STAYING CLOSE TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ALSO MAKES A LOT OF DIFFERENCE
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2012, I was shocked. Fortunately I was treated very quickly. I had an appointment with a surgeon of the Chaleur Regional Hospital the very next day for a partial mastectomy and hormonal therapy. The doctors and staff were all extremely competent and human.
“But menopause had to be induced for me to undergo treatment, which triggered many side effects: I could no longer sleep, I had hot flashes and mood swings, I was exhausted… So I underwent total hysterectomy. It all went well but I suffered a respiratory arrest during surgery, I was at the end of my rope…
“So I was referred to a sleep specialist in Moncton and transferred for radiation therapy there. Fortunately, thanks to telehealth, I could have all my follow-ups with the sleep specialist in Bathurst. While I was on sick leave for breast cancer, my husband was transferred to Saint John for heart surgery. He was also able to have all his follow-ups in Bathurst afterwards via teleconference.
“After all these hardships, it was really unbelievable that we no longer had to travel. We could see the physician on the screen as if he was sitting in front of us. We felt very comfortable. It allowed both of us to save a huge amount of time driving, save on travel expenses, avoid additional stress, and stay close to our families and friends.
“I must however continue to travel to Moncton for my oncology follow-ups. It is a 5-hour drive for a 15-minute appointment. It would be so much easier with telehealth! With the refitting of the new ambulatory care units and additional telehealth services, I wish with all my heart that more patients will benefit from remote follow-ups. Time and cost savings are precious. For morale and recovery, staying close to your family and friends also makes a lot of difference!”
SANDRA PITRE PUBLIC HEALTH NURSE AND BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR