I had minor surgery last week. Over the last 17 years, I’ve watched a little lump on my neck (a harmless, benign cyst) grow from the size of a mosquito bite into the size of a large marble and last Thursday was the day that I finally got it removed.
Here are some facts about that:
- Getting the lump removed was my choice. I had the autonomy to decide if I wanted to let it grow or have it removed with surgery.
- The whole process involved an appointment with my doctor, an appointment with a specialist, the surgery and a follow up appointment. I paid $0 for the entire thing.
- The hospital I attended was sterile and clean. It had running water and reliable electricity.
- My boyfriend drove me to and from the appointment. It was about a 40 minute round trip.
- I felt surprisingly fine afterwards, so I went into the office. But I didn’t have to. I could have worked from home or not worked at all and my employer would have been fine with that.
Every day at my job I read and share the stories of people in the developing world who have similar conditions–small lumps that grow into bigger lumps–but entirely different experiences. They have no choice but to let the lump grow until it takes over their life. If (and it’s a big if) medical help is available, it is likely unaffordable or inaccessible.
Being born in Canada, where the above facts are just a given, is such a great blessing.