This is my final piece in the ” take action theme.” I know that I have ranted and raved but it was needed. Let me say here that cancer treatment is not for the faint of heart. It is not something anyone wants to suffer through. It is the most hated word in the English language.
We all FEAR hearing our doctor tell us we have cancer. Once it comes out of their mouth we are filled with fear. There is no way to describe the feelings of a cancer patient when they hear those words. We know what we feel. Oh yes we do.
I want all of us to encourage each other to take action when we find something wrong in our bodies. Doctors will often say ” let’s watch it, let’s wait.” I say okay. Let’s do it but then set a time for watching, and then take action.
I work in the field of medicine. I am a nurse. Yes I listened to the doctors just like the other sheep in the flock because I was so ” afraid.” I worked college health. I didn’t know about cancer. I believed that the ” doctors” knew it all. Well they didn’t and they don’t.
I am blessed because I am alive today to write this blog and rant away. Several of the people I knew along my journey that had cancer are now dead. I am one of the lucky ones.
Do you want to try your luck as well? Of course you do not. I say get your provider to take action sooner rather then later. Don’t let them make you feel like a fool when something is wrong in your body and you are concerned. That specialist in Kansas City made me feel like an idiot taking up her time.
She kept saying ” what are they watching this for, what are they doing in Manhattan watching this all the time. it is nothing, nothing.” I felt like an idiot when I told her that it hurt and always had. She fired back with ” breast cancer isn’t painful, it’s not painful, that’s why we teach self breast exam, because most women just come across it. It’s not painful.” Her speech was pressured and she was in a great hurry.
She did not offer me any kind of treatment or test. Just acted like I was the biggest fool taking up her precious time. I left her office to drive home alone feeling very dejected. Do not let any doctor make you feel that way. Challenge them if they do. I was a coward. I left with my painful breast and my head hanging.
After my treatment I later found out that she sent my doctor a letter stating “I had refused treatment.” when none was discussed or offered. How could she have done that? I’ll tell you, she was covering her ass in case something happened and I tried to sue. That is what she was doing knowing that she had never offered me anything. That still angers me.
Take control of your health and your health care. Feel the fear but do not let it make you freeze and not do something. We/you have to push past our fears and get the best care out there if we are to survive.
One line I have heard doctors say when they have missed something is ” oh well it probably wouldn’t have made a difference anyway.” And in some cases they were right, BUT in some cases they are terribly wrong! The really sad thing is we will really never know.
So as not to go away on a bad note let me say that I met some great people during and after my treatment. Many were such loving, caring providers. All through my chemotherapy the nurses praised me, and encouraged me to keep going in my schooling. While I did my radiation the techs kidded me and challenged me about what I was learning. Many, without a word from their mouths , motivated me to be a good nurse when the time came.
Again let me say I was one of the lucky ones. When I finished my treatments. All of it, I was left with thousands and thousands of dollars in bills for my care. Insurance does not cover it all, ever.
I sat down and wrote to all of the providers telling them that I was a full time student (at 56) trying to get my nursing degree with a sixteen year old son at home. I let them know that there was no way I could pay all the money I owed at once. I owed fifteen providers so I offered each one a twenty dollar a month payment until I could pay more. Do you know what happened?
Many of these wonderful people wished me success and wrote off my bills. I had one hospital write off a five thousand dollar bill wishing me well in my nursing career, and several other providers out of California did the same. There are wonderful people out there in the field of cancer treatment. I say ” hail hail” to them. They are little gods in the making.
As the field of medicine improves we will see more kinds of cancers diagnosed earlier. We must be prepared to treat them as well. We do not need to sit back and watch these monsters grow. Expect great things and maybe great things will happen. Sit back on you butt and nothing will improve. That is true for everything happening in your life. Taking action is the sure way to move forward, perhaps to live another day.
Take care of you, and have a great day today. We all deserve great days.