It makes you appreciate your loved ones and your quality of life, and you tend to start concentrating on those things more... ”
Having this diagnosis is a life experience that no-one should have to go through, says Nancy Ridgway, who knows only too well how devastating it is
to be told you have cancer.
In an instant, everything changed for Ridgway when she got the news. At first, she was very mad and very afraid. But as she met with oncologists,
radiologists and other caregivers, the anxiety subsided, or at least became manageable.
I would tell someone just diagnosed to take a breath because it will get easier.”
I have an amazing family – mother, father, brother and sister – they have been with me for every chemotherapy session and surgery. When we told my children,
my entire family was there. We said, Mum has cancer and she's going to beat it. That was the only time there were tears.
I would tell someone just diagnosed to take a breath because it will get easier. There is so much assistance for us and there are so many people, doctors,
nurses, family and friends, willing to help.
What we have realized at Cancer Care Ontario is that quality improvement occurs locally.”
The surgical oncology program at CCO has two main components: access to care and access to quality care.
The whole concept of access to quality care is to do it better. This can mean a range of things including improved satisfaction for the patient, better
outcomes, improved survival, less complications, better margin resection rates, and improved lymph nodes retrieval rates for colorectal cancer.
My advice to people is stop smoking and don’t be around second-hand smoke.
About 3 to 4 years ago, I went to the bathroom and found blood in my urine. I went to my family doctor, who sent me to the urologist. The specialist
did some tests and that is when I found out that I had cancer in my bladder.
The feeling was one where I couldn't believe it…I had cancer in by bladder. I asked my doctor where it came from and he said it was from the smoking.
I didn't think I could get bladder cancer from smoking. But I did.
Ultimately, I am responsible for the quality and performance of the program.”
Within our region, the colonoscopy network is a great example of maximizing partnerships. In the past, our region has performed poorly in terms of access
for screening colonoscopy due to underutilized time in hospitals for endoscopy. By working collaboratively with all the surgeons, gastroenterologists and
hospitals we were able to maximize and optimize the time. Today, patients screened through our regional network have some of the best access times
in the province.