Pierre Dybman (dybmapi) wrote,
Pierre Dybman
dybmapi

Between success and failure.

This story about my friend, who has throat cancer, and used to live two stories below me, is a stark reminder of a number of things: competence, luck, and your initial state of health when bad news come.

Without giving names, i will just point out a few shocking moments:

1- he went to his hospital in autumn 2015 as he was coughing a lot and was experiencing pain, they made a number of tests, including a biopsy, and said it was not cancer

2- one year (!) later, as he was still nursing his sore throat and pains, they told him that, on second thoughts, he did have cancer, they just missed the small initial tumour by a few millimetres when they took the samples for the biopsy! One year lost on a dangerous form of cancer, when it was just starting! Criminal negligence...

3- they started a protocol of radiotherapy, over three weeks with daily sessions; this was quite painful, and his throat got burnt internally in the process. They eventually had to stop before the end of the protocol, and said that he should wait a couple of months for the scars to improve before a PET-Scan could be performed.

4- after a month, they did a comprehensive blood test, and told him that, to their surprise, the cancer had disappeared. That was on December 24, 2016.

5- one month later, feeling a huge fatigue, and a return of pain in the throat, he got a Pet-Scan that seems to show the cancer is back. Although it seems they don't want to tell him the full truth, as, during a visit, he told me that "they are balancing between cancer coming back, or an internal infection". As if a specialist wouldn't be able to read the Pet-scan results...

Compared to the competence, efficiency and kindness of the doctors, nurses, radiologists, etc that i have encountered in my own hospital (which in fact is part of a group of clinics to which the first one also belongs), i am amazed by the difference in quality, comprehensiveness, transparency and ultimately results between the two places. Talk about luck...i didn't know any of these people, being a very bad client for the medical profession, very rarely in need and always very quickly recovering. But the first contact with the would-be surgeon was overwhelmingly positive, even in his absence, as his secretary gave me his business card, on which there was also a cellular number, and told me that i can call him anytime for clarifications, explanations, he's very easy to reach and always willing to talk. That was the game-changer, and from then on i was ready to listen to his suggestions for the rest of the treatment.

Which leads me to the last point, being in shape when drama comes.

The main reason my friend is going to that hospital is that it's close from home, less than ten minutes walk. And for him, it's important because he has chronic issues with his legs, already got a couple of operations on his veins, and has difficulties to go up stairs or walk up a ramp.

And although i advised him to switch to the hospital i use, he declined, partly because of that.

Is a life as cheap as a few taxi trips?
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