SkyMed Helps Prostate Cancer Patient Make Decisions
By Malcolm Callister
SkyMed Member: Call1289
For those of my family and friends who do not yet know, in December 2018, during the fourth month of our planned Two-Year RV adventure in Mexico I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The cancer was identified during a routine medical insurance blood test. SkyMed my emergency travel evacuation insurance flew my wife Linda and I back to Canada to confirm the diagnosis and develop a plan for treatment.
Sitting in the Sun
Sitting in the sun with a glass of wine on the table overlooking Lake Chapala, Mexico, in January. I opened my email. “Yes,” confirmed my Canadian Family doctor “after reviewing your Mexican test results it appears that you have a low to intermediate level of prostate cancer.”
I took a deep breath, and read on, “I have spoken with the head of our prostate cancer team at Kingston Teaching Hospital, here in Ontario,” She said, “you have an appointment for consultation in February. I recommend that you speak with them before you decide on a path forward. Let me know what you want to do?"
Another deep breath, I felt sorry for myself, but action, not procrastination was required.
For our RV adventure in Mexico, we had taken the optional two years Out of Province extension for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). This entitled me to Canadian Medical treatment.
As a Recreational Vehicle traveler, Linda and I carry SkyMed emergency travel evacuation insurance. This independent insurance gets you and a caregiver, the RV, and the dogs, back home in the event of a life-threatening illness or accident.
But what would they do about an appointment to develop a treatment plan?
My wife Linda and I took an hour discussing what we wanted to do, then telephoned SkyMed. I could not have asked for a more caring, supportive, jovial, and professional team, they treated us like family members with a problem. With a copy of the email from my doctor in their hands, they agreed instantly that their service covered this consultative visit (Mexico to Canada and back), two hours later we had electronic tickets in our hands, and I finished my glass of wine.
Kingston Teaching Hospital
I had been diagnosed in Mexico with prostate cancer as part of a routine medical insurance test.
A subsequent biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. Further testing demonstrated the cancer was contained in the prostate and had not spread to other soft tissue or bone.
Specialist in Mexico wanted to perform surgery.
The Canadian prostate cancer medical consultation turned into two discussions on different days with top cancer specialists at Kingston Hospital, and a fun afternoon having a pre-op examination by the Brachytherapy treatment team. This examination confirmed that I was a suitable candidate for HDR Brachytherapy.
OHIP gets lots of criticism, but my experience during this event in my life is that in an urgent situation they are outstanding doctors and nurses working within the system.
I am back in Mexico now, with an appointment for the HDR Brachytherapy procedure followed by beam therapy for 15 days, set for June/July in Kingston.
Why did I decide on HDR Brachytherapy?
The Canadian Kingston Hospital Cancer Team agreed that I was a good candidate for Brachytherapy.
I could wait until June with no additional risk.
HDR Brachytherapy is not as invasive as surgical removal of the prostate.
HDR Brachytherapy is reputed to be equally as successful as surgery when dealing with early stages of prostate cancer. When combined with the fifteen-day post-op radiation beam treatment, HDR Brachytherapy has a higher success rate than surgery.
There is an equal or lower risk of side effects HDR Brachytherapy, than for surgery.
HDR Brachytherapy is generally performed as an outpatient procedure.
People have asked if I had considered Stem-cell Therapy. My answer is “yes,…”
Skymed took all the stress out of making the decision to fly back to Canada from Mexico. That is the service that I had paid for over the years, they were excellent. I believe that the decision to be treated in Canada and not Mexico was the correct choice for me and SkyMed enabled me to make that decision.
I am a confirmed believer in the value of SkyMed and will extend my membership when the time comes. However, in the name of complete disclosure if you decide to enroll will SkyMed, please use my name as a reference. If you do use my name as a reference, I will get one free month membership.