I was living in Brisbane when I was diagnosed with early breast cancer in 2010 at the age of 51. I had a mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy. My GP suggested the possibility of breast reconstruction in April 2011. It took 18 months to get an outpatient appointment. At my second appointment, I decided reconstruction was the right choice for me, and was placed on the waiting list as a non-urgent patient.
Twelve months later I got called up to the preadmission clinic. I had all of my pre-operative preparation done, thinking my surgery was imminent. And then … nothing happened! I finally had my reconstruction in December 2014 – more than three years since my GP had sent my referral. Reconstruction should be offered as part of the standard treatment plan, and be available to all women. It’s not fair that in other parts of Australia, women can have their reconstructions done within a year, rather than wait for three years (or longer) like so many Queensland women have to.