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Canadians in British Columbia

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suz45
suz45 Member Posts: 85

I'm wondering how many West Coast Gals we currently have on here. It makes it a little easier to compare notes as our health-care is provincial. Would be nice to share tips and such to each other as we wade though the health-care Bureaucracy.

I'm in Richmond BC (a part of the Vancouver Lower Mainland) and the majority of my treatment has been at Vancouver General Hospital and Vancouver Cancer Agency.. with a few small surgical procedures done at UBC and my original Lumpectomy at Richmond General. My GP is also in Richmond. Ive been on the BCO boards since 2007 with a few breaks.

Please pipe in even if only to let us know your here Wink

Hugs Suz

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Comments

  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308
    edited December 2011
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    I'm here!!  I have had my surgery & chemo in Nanaimo, rads in Victoria & back to Nanaimo for reconstruction.  My GP is on my little island which is good, I hate having to take the ferry to Nanaimo for everything.

  • akmom
    akmom Member Posts: 98
    edited December 2011
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    Hi ladies, I am not diagnosed but have been on the boards getting great information and support. Thank you for being here, I am very grateful for this resource.

    I live in Surrey, mammogram and ultrasound done at Peach Arch, core biopsy at Royal Columbia, waiting for an appointment with a surgeon (Rhonda Janzen) at Surrey Memorial for follow up (biopsy showed "atypical cells").

    The health care folks have been very nice, but it sure feels like a long wait between "events" (mammo Sep 7, us Sep 15, biopsy Nov 29 and now who knows when I'll hear from the surgeon's office). Guess this is normal...

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
    edited December 2011
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    Suz, if you go to the Search link near the top right of any page, and enter British Columbia as your keywords, it will show all the times members have mentioned the province in their posts. Maybe PM  some of them to join you all here?

    Judith and the Mods

  • She
    She Member Posts: 131
    edited December 2011
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    Hi there!  I live in the valley, first dx was 15+ years ago, have been dancing with NED for just over 2 years.

    Mfrog, the Nanaimo ferry just got a little more difficult didn't it.... how the heck did they manage to hit the berth.  Not like it's small or anything....

    Akmom, if you had abiopsy Nov 29 get on the phone and call them.  You shouldn't have to wait more than 10 days for pathology.  RCH are very good, best radiologists in the province for biopsies.  But they are busy so do not be afraid to be a squeaky wheel, call every half hour for the rest of the day and you may get some answers so you don't have the torture of waiting until after Xmas.  Good luck!

  • akmom
    akmom Member Posts: 98
    edited December 2011
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    Thanks She - just back from the Breast Health Clinic at the new Jim Pattison centre. Diagnosis is atypical ductal hyperplasia and the surgeon doesn't think we need another biopsy, hurray! Just a follow up mammo in six months.

    I am so, so, grateful for the support and info on these boards, which made it easier for me to get through the last few months. Thank you all so much!!!!

  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308
    edited December 2011
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    She,  Luckily that ferry doesn't affect me, but it seems they had an electrical problem, something always seems to happen over the holidays. 

    akmom, Good for you!!

  • suz45
    suz45 Member Posts: 85
    edited December 2011
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    Mfrog - What Island? DH & I used to do a whole lot of boating every summer. Have explored many in the area. We also used to have a house over in French Creek on the Morningstar Golf Course. Had it built in 1992 and sold it in1996 as we couldn't handle BC Ferries (we commuted to Vancouver) I cant imagine going back & forth for TX, I'm sure it wasn't easy!

    Akmom - Lol, I just wrote out a long post and poof it disappeared... which is ok as I just saw your new news!!!! Congratulations, I know you will have an incredible Christmas without that anxiety in the back of your mind. Huge hugs!

    She - Congratulations! May your dance with NED last forever. This is news that I just love to hear. Where in the Valley are you?Lol, Another grrrrrrr yesterday with the ferries. Was going to visit MIL in Nanaimo. Ended up having to go from Tswassan to Sydney then drove to the Brentwood Bay ferry to Mill Bay then drove to Nanaimo. Geepers the trip & ferries cost easily over $200 for a 4 hour visit. :P

    Judith & Moderators - Thanks for the advise, will do that. Also a huge thanks for all you do here, its such a blessing to have this site and everyone on it. May you all have a wonderful holiday season!

    Have a Merry Christmas Gals in our Green area of the world Wink

    Hugs Suz

  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308
    edited December 2011
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    I'm on --------- so going to Nanaimo now isn't too terribly bad, but having to go to Victoria for rads was a bit of a pain, but I wouldn't dream of moving from here.  I had excellent treatment in both places, with great doctors & I didn't have to pay for the ferries as the gov't has a program to pay for it.  I can't imagine commuting to Vancouver.

  • suz45
    suz45 Member Posts: 85
    edited December 2011
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    Mfrog -  Beautiful place to live, I wouldn't move either if I lived there! We have looked at real estate on quite a few of the smaller islands over the years.... sort of something to retire to. Unfortunately I cant be too far from tx,  lol..well I guess I could but wouldn't like the commute seeing as how Ive been in tx more often than not. We also have our own business that we are tyring to keep going until my son is mature enough to take over. Personally Ive retired myself, but DH is still at it as  much as he can be. Its really good to here that your tx commute was covered. Heh heh... wish someone would think about paying my parking bill! Vancouver CA charges up to $14 after so many hours of parking on the lot.... I usually am there for that length of time (getting meds after appointments) this week was the worst as I had appointments for 4 out of 5 days :P. I wont complain too much because at least its only a 20 minute drive from my place if traffic isnt too bad. Thats less time than it takes for me to get to Richmond General Hosp. which is much closer.

    Just letting anyone know I do get to see pm's but for some reason the computer im using (ten year old laptop due to dropping my new one) wont let me send one back. Will try one of the office ones later.

    She, I agree with you about getting on the phone and pushing for results! I wrote my whole "Cancer Story" out somewhere here on the boards (Lol, could be a dozen different threads) in it i mentioned that I actually sat down in the ward where they put in ports for chemo and said to them that I wasn't leaving until I got a port (they were making me wait a month & I was scheduled for chemo the next day) I was in the operating room within 15 minutes signing papers for it while i changed into a hosp gown. We have to push our medical system sometimes to get timely treatments and such. My dh actually paid for an mri one time due to spine problems and I was so mad.... they had put him on a three month waiting list (the guy couldn't even walk he was in so much pain) The next time he had to have one I took care of talking to Dr's and such. He got it in less than a week. No more Mr Nice Girl... lol. I'm not mean or anything just really sweet & stubborn... go figure it actually works.

    Seeing as its Christmas Eve morning I'm wishing anyone who has to travel a safe journey. Also warmest hugs to my BC BC sisters... I believe in hugs, for some reason they transfer all that is not said.

    Love, Peace of heart and Hope. Suz

    Yes I talk a lot... lol my posts seem to always end up like books Embarassed

  • Pomomomo4
    Pomomomo4 Member Posts: 2
    edited December 2011
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    Hello Ladies!  I have been lurking on this board for about a year now but have never posted.  I'm so glad someone started this thread for BC gals!  Thank you Suz45!  I don't know that many of us, actually the only 3 people I know with bc are really just aquaintences, so I don't feel like I can pick up the phone and call them to ask a question or vent about breast cancer.  Hopefully this thread stays active so that we can chat or whatever.  

    For now Merry Christmas to all of you and good health in 2012!

    Smile 

  • suz45
    suz45 Member Posts: 85
    edited December 2011
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    Welcome Pomomomo, Im really glad you decided to post. Personally I didnt have anyone that I could talk openly with either. I find myself sugar coating anything I say about bc because I dont want to make others feel bad.... boy does that sound dumb, but its true. DH has been wonderful through it all but its difficult for him to hear the same thing over & over everytime someone calls. So I try to minimize his exposure as well to it all.

    I love the fact that we can cry, laugh, be angry, vent or just have fun chatting here. Then of course the support & information is just amazing.

    I'm hoping we can keep the thread active as well... if it goes too far down the board we can always bump it up so new BC bc gals will see it.

    Hugs Suz

  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308
    edited December 2011
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    Bumping this back up to the top, hopefully others here in beautiful BC will see this thread.  Wishing everyone a happy & healthy New Year!!
  • suz45
    suz45 Member Posts: 85
    edited December 2011
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    Thanks, Im also wishing everyone a healthy, peaceful & Happy New Year!

    Cheers & Hugs my West Coast Sisters xxx Suz

  • She
    She Member Posts: 131
    edited December 2011
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    Best Wishes for a healthy and happy New Year to All.



  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308
    edited December 2011
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    I just came across this resource from the Novaris website, I wish I had this information when I started all this.   It won't let me link right to the BC pages, but it's fairly intuitive.  There are quite a few resourses I didn't know existed.

    http://www.cbcn.ca/

  • She
    She Member Posts: 131
    edited January 2012
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    Happy 50th Birthday Suz!!!!!  Here's to at least 30 more!

    Hugs, She

  • gail_p-m
    gail_p-m Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2012
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    Hi 

     Got a call-back for another mammogram and an ultrasound which is on Friday.  I live in Abbotsford and am scared.  Haven't felt well for awhile.  And I don't like the "slowness" of the Canadian health-care system.  Only reason I have the ultrasound on Friday is that they just had a cancellation before I called.  Not knowing is frightening.  I hope I don't have to wait for months to find out what's going on.

    Thanks for starting this thread and I'll be "talking" with you soon.

     Gail 

  • GG27
    GG27 Member Posts: 1,308
    edited January 2012
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    Gail, I'm sorry you're feeling scared & think things are moving slowly, hopefully you will have your US & mammo & find out it's nothing.   I'm part of Vancouver Island Health Authority & I thought things went way too fast! :)   I didn't have time to research anything.   I hope your snow clears abit so you can get to your US.  Let us know how it goes & feel free to post or pm questions.   dee

  • Pomomomo4
    Pomomomo4 Member Posts: 2
    edited January 2012
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    I know, it always seems like things move slowly - I wish that things happened like they do on TV.  Everything immediately.  I'm sure you won't have to wait for months.  Where are you having your ultrasound done?  Abbotsford has the new Cancer Clinic, you will be in good hands, but hopefully you won't have to go there!  After I had my ultrasound, my biopsy was only a couple of days later.  Let us know how things are going.  

  • Ossa
    Ossa Member Posts: 685
    edited January 2012
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    Suz

    Thank you for starting this tread

    Gail

    I am being treated at Abbotsford Cancer centre, you will be in good hands there. Everyone is great.It may seems slow now, but if the results come back saying you need treatment , they will start very fast.. My MO is Dr Gurjal, she i great.. my RO is Dr Millar  she is also great. My surgeon was Dr Janzen (in Surrey but so worth the drive) My plastic surgeon is dr, Oxley (great doc. easy on the eyesEmbarassed) also Surrey.. I have a great team.. Just remember you can ask to be referred to certain dr.... Initially I had another surgeon, but he was not interested in doing recon, so I decided I was not interested in having him as my Surgeon.. Remember this is your life your body, You have full right to take charge

  • gail_p-m
    gail_p-m Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2012
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    Thanks for your response as well as the other responses that I've received.  It's all so scary right now.  I am wondering what an MO is as well as a RO.  Just curious how you got to a surgeon in Surrey.  I'm suspecting that they would want me to have one in Abbotsford if needed.  How did you find the Surrey surgeon?  (It's sort of nice to think about these things ahead of time, just in case).  Can you give me an idea as to how quickly things moved.  How long did you have to wait for your surgery?   I may have many more questions.   Thank you for being there and for all these other BC ladies who were kind enough to reply to me.

  • gail_p-m
    gail_p-m Member Posts: 4
    edited January 2012
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    The ultrasound is on Friday at Abbotsford.  Originally, I was told they wouldn't be able to get me in before Feb. but they had a cancellation just before I called.  I just hope that if I need a biopsy, it follows quickly.  I don't wait well.  Not even sure how well I'll sleep tonight.  Wish I handled stress better.  Thanks for listening.

  • Ossa
    Ossa Member Posts: 685
    edited January 2012
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    Gail

    MO stands for medical oncologist.. RO Radiation Oncologist

    It is very scary to go thru all the mammograms, ultrasounds, core needle biopsy etc.. But the sooner treatment starts the better for you.. Here is hoping all will come back fine...

    Should you need treatment I highly recommend Dr Gurjal..MO wonderful compassionate lady. Dr> Miller RO another great lady..

    Should you need surgery (I hope not) I would recommend Dr Rhonda Janzen She works with a team of plastic surgeons. Great team.... I found out about Dr. Janzen from a friend of mine who had a double mastectomy six months before my mastectomy.She in turn had gotten the recommendation from another lady she knows.. There is great stress relief classes you can sign up for at Abby hospital. (I did when I was first diagnosed, big help).. If you need to know anything please don't hesitate to ask.. You can always personal message me. I am here to help and listen..

  • suz45
    suz45 Member Posts: 85
    edited January 2012
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    Dee, just noticed your link, will look at it tomorrow as I did my ativan and am cross eyed now :)

    Gail. Stop right now! 1 2 3 slow deep breath in 1 2 3 gently slow breath out...1 2 3 slow deep breath in 1 2 3 gently slow breath out. Every time this rollar coaster starts spinning too fast for you take the time and just breath. Sounds simple but its not, it truley does work to help you get your head around it all. Im at the Vancouver Cancer Agency, but have heard a LOT of really good things in Abbottsford. If it wasnt so far Ild go there too.

    Dee, Pomo & Ossa have given you great tips, Come back as often as you need, we will all be there for you if you need us or need to ask questions, cry, rant, laugh & listen.

    Finding BCO.org (this site) is probably the best thing immaginable for support & information. I wish I had found it as fast as I found my cancer... it would have saved me soooo much stress & grief.

    Hugs Hunnie, We're here for you, Suz

    cant see any more.. nite

  • ExercisePhysiologist
    ExercisePhysiologist Member Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
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    Vancouverites,

    I just wanted to let you know that there is a 6-week Cancer & Exercise Recovery course starting at the new Trout Lake Community Centre on Monday 23 January. It involves 2 x sessions per week on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12.30pm - 1.30pm and the cost is $144.

    The course is run by Cancer Exercise Specialists and private training is also available at a different location.

    To register, visit www.troutlakecc.com or for more info just ask me!

  • suz45
    suz45 Member Posts: 85
    edited January 2012
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    ExercisePhysiologist, That sounds great!

    Ive always been an activity junkie & love exercising! Besides walking (which Im putting on hold for the time being) my last junket was Bikram Yoga and I sooo loved it (even did it on chemo).

    I keep seeing all these different types of exercise programs & studies at the cancer agency but due to my continuing treatment & surgeries havent qualified for them yet. 

    Will ask a few quick questions that pop into my head... How strenuous & what type of exercising will this be? What stage of recovery or treatment  would someone need to be in to register? What sort of training & qualifications do the Cancer Exercise Specialists have?  Is it pay or free parking? (sorry about the parking question but Im up to about $150 a month an VCA)

    Wishing you much success with this! Its great to see programs that cater to the recovering or recovered BC survivors in BC Laughing.. must be the drugs again cause Im cracking me up.

    Hugz Suz

  • Ossa
    Ossa Member Posts: 685
    edited January 2012
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    bump

  • suz45
    suz45 Member Posts: 85
    edited January 2012
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    Gail, Good to hear your getting in quicker for mammo.. hoping much speediness with any other procedures you might need. Mine seemed all so slow when I needed it done. I dont wait well either.

    I have learned to slow down though... its taken a few years and a lot of rants

    Hugs suz

    Nurse will be here in half an hour & I havent had my bath yet Sealed

  • Ossa
    Ossa Member Posts: 685
    edited January 2012
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    Gail, good luck with your ultrasound today

  • suz45
    suz45 Member Posts: 85
    edited January 2012
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    Had problems with my avatar but finally got a pic to post (think I was using my newer pictures which are too large)

    Anyway this one is of the other lady in my home Sophie. She's 6.5 years old & the female love of my life. Tee hee... she loves to "get dressed" in sweaters & bows. First time that Ive seen a dog who will come running with her tail wagging when you hold up a sweater or jacket. She then prances around like a little princess showing off. She has been and always is by my side whatever Im doing. Even sits outside the open bathroom door keeping an eye on my nurse when I get the pleura drained cleaned & re-bandaged. On my bad days she's snuggled up beside me whether it be in my lazy-boy chair or my bed (like for my 2 bad days this week)

    She is havanese & the breed is just incredible for a small dog. Very playful in a clownish way, they are not barkers (unless the mail is here or some ones at the door), they dont shed so their hypoallergenic as well. They are a small but sturdy dog. If I were to let her hair grow (which I do in the winter for a few months) she looks like a mini old English sheep dog.

    Totally off topic but she's kept me going even in my darkest days of treatment & surgeries.

    Just had a play in the snow with her... chasing her own doggie made snowballs Laughing way too funny.

    Personally I think for those that dont have a significant other this is the perfect indoor companion. She's gotten me through some pretty tough times emotionally. If I can figure out how, Ild like to post a pic of the 2 of us the day before I cut my hair for my first chemo.

    Will also re-post a story I told in 2007 regarding my then long-haired 17 year old son. sometimes old stories need to be remembered. He's almost 22 now but did the most incredible thing for me.

    Ive thought of these things as I hear Gails fears as she enters this journey.

    Hugs Suz