Can you imagine walking around, feeling fit as a fiddle, only to find out that you have cancer?
Well, that’s exactly what happened to me. I didn’t have a single symptom – nothing at all that would have suggested something was wrong.
I felt as strong and healthy as ever. I still worked most days with my handyman business, something that’s kept me busy since I retired from 29 years as a police officer. And of course, my four grandkids kept me on my toes as well!
It was time for my annual checkup, and I actually thought about putting it off because of the Pandemic and all. But my wife Shirley thought we should go because she had a few things she wanted addressed. She even told the doctor, “You don’t need to do anything with Bill. He’s fine. He’s the healthy one in this family.”
Well, I sure am glad I went ahead with my checkup because it turned out I had cancer.
We’ve had our share of cancer in the family. Shirley survived breast cancer in her 40s. Her sister passed of cancer a few years back. And our daughter-in-law passed from it just a year ago.
So, we were worried. But since I’m writing to you, you already know there’s a happy ending to my story. I’m still here, and I have you to thank. Thank you for supporting Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH) and the excellent work they do for patients like me.
I believe it’s more important than ever for us to stand with our community Hospital and make sure they have the resources they need to be there for us and our loved ones. If you agree, will you kindly make another donation today?
When my doctor asked me where I wanted to be treated, my first response was Cambridge Memorial Hospital. That was where Shirley’s sister was initially treated, and we’d witnessed first-hand the expertise and compassion of the medical staff.
We also chose CMH because it was close to home. It might sound simple, but it made a big difference for us.
When you’re our age, you don’t want to be spending hours on the road, battling traffic and trying to find parking – especially when you’ve got multiple appointments and you’re already going through something as exhausting as cancer. And by staying here in our community, we knew we could count on the support of our friends and family.
I imagine the same is true for people of any age, really. We all want to be close to home and family when going through difficult times. Besides, when you’ve got such an incredible facility right in your own backyard, why go anywhere else.
You know, CMH is only able to provide exceptional care because of your unwavering support. By donating to CMH, you’re doing our entire community a great service.
Frankly, our community needs your support more than ever, and not just because of the pandemic.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that our population is both growing and aging. More and more young families are moving to the area. And those of us who live here aren’t getting any younger. That means more folks of all ages are going to need medical care.
In order to keep up with this growing demand, CMH needs us – people like you and me – to stand with them.
Once I received my diagnosis, I had another whole slew of tests, including multiple x-rays. Everything happened very quickly.
And here’s something interesting I learned: Did you know the CMH Diagnostic Imaging Team produces approximately one hundred thousand images every year? That’s way more than I would ever have guessed.
As I discovered through my own experience, these early tests – whether it’s blood work, x-rays, ultrasounds or biopsies – can save lives.
But here’s the really interesting part: government funds don’t cover any of the hospital’s equipment expenses. All those machines and tools doctors use to diagnose patients, they’re all funded by the community.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m facing something as serious as cancer, I want my doctors to use the very best equipment out there, so they know exactly what’s going on and how to treat it. I’m willing to bet you feel the same way. And it’s just one more reason for us to make sure CMH has the best diagnostic equipment available.
Of course, waiting for my diagnosis was the hardest part. I think that was the longest week of my life! Finally, Shirley and I sat down with my surgeon, Dr. Kim, to find out what was going to happen next.
He told us it was clear cell renal cell cancer – a four-centimeter malignant tumor on my left kidney. And the only treatment for this kind of cancer was to remove the entire kidney, something that needed to be done as soon as possible.
Dr. Kim explained everything thoroughly and in a way we could easily understand. And this is something we experienced during our entire journey at CMH. Everyone we interacted with was positive, patient and compassionate, whether it was the individual booking appointments, the surgeon himself, or the cleaning staff who went the extra mile to make my room comfortable.
Every step of the way, I knew I’d made the right decision in choosing CMH.
On the day of the surgery, everything went like clockwork. The only downside was that Shirley couldn’t be by my side because of the pandemic.
That was really hard on her. If you’ve ever had a loved one in the hospital, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
She tried to keep busy by doing housework, but it was hard to concentrate. Any kind of surgery involves a certain amount of risk, so of course she was worried about me. After hours of vacuuming, laundry and pacing the living room floor, the phone finally rang.
It was Dr. Kim. He immediately reassured her that the surgery had gone well and that I was okay.
Shirley told me afterward how impressed she was that he took so much time on the phone with her. Surgeons are busy people, but he knew how worried she was. He made sure she had all the information she needed to put her mind at ease.
Once again, I have you to thank for my successful surgery. It’s not just diagnostic equipment that’s funded by donors, but also all the surgical equipment the doctors use, from the operating tables to the lighting systems to the scalpel in their hands.
My recovery was just as smooth as the rest of my experience. I stayed in the hospital for a few days and received outstanding care. Shirley too, was treated with such kindness whenever she came to visit me.
Now I’m at home and getting back to my usual strong and healthy self. During my initial MRI, they also discovered that I have a very small tumour on my other kidney, so the doctors at CMH are going to keep a close eye on that for me.
But I’m not worried, because I know that if and when the time comes, I’ll be in the very best hands possible.
It’s a great feeling, knowing you live in a community with such excellent medical care. Thank you for making CMH the cornerstone of our community, a place we can all count on in our time of need.
Will you join me in keeping it that way? By giving a special gift, you’ll make sure the best care possible is available to all of us, right here close to home.