‘It cost me my life’: Saanichton grandmother speaks out about shocking cancer misdiagnosis

'It cost me my life': Saanichton grandmother speaks out about shocking cancer misdiagnosis

Margaret Jestico has lived in her Saanichton home for 52 years.

But the 81-year-old grandmother may need to go into hospice soon following a shocking cancer misdiagnosis.

“It’s sort of mind-boggling,” Jestico tells CHEK News. “I don’t really think I’ve taken the whole thing in yet.”

After an ultrasound, CT scan and MRI, Jestico was told in December of 2019 that a small growth detected on her liver was benign and nothing to worry about.

Then COVID hit, and Jestico didn’t get it re-checked — despite a little voice telling her she should.

“That first year after they discovered it, I should have been rattling the cage saying, ‘hey, are you going to check on this?'” Jestico says. “But COVID hit and everything was in chaos.”

The 81-year-old went back to her doctor in August and another ultrasound led to devastating news.

“He phoned me and said, ‘you better get your affairs in order because it’s been misdiagnosed and it is cancer’, which absolutely floored me,” Jestico says. “I couldn’t believe it.”

The tumour — initially only 1.5 cm — is now almost 14 cm and a very aggressive form of cancer.

But despite the seriousness of the situation, Jestico says there were delays to see a surgeon and she also had to wait weeks to get a critical MRI.

“I’m very bitter about the fact that once they established what this was, they didn’t move on it right way but if they had in August, I probably would have stood a chance,” she says. “August, September, October and I haven’t even gotten into the cancer clinic yet.”

The grandmother of seven and great-grandmother of six has been given just months to live but she is hoping to get chemo to extend what little time she has left.

Jestico says she’s speaking out in the hope she can help save others by urging people to trust their gut.

“Don’t sit by — you will be sorry, you will,” Jestico says. “Don’t just sit there thinking I can relax, because that’s what’s cost me my life.”

CHEK reached out to Island Health but didn’t receive a response by deadline.

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