For the past few weeks Ive followed the unfolding story surrounding the resignation of Dr. Katakkar as regional head of oncology in Prince George. I need to begin with a disclaimer: I have never been a patient of Dr. Katakkar, and am unable to speak to his compassion, competence or treatment by the BC Cancer Agency. I wish instead to speak of the agency itself.
Twelve months ago I was diagnosed with stage 4 carcinoma of the lymph glands on the right side of my neck. Further examination and testing indicated that the primary tumor was located in a tonsil. In mid-August of last year I went to Vancouver for two months of extensive radiation and chemo-therapies.
Returning home in early October I began the long process of healing from the treatment, culminating in surgical removal of a few suspect nodes this March, and as of early May was found to be cancer free. My treatment was aggressive, and during its active stages quite debilitating. As I say, I cannot speak to any of the issues directly relating to Dr. Katakkar. Nevertheless the care I received both while I was in Vancouver and upon returning to Prince George was highly professional, compassionate and sensitive.
Very soon the new Northern Cancer Clinic will be opening, and I for one will rejoice in this important step in providing localized treatment for those of us who continue to live with the reality and the consequences of this illness.