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On 19 November I received a phone call about the appointment for my ultrasound scan. What ultrasound scan? The one your doctor ordered, I was told. Oh dear, the cancer must be affecting my memory because I don’t recall Dr S saying anything about my needing to have another ultrasound scan. Playing for time I asked, “What doctor?” The one your GP, Dr G requested, was the answer. I quickly explained that I had had both an ultrasound scan and a CT scan in the private health sector, and was no longer in need of an ultrasound scan. I put the phone down and stood frozen to the spot as the ramifications of what had just occurred dawned on me.

My GP ordered an ultrasound scan on 2 October. He wrote on it that he suspected I had cancer and that it was urgent. In the time it took the public health system to organise this ultrasound scan, I had had the scan plus a CT scan, seen the cancer surgeon at North Shore hospital, seen an oncologist at Auckland hospital, had a biopsy, chosen the chemotherapy regime, been to the chemo information session, and had a pre-chemo CT scan. Good grief! I actually didn’t have that much time to waste on getting to the diagnosis!

How long would it have taken to get the CT scan I then needed in the public system, I wondered? Probably not before Christmas. It may have taken months to get a diagnosis, months I don’t have.

Auckland Radiology, it was worth every cent!