A painful journey back to health
Twenty years ago Multiple Myeloma Cancer was practically unheard of on PEI. Those twenty years have made quite a difference. Presently there now exists a support group and a donor list for those that are affected. Gert has beat the odds and is now twenty years beyond her transplant and thanks the doctors at the Souris Hospital.
Gert Gojmerac, a resident of Rollo Bay West, is a mother of four and a grandmother to ten. She likes to ski, attend community school, and look after her grandchildren. Twenty years ago, an active Gert started experiencing increasingly sharp pains, jumping from her hip to her back. She began to limp and couldn’t walk because of the severe pain. At the Souris Hospital, Dr. Vickerson saw Gert and insisted that she have further tests right away, where it was confirmed that she had Multiple Myeloma. During this time the slightest movement would cause her excruciating pain, due to the nature of her cancer symptoms.
Gert’s recovery took her to different health facilities during her diagnosis, treatment, and a bone marrow transplant with marrow donated from her brother, Roland. Dr.Dryer started her on a combination of medication, which would lessen the amount of times she needed to travel for chemo. Both prior to her transplant and during her recovery and rehabilitation she was able to receive care locally at the Souris Hospital and at home through Home Care services.
“The handier you are to home the easier it is to get your care and try to get better. I wouldn’t have been able to travel if I had to go to Charlottetown at that time. Even driving on the road if you went over just a pebble I would take a spasm in my back. When I would have to go into Charlottetown for any tests it was very difficult for me, so that is why it was so good to have the care in Souris,” says Gert.
Besides Home Care during Gert’s recovery, she also needed regular X-rays and frequent blood work, which she was able to receive close to home due to the availability of the equipment at the Souris Hospital. Equipment, such as the X-ray machine, that she remembers the Eastern Kings Health Foundation fundraising for over a decade ago.
When asked about the difference having local treatment made to her life, Gert’s care and support of the local health care community is evident, “Well, it was the care, everybody was so concerned, because we all knew each other. The care was really excellent. It just came from the hearts of all the nurses and doctors. They would do anything to help you.”