Oklahoma Woman Battles Breast Cancer, Fights To Have Operation During Coronavirus Restrictions

Monday, April 20th 2020, 12:28 pm
By: Erica Rankin

Since elective surgeries were cancelled, many people have been in a bind, waiting until they can get that surgery again.

Robin Roberson, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission's executive director, has been battling breast cancer since the beginning of the year.

Roberson was scheduled to have her double mastectomy on April 6. When elective surgeries were cancelled, she was told she would have to wait.

This scared her since she has lost family members in the past from breast cancer.

“It was really scary because I lost my maternal aunt and my paternal grandmother to breast cancer,” said Roberson.

Because she wanted the cancer out as soon as possible, she started the search to find someone else who could do her operation. That is when she found Cancer Treatment Center of America in Tulsa.

It did take some time to work with insurance to get her all set.

“CTCA really spearheaded it along with my husband’s company,” said Roberson. “They are self-insured so that helped because they had to really work together to almost fight the insurance company if you will.”

Finally, it all worked out and Roberson’s surgery was on the calendar.

“There are very few cases that would be truly elective,” said Kevin Tulipana the regional medical officer for CTCA Tulsa. “Cancer doesn’t wait, cancer is not going to wait for COVID, it’s not going to wait for anything else, so we have been doing what we can to get access to patience as much as possible.”

Now, after her experience, Roberson is urging people to be their own advocates of their health.

“I want to encourage people to explore other options especially if they’re living with a cancer diagnosis and are needing that life-saving surgery please look at a facility like to see CTCA it is dedicated to that,” said Roberson.

Roberson will have her surgery on Tuesday.