Sunday 6 March 2011

Roadshow: Calgary, Alberta

On Thursday March 3, 2011 I experienced the first flight delay. At least 1 delay was inevitable with 7 flights scheduled in 9 days to complete the Answering TTP Roadshow west. Fortunately my meeting scheduled with the Calgary doctors had been pushed back to mid afternoon. I was able to make effective use of the delay; I found a desk with internet access tucked around a corner in the Edmonton airport. After catching up on emails and posting yesterday's blog the new plane pushed back from the gate for the quick 1 hour flight to Calgary.

I met with an Apheresis  Nurse Lorraine, Dr. Klassen and Dr. Duggan at the Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary. The Apheresis department is equipped with 4 Apheresis machines used for various treatments including TTP. So far in 2011 the Apheresis department at Foothills has treated 5 TTP patients, which was indicated to be off to a busier start than previous years.

Like the other 18 or so Canadian Apheresis treatment centres, all Apheresis treatments are recorded and submitted to the Canadian Apheresis Group, CAG, for consolidation of statistics. The CAG is chaired by Dr. Rock and includes members from about 40 Apheresis units in the 19 major medical centers in Canada. Moreover, the CAG promotes international communication of best practices and ideas through its relationships with the World Apheresis Association. Answering TTP Foundation is thrilled that we have been asked to attend this year's meeting, in April 2011, to provide information regarding our newly formed, nationally structured, and purely volunteer patient organization.

I am happy to write that the medical staff in Calgary have decided to hand out the new patient brochure. They agree that providing educative materials and the ability to connect with other TTP patients is valuable.

Dr. Klassen & Dr. Duggan
During my conversation with Dr. Klassen and Dr. Duggan, we discussed some of the lingering worries TTP patients carry with them every day. Probably one of the biggest concerns is that of relapse, in particular many patients worry, ‘Will I recognize the symptoms of relapse?’ One of the values of a patient organization is that we can provide some piece of mind to each other. Patients are not alone in their worry. Sometimes the ability to talk about it with others who share the same diagnosis can reduce this stressor. 

Another interesting and successful stop for the Answering TTP Roadshow west. 

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