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When a Family Member gets a Cancer Diagnosis

Updated on April 10, 2012
Creative Commons
Creative Commons
Photo by Lauren Nelson-Creative Commons
Photo by Lauren Nelson-Creative Commons

I went to the doctor's appt with my wife last Wednesday, and it started out normally. The doctor started to examine her, and then said we need images. They got an x-ray, and after seeing the x-ray, the doctor said we have to get a scan.

They took her to another area of the clinic, and the nurse told me that they would need me to leave and go to the reception area. As I was leaving the room, two other doctors were coming in.

As I waited in the outer area, I wondered what the heck the deal was.

My wife came out finally. She looked like she was shook up. She told me to go back in and talk to the appointment setter. When I got back to her desk, she told me that my wife was being referred to a surgeon, and they would call when the consult was set up.I asked about the copay and the lady looked at me apologetically, and said she wasn't charging the normal copay today because of what occurred. She then handed me prescriptions for pain meds for my wife.

When I got to the car, my wife was crying, and I asked her what happened. She said after they did the scan,her doctor and the other two they called in looked at it, She heard one of the doctors said oh shit! After the other two doctors left the room, her doctor explained that she had a large mass and to him it appeared to be quick growing since an x-ray that she had 6 months ago showed nothing. He told her the next step would be to  see a surgeon.

She basically came home and cried all night. She finally fell asleep around 6am.

When she woke up, she told me that in thinking about things, she had decided she didn't want to get any surgery, or any treatment. She said her father had a good life and when he got cancer, the treatment he had in her mind killed him faster than the cancer. I have no idea if she will change her mind about it or not.

She loves our children and grandchildren, and I thought that would spur her to get treatment, but she says the kids will remember her more for the treatment and it's effects, then the other things in her life.

She seems to be very resolute that these are her wishes.

I am sure there are others who have been in this situation, and I wonder how they may have persuaded family members to get treatment, and did they regret it later.

I myself have had cancer, and I had no other thought than to fight it, and I really don't know how to handle this.

Present Day

Since I originally wrote this hub, things have changed. We waited what seemed like forever for a referral to a surgeon. Someone in our church heard about our situation, and contacted a surgeon friend of theirs. We got a call from this surgeon on a Sunday, and he told us to be at his office the next morning. We went there, and the doctor said he had gotten my wifes scans from the clinic.

He put the x-rays on the viewer, and the told my wife to quit worrying about cancer. He suggested we call the clinic and tell the doctor there to pull his head out of his butt, and then referred my wife to a different doctor whose specialty was infectious disease, not cancer.

She had an infection that was a rare and tough infection to cure, but she has been treated for it since February with several different types of antibiotic. What started out as a very dire sounding diagnosis ended up being a annoying, but less threatening infection in her head. The only sign left of it is a lump on her neck, which the doctor says is fluid, and it should gradually dissolve.


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      8 years ago me or chat, whatever, if needed..please keep us informed..this is terrible news...make sure follow up...dr's can be wrong! more than one opinion is crucial in this kind of diagnosis...please get that done..I have seen numerous diagnoses that were changed after another dr. tested and exam....they could be need to find out for sure...


      robin and shai


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