my husband began his systemic chemotherapy early in the new year. A CT scan revealed metastatic cancer in his liver and we knew then that we were looking at the end.
My darling husband died on June 9, 2009, having given everything in him to fight off this beast. He was 53.
He is gone, but he told me many times over the course of our trek through this wretched disease that he would have been dead by 2003 or 2004, had our local urologist not persisted in trying to locate the source of his problem. He believed, and I also believe, that a U.S. insurance company would have shut down cystoscopic examination as an investigative option after one effort.
So, Shona Holmes, you are maligning a system that has served us so well, for circumstances that you have declined to describe.
Was this growth that sent you scurrying off to the Mayo Clinic a malignant tumour? Why were your Canadian doctors delaying your visit with a specialist? I'll take another guess here: your condition was not dire and you were not in immediate need of surgery. But you, with all the ignorance at your disposal, self-diagnosed a malignant tumour, that was robbing you of your eyesight, and was terminal in nature. They could use you on TV. Oh wait - they have.