The Begining

December 2006 is when it all began. I went to an OBGYN in Florida for a yearly checkup. The doctor pulled me into his office and this is how the conversation went:

Dr.- “Things look pretty bad”

ME- “What, what does that mean?”

Dr- “I think you have pretty advanced cervical cancer”

ME-“What…what…could it be anything else, are you sure?”

Dr-“If you hear hooves, its probably horses not zebras”

ME-“What, what, what I don’t follow”

Dr- “Have a good holiday I’ll call you after the holidays”

Needles to say I was SHOCKED! I mean I never imagined I had cancer and if I did this was not how I expected to be told. For the next half hour I sat in my car, alone, confused and scared. There was no way this could be happening to me. So, I started calling family and friends and everyone said, “No way, that can’t be the case”. What was I suppose to do, think or say. What I did was make an appointment with another OBGYN for a second opinion.

After the first doctors visit I started bleeding heavily and experiencing terrible pain. I had to wait two weeks before I could be seen by the new OBGYN. When I finally got to see the new doctor things had gotten pretty bad. I was passing tennis ball sized blood clots, bleeding through my clothes and sleeping maybe 4 hours a night. They conducted all sorts of tests on me. When they attempted to do a PAP I screamed in pain. The Nurse Practitioner tried three times but the pain was too much. She decided to get one of the doctors but he was “too busy” to see me. They scheduled an appointment for an ultra sound and sent me on my way.

The next month is a bit of a blur for me but basically this is how it went. After the first visit the pain and blood increased significantly. I called the doctor’s office the next day and the day after that. “There’s nothing we can do for you” is basically the answer I got. When I got the ultra sound it was horribly painful (it shouldn’t have been under normal circumstances). All the tests showed no STDS or PID and the ultra sound showed no cysts. But the pain was getting worse and the bleeding too. Law school had started up again, my second semester of my second year. I had to go to school. The drive was an hour each way and I couldn’t make it the entire way without stopping because I was in so much pain. Each day the pain and blood increased. I called the doctor everyday and went into the office several times a day but nothing. I asked if I could have a CT scan but they didn’t want to do that. On several occasions I brought someone with me to my visit because I felt like I was going crazy! How could these doctors not be helping me? How could they let me go home when I was bleeding so badly? How can I keep living like this? But even with others in the examining room with me the answers were the same: “There’s too much blood I can’t see anything”. WHAT!?! And if you are saying to yourself, “no way that can’t be true” just ask my friend who was sitting by my side holding my hand and she will tell you, “yup that’s exactly what they said”.

This continued for a month. Eventually I stopped sleeping entirely. I would lay in my bed in horrific pain. So many thoughts went through my head, am I dying, should I call the doctor, should I call my parents, what can I do….The only time I felt any kind of relief was when I was in the bathtub so I took, and I am not exaggerating, between 20-30 baths throughout the night. I would wait till 7 or 8 in the morning and then call the emergency line at my doctors. Why you ask, because I didn’t want to bother them, I didn’t want them to be annoyed with me, I needed them!! The answers I got were never helpful; “maybe you’re constipated” was one of my favorites. What’s even funnier is I believed them!!! Now you may be asking yourself, what about the first doctor who told you the hooves bit? Well I just thought he was crazy. What a crazy way to tell someone they might be dying of cancer. Insensitive, dangerous and cold are only three of the many ways I could describe that guy. I believed these doctors. I trusted them! Aren’t we always told to get a second opinion, well that’s what I did and I believed them. I told my new OBGYN about the first doctor and his diagnosis but they said, and I quote “If you were 60 years old I would tell you, you advanced cervical cancer, but you are too young and there is no way-YOU DO NOT HAVE CANCER I CAN ASSURE YOU OF THAT”. Thankfully my friend was with me during this visit so she can tell you that yes that is what the doctor said right after he said there was too much blood to see anything.

One day my OBGYN returned one of my many calls and left a message, I was in class when he called. That’s right folks I was going to ALL my classes, taking notes, getting called on etc….I checked the message and started crying as I listened. He was dropping me as a patient; actually his secretary was doing it!! “The doctor wanted me to tell you there’s nothing more we can do for you” How could this be happening? What was I suppose to do now? I’ll tell you what I did, I called a new doctor. I also called the OBGYN that was trying to drop me back. What did they say you ask: “No, no, no we aren’t dropping you we are just telling you there’s nothing more we can do” So I was annoying them, I was “putting them out”. Well excuse me I thought you were suppose to call your doctor when you were bleeding, in pain, losing weight. I forgot to tell you, one of the many visit they weighed me and I had lost 10 pounds in less than a week. If you want my opinion I think they thought I was crazy but crazy people don’t bleed excessively so how do they explain that??

I went to a GP who told me he thought I was just suffering from shocked. I had told him my entire story and this doctor believed that I was shocked and stressed from the original doctor telling me I might have cancer. I told this doctor that it had been at least a week and a half since I last slept. Not one minute, thirty seconds, nothing. NO SLEEP! He gave me Lunesta and said that I should take two and if I didn’t sleep to call him at home the next morning. No sleep! I even took 3 and still didn’t sleep one minute. PAIN, PAIN, PAIN that’s all I had. I called the next morning, a Saturday, and the Dr. told me to come to his office immediately. He wasn’t working but would meet me there. This time the doctor gave me Seroquel. This is a medication that is giving to people with chemical imbalances. It worked the first night. But the second night it did not and I was back to no sleep.

Finally one day I could take no more. I was still with my OBGYN, even though he tried to drop me. Even though my OBGYN told me not to go to the hospital I did. I drove myself to the hospital. That’s right I went alone. I was alone through all of this. Besides my friend going to the doctor with me that one day and one of my sisters friends going to the doctor with me I was all alone. That was the worst time of my life. Worse than Chemo, Radiation, Surgery etc…Even thinking about it brings me to a dark place.

That’s all I can write for now.


Unknown said...

Meaghan, I'm so sorry.

It's so hard to find a doctor that takes things as seriously as you feel they should. When you find them it's a huge relief. That self-judgment, the fear, the pain, the questions and criticism that you put on yourself is so powerful that you feel as if you're in a dark tunnel with trains coming from both ends. For some people diagnosis and treatment is a relief from the unknowing.

I've just started here and I'd like to read things in order. You'll most likely hear from me again... Mimi

Anonymous said...

GOSH! i just read this blog and i REALLY can't believe how these docs treated ya!!!!!! i dont wanna blame all the docs in the US..but ova here in Germany this wouldn't have happend! HONESTLY! my gyn took such a good care of me...and when she found out that she couldn't help me anymore cuz of that "carzinoma in situ" / CIN III she sent me to the hospital to get an appointment so they can check me again and do the conisation biopsy...gosh, when reading this blog i just wished i would have been with ya!!!!
i would have yelled at these docs ..i would have asked them what the FU*** they are thinking!?
sry for these words..but gosh, i am so mad at these docs right now although i dont know em...haha...but this ISN'T THE RIGHT way to treat someone in PAIN and who is BLEEDING nonstop!!!!!

Screaming Meme said...

I sit here shocked and saddened...I can not believe that you were alone through this...It saddens me...Im sorry...Where were your parents? If we were friends I would not of left your side...Those doctors are idiots! You are such a lucky girl! Im glad i found your story...Meme

John Deere Mom said...

Wow. Just wow. I started at the beginning and can't wait to read more. I just can't believe how hard you had to fight just to be heard. That is so unfair. Imagine what could have happened had you not been so persistent...or what must surely happen to other people who don't stand up for themselves when they know something is wrong. Thanks for sharing your story.

University of Iowa Meg said...

I'm sorry to hear this. I feel like I am in a similar boat- trying to find doctors who will listen or take them time to figure out what is wrong with me. It's so frustrating. :(

Jo's Corner said...

NOW I understand why you took on my case,when it came to me doing it alone! NOBODY should ever go thru cancer, surgery, repeated visits to *quacks*! I know my horror and sadness at having to drive myself for a double mastectomy and not having a soul to hold my hand before I went in to surgery, Meaghie, I would have walked with you through Everything you had to go through! Just know this, I will now always be available when you need me! I really Love you, my Little Sister-Friend! And, SO happy to have met you! You are one of my favorite-est person! You are! Hugz! Jo

Sazz said...

OMG I'm so sorry that you had to go through all that by yourself and with those crappy doctors. I can't believe people that took an oath to help the people in need were treating you like that. I'm glad that after all of that you are a cancer SURVIVOR!

KristinSD said...

Hi Meaghan, I found you through Tamika and Friends website. Your story touched me deeply as I have many parallels in my encounter with various aloof and arrogant doctors. I was diagnosed 2A adenocarcinoma in August 2005 at age 30. I too had a horrible experience and 8 months of run around before my cancer was diagnosed. After seeing 3 gynos who told me it was my "hormones" to explain my bleeding-nature took over and I hemorrhaged- much like what you described. It was an ER doctor who turned 3 shades of green when she visibly saw my 7cm tumor that everyone else had somehow missed. I too had regular screening and had a normal pap just 6 months earlier. I did 6 rounds of chemo, 35 rounds of external beam radiation and 5 rounds of brachytherapy. Fortunately four years later, I am still clear. There definitely has been permanent damage done to my body, but I have no room to complain.

I will be following your progress and saying prayers for a break through for you in your continuous healing... Thanks for your boldness to share your story and creating a place to inform and connect with others in your same situation. Best Wishes...

o2bhiking said...

What an awful, terrible ordeal you have been through Meaghan. And with very little medical assistance to listen to you and really try to make things better. Pretty awful.

But you got through it, with immense courage. You are a true warrior, my friend! Art

Heather said...

It's aweful how you've been treated by your doctors. But I'm so glad that you're sharing your story and inspiring others. It's amazing!! I can't wait to see your feature on GMA Sunday!!! Stopping over from SITS!

Jettychan said...

Meaghan, youre my hero! I <3 you! Youre awesome, thanks so much for sharing, I know you told me your story before, but it doesnt get any easier reading it now. Amazing how I can feel such strong emotions having never met you or the doctors in question. I never could have kept my cool like you. You truly are amazing! Love Love Jettychan

Grand Pooba said...

Wow. Good doctors are hard to find! Especially in situations such as yours!

Anonymous said...

I found your site thru someone else's. You are a fighter for sure!
Amazing story. I just hope that others reading your story, who find themselves in the same situation, would immediately book themselves into a GYN Oncologist instead. Even paying out of pocket if they must. When someone tells you have cancer, you need an oncologist. DO NOT WAIT. EVER.

Christine Macdonald said...

As a fellow cancer survivor (bladder), I wanted to say hello and tell you I love your blog!

Keep on keepin' on.


Christine (kiki)

Anonymous said...

Holy shit. I've read lots of shitty stories about doctors and bad level of care. I know a few friends who were misdiagnosed for over a year, and finally, after insisting, they were taken seriously and had whatever test. They all ended up having cancer. It's so brutal they let these assholes be in the medical field.

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