As hospitals focus on coronavirus, patients with other illnesses wait in fear

Health providers assigned to the hospital ship USNS Mercy docked at the Port of Los Angeles treat a non-Covid-19 patient from a Los Angeles-area medical facility.

(CNN)After a diagnosis of breast and thyroid cancer last spring, LaDonna Lokey knew she had a long year of surgery and chemotherapy ahead of her.

By the end of January, she had finished chemo and needed one more surgery to remove lymph nodes closing in on her vocal cords. But then the coronavirus pandemic struck, overwhelming her hospital in Wisconsin and others across the US.
As coronavirus patients flood clinics and hospitals, health care workers are taking steps at the recommendation of federal and state officials to cancel elective procedures, close non-emergency doctors' offices and postpone nonessential appointments. It's putting people with other health issues -- from cancer to pregnancy -- in a precarious position.
    For some, services they relied on are no longer available or have been canceled. For others, the services they need are still available, but they're too scared to venture out and risk contracting the virus.

    Putting treatment on hold

    Before her lymph node surgery, Lokey had to have an ultrasound done at a Green Bay-area hospital. But before she could go, they called to say it would need to be rescheduled to the end of April, at the earliest.
    They told her the ultrasound would have to wait. "My sense from all of the health care providers, they just fe