Last June, I turned 60 in an Encinitas cancer center. Although the diagnosis was truly terrifying and the side effects were both painful and quite numerous, it was the extraordinary care I received at both the San Diego Cancer Center and the adjoining UCSD Radiation Center that makes this such an important story.
After living in the Encinitas area for 40 years, I am very aware that we have some of the top medical facilities in San Diego County, if not both the state and the country. My doctors and nurses that provided my chemotherapy and radiation sessions were technically brilliant and are on top of all the latest cutting-edge advances in cancer care, but that is not the only reason that I consider them my “Medical Angels.” Although there may be other physicians and nurses that share their technical skills, it was the powerful loving attention that was given to me that I have never experienced anywhere. This unconditional loving care I received is not something that you learn from a book in medical school; it springs from the heart of only a select few and how so many of these special types ended up in this small, intimate center is a mystery, but patients like myself are the lucky ones to have them.
In November, I took a test that showed that due to my “Angels” care, I am now cancer-free.
This special care I received was as important to my successful struggle with cancer as any of the medicines and machines that were used. I owe my life and my ability to better handle my on going cancer recovery to these wonderful professionals.
I wish to personally thank with all my heart Dr. Mark Adler, Dr. Mary Ann Rose, Dr. Paul Brenner, Kelly Fox, Anita Mason, Celina Gomez, Anne Callahan, April Daskalakis, Chris Lewis, Sandra Samuels, Brent Bollenbacher and the entire staff of this “Place Of Angels”!
The second part of my story, sadly, is not as positive, but it is very timely. My national health care insurer has raised my monthly premiums by over 60 percent in the last year. In addition to this, they have refused to pay for over $10,000 in medically necessary care that my doctors have stated were needed to save my life. The good news is that there are many groups that will provide support to cancer patients who find themselves overwhelmed emotionally and financially by the cancer experience. The Patient Advocate Foundation is helping me deal with my insurance company. I also encourage any cancer patient, whether in treatment or in recovery, to contact CancerCare.org and request their “A Helping Hand Resource Guide For People With Cancer.” It lists hundreds of nonprofit support groups that can provide for almost all of the needs a cancer patient may have.
Thank you for your time, I wish you all good health.
Wayne Wieboldt is a resident of Cardiff-by-the-Sea.