Even though it is often an afterthought, the familiarity and comfort of being at home during a serious medical situation can play a huge role in a patient’s treatment and mental health. This was the case for Ed Rossie when he was informed that a suggested treatment for his endocrine cancer would need to be completed in Edmonton, Alberta. Having lived his entire life in Regina and the Regina Beach area, Ed realized this would be another unexpected hurdle along his journey.
It was in 2011 when Ed noticed blood in his urine. That prompted a visit his doctor and required an ultrasound and CT test. The results of these tests revealed two pre-cancerous growths in Ed’s bladder that were subsequently removed by Dr. Abdussalam Abahjar. Over the next three years, Ed would undergo 3 and 6 month checkups which revealed no further issues to the bladder, much to his relief.
In March of 2017 during one of Ed’s follow up appointments, a CT scan showed growths on his liver, and a biopsy was performed. Unfortunately, in April of 2017, Dr. Abuhjar confirmed that the growths were cancerous.
“It was definitely a shock to hear that I had cancer.” Ed recalls. “Having had the pre-cancerous growths removed from my bladder earlier, I knew there was always a chance something else could show up, but it doesn’t make that news any easier to take. The next step was to just make a plan of action.”
After undergoing multiple tests including a gastroscopy, a colonoscopy, blood tests and further CT scans, it was confirmed on June 16th that Ed was suffering from Endocrine Cancer. Shortly over a month after Ed’s diagnosis, he met with Dr. Mussawar Iqbal at Regina’s Pasqua Hospital to establish a treatment plan. After a battery of tests, Ed was then cleared to begin receiving Lanreotide chemotherapy injections as part of his treatment.
“The staff and doctors at both Allen Blair and the hospitals in Regina were fantastic during this whole period of time.” Ed says. “There was a lot of tests and appointments, and every single staff member was courteous and did their best to comfort me and the other patients at such a vulnerable time for us.”
Ed would continue with the Lanreotide chemotherapy shots until a follow up call with Dr. Iqbal on June 11th, 2021 where he was informed that the shots were no longer working to the efficiency that they should. Dr. Iqbal suggested another treatment referred to as PRRT (Peptide Receptor Radionuclide Therapy), which is a specialized form of radiation therapy that can target neuroendocrine tumors. However, this newer treatment was only available in Edmonton, Alberta. Ed underwent a PET scan on July 13th, 2021 and is now awaiting the call to travel to Edmonton for his treatment.
“I’m thankful that there is another option to try during my treatment, despite having to travel for it. It would be fantastic if Regina offered this service in our hospitals in the near future as well. The less travel someone in my condition or worse has to do, the better. It just adds another layer of planning when you have to leave home for an extended period of time.” Ed tells us. “I’m looking forward to receiving the call that I can continue my treatment, and want to thank all the staff that have helped me along the way so far as well. The entire medical team from top to bottom were simply amazing. The work that Hospitals of Regina Foundation does to help improve local health care is life changing and I can’t thank you enough.”
“Ed’s story is a great example of the importance of investing in cutting edge medical technology for our hospitals, right here in Regina. We have provided the funding needed to support the equipment needs of the Nuclear Medicine Unit at Regina’s Pasqua Hospital, and we look forward to the day when this treatment can be delivered in Regina.” says Dino Sophocleous, president & CEO, Hospitals of Regina Foundation. “The Foundation is committed to investing in innovative equipment and the needs of our medical units that will lead to better care for our community in southern Saskatchewan.”