Tuesday, September 29, 2015
A Second Opinion
There is a compelling reason for writing this post. Let me tell you the scenario.
A few months ago a friend returned from a trip to Africa with a cough and a few other minor ailments. She also had a lump near her mouth. She went to the dentist, here in Mexico, and the dentist removed the lump and sent it for a biopsy and report. There is more to this part of the story but I don't remember all the details.
The next part of this saga is all too common. It came back saying she had lymphoma, stage 4 and that it was in her lymph nodes and her body. Chemo needed to start immediately. Of course, all this did not happen at one appointment but continued for several weeks until this was determined.
My friend is a Canadian but felt that it would take way too long to get an appointment for treatment in Canada and so was prepared for chemo here in Mexico.
At a party she and her husband were having for her brother's birthday, I expressed, vociferously, that they should go to Canada and if necessary call for an ambulance and be presented to the emergency room and they would have to take her. You might laugh or be appalled at this suggestion, but when it is life or death, you do what you have to do. I have, in the past, done this with my daughter.
She did not do that, but did contact her doctor in Canada with all the details. Thankfully, somehow, they were able to get into an oncologist.
Much to my friend's dismay, although she had brought all the test results and reports from Mexico, the doctor's in Canada wanted to rerun the tests. Of course, now time had elapsed and the concern of my friend and her husband was the angst and worry and wanting to get on with the chemo.
The tests were done. The results came back. Believe it or not, my friend did NOT have cancer but did have mononucleosis. Now this is rare in someone over 70, I'm told. This news was relayed to us from
Canada by email. We were all ecstatic, shocked and dismayed.
Ecstatic that my friend can rest and recuperate. It is a diagnosis that does not come without serious concerns but at least it is not cancer. Shock at the previous diagnosis. And, yes, this does happen. More frequently then one would believe. And dismay, that this saga had gone on so long with all kinds of sadness, panic and distress. Not to mention the monetary expense.
It was my intention to write this blog when it was first emailed that my friend did not have cancer. What if the doctors in Canada had not redone the tests? Oh my.
It is a clear lesson that one should not rush into treatment for just about anything without getting a second opinion, and if necessary a third, to make sure that the future course of action is correct.
To all my friends who read this, PLEASE remember this if you are ever in this position. My only other suggestion is to always get to the best facility, somehow and don't give up until you get there. All things are possible.
Hopefully none of us will ever be faced with this dilemma, but it seemed a word to the wise was in order.