Old folk at lunch

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


I am normally pretty buoyant in mood and not much bothers me. Anybody reading these memoir notes should detect a fair bit of jocularity at times. But I can be bothered sometimes. And today was one of those times.

I have had an awful lot of surgical procedures to get rid of skin cancers lately and today I had two more bad bits excised. I was not looking forward to it. A lot of excisions don't bother me if they are in places that are not too awkward but both today were awkward so it all felt a bit too much when I woke up this morning.

Fortunately, my appointment was for 10:30am so I didn't have a lot of time to dwell on it before I went in. My mood has gradually improved during the day but both wounds are a bit sore so I am not expecting a very comfortable night tonight.

I have already made a booking for the next lot of surgery in 3 weeks time. Hopefully I might have a bit of a break after that.

During my younger days I did set aside money for a "rainy day" so it helps a lot that I can now afford top flight private medical care. And it is a judgment on the "free" government hospital system that there are private hospitals all over the place in Brisbane. Around 40% of Australians have private health insurance so can afford to use private hospitals. One of the best private hospitals is only ten minutes drive from where I live (the Wesley) and that is where I go.

Afer many years of it, I have become something of a connoisseur of plastic surgery -- an unenviable distinction! And the man I go to is in my judgment the best in town. And others must think so too as his fees are three times higher than the government-approved fees.

Such fees do however have one effect that is very helpful to me. His waiting list is very short. I can get an appointment at very short notice. And that is exactly what you need when you are battling cancer. Some of my skin cancers are fairly aggressive so getting them excised within weeks rather than months of their appearing does potentially mean the difference between life and death. And getting rid of them promptly certainly improves my comfort levels.

So when I arrived at the surgery today I was in a first class environment receiving not only expert treatment but also very polite, cheerful and considerate treatment. After having been there many times before I know the staff there pretty well and felt I was among friends. So that helped my mood considerably.

And not being bound by bureaucratic rules and procedures helped too. I had an appointment for only one excision today but another growth had popped up only days ago and was bothering me so I asked the surgeon to get it out too -- which he promptly did.

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