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Thank you, Mr. President

Today, I spent over three hours at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with a friend and her husband. She is a patient there and I went with them to take notes, ask questions and offer support.

 Seattle Cancer Care Alliance has patients from all over the world and the Alliance knows how to care for them. A nurse took my friend’s vital signs and then escorted all of us to an exam room. She explained all the next steps – including how they would record of all our questions and information that would be exchanged and explained with each of the specialists. Her husband and I left the exam room.

 After my friend’s exam, we met up with her in a conference room where her surgeon, a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist spent close to an hour each explaining their role in her care and how each would – or would not – be part of the care plan that she might choose.  At the end of the conferences, her doctor asked her for all of her insights, concerns, questions and ideas about her preferred next steps.

 The recorded thoughts, knowledge, medical possibilities and specific next steps are on a CD for her to review. Each specialist offered her their contact information if she has more questions in the days ahead. My friend can now move forward in confidence that she will receive exactly the healthcare she needs…

 And so can millions of Americans who, before Thursday’s Supreme Court decision, wondered if they would ever have decent healthcare. The kind of healthcare my friend received today, the kind everyone deserves.

 Thanks, President Obama.

(S-R  archives photo)

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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