#Gratitude for #Doctors

Angels and doctors

I wasn’t going to put together another post for this week, as I already have my posts for the week scheduled in draft, but I’m sticking one more in because I feel compelled to say something.


I talk about kindness and the universe a lot. I also preach that without having our health, we have nothing, for nothing else can bring us joy while we’re busy fretting over serious illness.


I had to write this post in gratitude as a shout out to two wonderful doctors.


Many of you know my personality here, and how I am here, is how I am in my real life. I’m friendly, inquisitive, and make friends and form rapports quite easily because I respect people and have a way of forming instant bonds with people. This is no different when it comes to my relationships with mine and my husband’s doctors.


In today’s world, we all know that it can be difficult to get in to see a doctor at times. Wait times can drag on, and if we’re scared about something, the waiting can seem like an eternity; especially if you are out of country on the other side of the continent. And don’t even get me started with trying to get hold of a doctor to speak to them personally.


I know the US has their healthcare issues, and believe me, a lot has changed too with Canadian healthcare, not for the better. But there are still some Saints  doctors around who still have a bedside manner and compassion. And I am blessed to have two of them.


Without getting into great details of the Stage IV prostrate cancer my husband had a few years ago, and the grueling treatments he underwent to save his life, I’m always on guard for symptoms, and there have been a few residual issues from side-effects of the treatment through these past few years.


A few days ago, while we’re on vacation, my husband developed some questioning symptoms (which I won’t get into here). I’m pretty well versed in health and disease and cures, medically and naturopathically. His symptoms weren’t making a lot of sense to me and flagged an alert system in my brain from the things I do know. After googling my computer to death, knowing what he didn’t have, but miniscule possibilities of what he could have, I was quite concerned to the point where I felt we might have to go back home.


You may be wondering if we have out of country medical insurance, and the answer is yes, of course, but I’m pretty well versed too, at the way the insurance companies work. I’ve seen issues all too often in the news. If there’s one tiny thing they can find to pin an ailment on, they won’t cover insurance, and I know if I took him to a doctor here, they’d pin his symptoms back to his cancer 5 years ago and wouldn’t reimburse, so although feeling like I may be overstepping some privileges, I contacted 2 of our doctors back home, on Sunday.


Dr. Vesprini, oncologist at Sunnybrook Hospital is one of my husband’s doctors. We see him twice a year for testing to make sure the cancer hasn’t returned. Dr. V, as I call him, is a strappingly handsome young man with a great personality, and a man who doesn’t make you feel like you’re even in a hospital. We were there before we came to Arizona for hub’s semi-annual checkup, and there was a test result misplaced. He said, ‘Don’t worry Deb, I’m not going to make you come all the way back here. Here’s my personal email address, we’ll run that test again now, then email me Monday and I’ll email you back the results”. Wow, I was touched that he wasn’t going to put us out and make us come back so he could charge OHIP for another visit, or that I didn’t have to go through hoops with a secretary, not to mention that he felt comfortable giving me his personal email address.


Dr. Marsden (although we’re on a first name basis) became my naturopath almost 15 years ago. He basically saved my life a few times over. He’s a brilliant naturopath who studied in Germany and brings all the technology here. He has patients that come to his cancer clinic and health center from all over the world. I’ve watched him grow from his small practice, to an international superstar who travels many places now to lecture. But when it comes to looking after me and my husband it feels as though he’s our friend and always comes to the plate when I have a concern. So yes, I do have his cell phone personal number since 2006 when I had my open heart surgery for the tumor on my heart, and he was there for me through consults, listening to my fears, and for a speedy recovery process. He even came to our house to check on me. They just don’t make doctors like Dr. M anymore.  I have never abused his number, never, ever used it.


But Sunday I was full of worry. I decided it was time to use my ‘get out of jail free cards’. I sent an email to Dr. Vesprini, with details of my observations on my husband’s symptoms. I didn’t have Dr. Marsden’s email with me, so I sent him a lengthy text explaining my concerns and minute details of the symptoms, and my apologies for bothering him.


Dr. V emailed me back first thing Monday morning, and we emailed back and forth, his diagnosis, and my questions. He verified what I thought it was, and although he’s 99.9% sure of what it is, he told me as long as it remains the same and doesn’t get worse, there is nothing to worry about, and to be sure, he will test my hub when we return home to make sure his diagnosis is correct. He reminded us to have a great time and not to worry and to let him know if anything worse happens, feel free to contact him.


Dr. M called me. He told me exactly what Dr. V had said, put our worries to rest, and said these effects are common even years after radiation, and as long as it remains like this, there’s no reason to worry, although he wants hub to have the same test Dr. V requested when we get home. He invited me to call him anytime if there’s a concern, but I would never abuse the privilege unless I found myself up against a brick wall. He also cautioned what to keep an eye out for and if anything gets worse, he advised we come home.


Now, I had surmised from my knowledge and investigations what the problem could be,  but I knew I had to consult with a doctor for verification and peace of mind. I’m not one to ever let suspicious symptoms linger. Everything seems fine for the time being; symptoms are lessening, and I am on watchful duty should things escalate. But I can’t stop thinking about how blessed I am to have these rapports with 2 wonderful human beings who just happen to be doctors.


Thank you for your kindness, concern and compassion Dr. Vesprini and Dr. Marsden. The world could use more doctors like you.



41 thoughts on “#Gratitude for #Doctors

  1. I think your receptivity to their direction and your great concern as a partner in your and your husband’s health go a long way toward your doctors’ wanting to go the extra mile – wonderful is allI I can say. Personal emails included – wow!


    1. Thank you so much Marian. I believe it’s true. But I think it may be different for everyone, depending on how much of themselves they reveal to their doctors. Some people don’t say much, just take what the doc tells them. Many don’t understand the jargon, and just accept again. I always ask questions, learn about a potential ailment, try to stay proactive with my health, and have a healthy attitude with a sense of humor. Being positive, friendly, and having a sense of humour hasn’t ever pushed anyone away.:)


  2. I’m relieved all is well in your world. You are a wonderful advocate for your health and your husband’s and you are a great teacher for others who need to know more about being their own best friend when it comes to healthcare. You are lucky to have these healers who rise above the rest to deliver care with kindness and they are lucky to have you, someone who appreciates all they do. Sorry you had this blip in your time away but it seems that is will be smooth sailing from here.


    1. Thanks so much Deb for your lovely comments. You and I are the same when it comes to ‘telling it as it is’. I share these stories for people to be reminded to keep on top of health issues and to remind that kindness and gratitude can turn up in some of the most unexpected places when we need it. ❤


  3. How wonderful you have such two brilliant Drs.. so refreshing to hear about those that Care for patients and you are very fortunate that you can access them both..
    I hope your hubby’s condition stays stable while you are on vacation and all stays well with the tests..
    sending you Lots of Love and I bet it was a huge relief for you to be reassured that way by them both
    Love to you and continue enjoying your vacation xxx ❤ Sue


  4. What a great blessing Debby, and how it restores our faith in humankind when we have help like this. I battled for years for my daughter and for the last year, we’re blessed with a wonderful doctor who really listens and takes action when needed. You are super vigilant too, and that is wonderful. I agree totally with you, far better to act on something and be safe rather than sorry. I hope that things settle down, hubby recovers and you both enjoy your vacation with peace of mind and plenty of calm. Big hugs dear friend ❤ xoxo


    1. Thanks so much Sherri for reading and leaving your kindness here. You hit the nail on the head – we must keep vigilant. Imagine how busy we are, then imagine how busy a doctor’s life is with the demands of so many patients seeking his time and care. If those that are complacent about health aren’t going to be proactive, a doctor certainly doesn’t have the time to call each of his patients and ask them how they’re doing. But there are boundaries too. And it’s important to know your limitations without becoming a nag. 🙂 ❤


  5. Deb, that was a very kind post. I am very happy to hear that the doctors say there’s nothing to worry about for now, and I pray that the future is full of continuing good health. It is true that a certain brand of doctor is very hard to come by these days. My former doctor was a very good one, and he too, gave me his home number, which I never abused. I think I only called it 3 times in all the years I went to him.

    Blessings for divine health and well-being for your family,

    Marianne ♥


  6. I owe my life to my proactive team of doctors, who actually talk to each other– what a novel idea! Sometimes it takes the collaboration of more than one specialist to put the puzzle pieces together. On December 17th, I had a large malignant mass removed from my intestines. By being in the hospital and having a surgeon available while I was having a “screening procedure”, the mass was entirely removed immediately. Additional biopsies have been benign. Proactive treatment by caring doctors who knew my history were my angels on earth. I’m pleased to see this heartfelt blog by D. G. Kaye and all the comments from those who have had similar experiences. Blessings to Debby and her husband as well as those whose comments inspire us all.


    1. Deb! I know of your medical journey. I am so happy to hear those great results. It is so true that we call them earth angels, for that’s exactly what they are. And the divine timing of their being with us at the right moments is certainly someone above looking out for us.
      I share my personal stories here sometimes in hopes to enlighten others about being proactive, and to let people know that people are human and if we do our share to be knowledgeable and to form good rapports with our doctors, in our moments in need it’s easier to have a hand extended out to us. Many are afraid of doctors, or don’t want to know things. It’s important to stay informed and not be afraid to ask questions. It’s also important that we don’t gauge our ailments by Google. It’s okay to use it to get some general information. But every case is specific to an individual, and anything serious must be addressed to a doctor.


  7. Hi Debby! I’ve worked in the medical field for many years and have known many doctors, some good, some not so good. My idea of a good doctor is one who is skillful and knowledgeable in his field but most of all a good doctor is one that has not been desensitized by experience and can still treat his patients with respect, dignity, and empathy. There aren’t many doctors like that, so when you find one hold on to him/her. Both Dr. V and Dr. M are keepers. 😉 I’m happy things are much better now. All the best to you and your hubby.


    1. Hi Vashti. Thanks for dropping by and sharing this here. You said it, ‘a doctor who has not been desensitized and is empathetic’. These traits are harder and harder to come by these days, especially in Canada where the system is constantly getting cutbacks, and doctors are quick to shove you in with double bookings and can barely give you 10 minutes to talk. We’re truly blessed. Thanks again. ❤


  8. We too are fortunate to have some very helpful and considerate doctors and dentists–who suggest texting a photo of the whatever to see if we need an Rx, a trip to the ER or it can wait for an office visit. They call to see how we are doing after a procedure even after hours or on the weekend. The important thong is to pick the right people the first time. We interviewed them when we moved to our new location 5 years ago.


    1. That’s wonderful to hear John. That’s not the usual norm. I did the same thing about 10 years ago. Changed few doctors and moved around when I wasn’t satisfied. I’m lucky to have a great team now. I had searched out my naturopath too, but as we all know, we can’t choose our oncologists that are hospital assigned. We were blessed to have gotten Dr. V from the get go. 🙂


  9. Those things are so frightening and it’s wonderful that the doctors knew that and responded so quickly and thoughtfully. A nice tribute to those two men and to doctors who go above and beyond everywhere. 🙂


  10. Love the closing the thought that they are wonderful human beings first. We (and I imagine MDs themselves) have a tendency to see them through their title. Good drs are few and far between in the medical world but they are gems. All the best this year, D.


    1. Exactly my sentiments here in this article Diana, that’s why I felt compelled to share. Good doctors are few and far between, not just for their skills, but for their compassion, and like you said, getting their title away from their ego is the difference which shines through. xo ❤


  11. I’m grateful you and your husband found helpful doctors, Debby. So important to feel their competence and sometimes even more important to feel their compassion and genuine concern. In the last months of my husband’s life, this very sick guy continued his book tour. I was afraid he’d have a crisis and no one would know what to do in Boulder Colorado or Ottawa. He reasoned that no one knew what to do anywhere and he’d rather be doing something worthwhile while he could. His last workshop was five weeks before his death. I hope your husband’s symptoms have continued to lessen and temperatures have warmed. It’s snowing in my world, just enough to create beauty.


    1. Thank you for your kind words Elaine, and for sharing something here about your husband, Vic. I already knew about the things you wrote here, for I’ve been following your journey. But for those who aren’t familiar with your journey through life and death with your husband Vic, I hope some of my readers will now be encouraged to go visit your beautiful blog where there is much to be learned from. Your husband certainly was an amazing man, through his strength and his knowledge.

      The sun has finally come to visit here in these past few days, and hub’s doing a little better, and much better psychologically, after he was rest assured by our compassionate doctors. ❤


  12. I had no idea your hubby had gone through such a rough time. What a relief he is on the mend (albeit with ups and downs) you know sometimes, I struggle to see humanity as anything other than a plague. But then there are these times when people go above and beyond for others that I remember, there is still kindness, still love and still generosity in this world. Sending you happy healthy thoughts and a speedy recovery. ❤


    1. Thanks for sharing this Sach, and for your kind wishes. It’s certainly nice to know there are still some compassionate doctors around, and we are blessed to have 2 of them. ❤


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