COVID-19 causing surgery appointment challenges for cancer patient
CALGARY -- Cam Forster was diagnosed with cervical cancer on Dec. 30 2019.
The 43-year-old’s doctor told her that it was caught early and surgery should be able to remove all the cancer so chemotherapy won’t be necessary. A surgery appointment was scheduled for April 3.
"Then I get a phone call (Wednesday) afternoon being told my surgery was being cancelled, and when I asked why I was just told they need to keep the operating rooms available," she suad,
"On some level I get that, this COVID-19 is serious."
Everything she had heard and seen online showed oncology surgery appointments weren’t being cancelled.
"I know my subconscious is reeling, I’m not sleeping well, this has put a tremendous amount of stress on myself, family, friends, my work, everything," said Forster.
But early in the afternoon on March 26, Forster’s surgery appointment was rescheduled for a day earlier — April 2.
Alberta Health Services released a statement saying cancer surgeries are continuing as they were before the pandemic.
"We have experienced some issues with scheduling — as you can imagine, everything is extremely fluid right now. However, any patient — including any cancer patient — who needs urgent, emergency surgery will receive it," the statement read.
AHS said patients will be triaged for urgency, just as they would have before the pandemic.
"We acknowledge this is a challenging time for all of us, but especially for our patients. AHS is doing all it can to ensure Albertans with urgent health concerns get the care they need."
Forster is happy and relieved that her radical hysterectomy surgery will happen sooner rather than later and is hopeful other cancer patients don’t have to experience the same emotions she did when her appointment was cancelled.