Sixty-five-year-old Robert Cattermole, now 72, was trimming the trees at his church the day before he had surgery for stage 3 colon cancer. An advanced screening at Langley Memorial Hospital found the cancer before any symptoms appeared and doctors said the early detection saved his life.

Robert’s Cancer Journey: Advanced screening finds cancer before symptoms appeared

The day before Robert Cattermole had surgery for stage 3 cancer, he was trimming the trees at his church.

It was spring 2013, he was 65 at the time and he had never had any major medical issues. He had no symptoms. He felt healthy.

But a week or two before that, his family doctor had recommended he get “additional testing.” He was referred to another hospital where he was told he’d have to wait nearly four months.

Since Cattermole was symptom-free, he resigned himself to wait. His daughter-in-law, however, is a registered nurse at Langley Memorial Hospital. She encouraged him to get tested as soon as possible.

Cattermole checked with Langley Memorial and they were able to get him in for testing in a week’s time — something he credits his life to today.

The colonoscopy revealed that — despite having no symptoms — he had stage 3 colon cancer. Days later, Cattermole was in surgery and then underwent chemotherapy to help ensure the cancer didn’t come back.

“The early access to cancer-detecting tools saved my life,” Cattermole said.

The right tools

Six years later the equipment that saved Cattermole is out of date and overworked, and urgently needs replacing.

Last year alone, Langley Memorial performed 4,563 colonoscopy procedures. The endoscopy clinic runs up to six days a week and yet it has the oldest suite of scopes in Fraser Health.

Although the government provides funding for the hospital’s day-to-day operations, it does not always cover upgrades to current equipment — certainly not at the speed patients like Cattermole deserve.

To maintain quality cancer care at the hospital, Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation is raising funds for new scopes — flexible tools with a light and camera that allow doctors to look inside your body.

“It’s the tool they used to discover my cancer,” Cattermole said. “And by buying more of them they can increase the number of advanced cancer screenings they do for patients.”

The foundation is also committed to funding a video processor — an important tool that processes the images captured by the camera in the scopes — as well as tools to monitor patient’s vital signs before and after surgery.

Cattermole said that, in addition getting tested for colon cancer at the age of 65 and up, he hopes people will make a gift to support cancer care at the hospital.

“Please give generously,” Cattermole said. “And help save other lives today.”

To support the hospital’s urgent equipment needs, donate online at https://lmhfoundation.com/donate or call 604-533-6422.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Doctors using life-saving equipment in the endoscopy clinic at Langley Memorial Hospital.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Staff member diagnosed with COVID-19 at Langley Lodge seniors home, Fraser Health confirms

The health authority is at the scene of the long term care home

Free hospital parking announcement didn’t go far enough, critic says

Temporary lifting of fees during COVID-19 outbreak should be permanent according to Gary Hee

WEATHER: Mainly cloudy with a chance of showers

Temperatures will reach a high of 11 C

ON COOKING IN LANGLEY: Perfecting gravy for Easter dinner

The size of the party may be small, but the meal can still be scrumptious

‘The Office’ star John Krasinski offers Some Good News in trying times

‘The human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away’

B.C. worker advocate group calls for more sick days, protected medical leave

COVID-19 highlights need for changes to workers legislation: Retail Action Network

Lower Mainland cop awarded almost $3.2 million for 2 car crashes

Jeffery Neufeldt of Mission was injured on the job in collisions in 2013 and 2016

New rules issued for B.C. construction projects, work camps for COVID-19

Coastal GasLink, LNG Canada, Trans Mountain and Site C carry on

Canada to spend $2B more on procuring medical supplies for COVID-19 fight

Government has signed deals with three companies

World COVID-19 updates: Putin may be exposed; 30,000 prisoners released

Comprehensive news update from around the world as of Tuesday, March 31.

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read