Jump to content

Diagnosing Cancer


MorningStar

Recommended Posts

One of my best friends has been having health issues and had some labs done.  Due to her white count being high, they sent her straight to an oncologist and they took more blood.  When the results were finally in, they said she would need to come in in person because it was "too complicated" to talk about over the phone.  So she went in and they said she had high protein levels too and wanted her to do a bone marrow biopsy the following week.

 

She had to wait two weeks for those results to be in and when she called, again they told her it was "too complicated" and they would be able to see her on October 17th - a two week wait.  TWO WEEKS?!  Would they do that to someone if they had cancer?  Wouldn't they squeeze them in immediately if it were cancer?  Obviously something is wrong or they would have just told her it was normal.

 

Anyone who has any experience with this, I would be so grateful for your feedback.  She is already dealing with losing her home.  I just can't believe she has to deal with this too!

Link to comment

Cancers grow at different rates.  Some are extremely slow growing so a two week delay would be meaningless.  IIRC I heard of one they don't even bother to treat in most cases because patients will die of old age before it becomes a problem….wish I could remember the context for hearing that so I could double-check.

Link to comment

I just don't understand why they would make her wait two weeks just to find out.  She's been throwing-up a lot lately from stress.

Link to comment

because they are sadists?

 

there might be legal issues to informing over the phone…what if someone passes out or has an heart attack or misunderstands and hurts themselves?

 

that it is two weeks seems to indicate to me it is not urgent though.

Edited by calmoriah
Link to comment

I can understand not telling her something serious over the phone, but she has been waiting for a over a month to find out if she has cancer or not and it's torturing her.  My friend's mom found out in June and they just now got around to starting her chemo.  When her blood results came in, they put it up on her digital chart, but the email didn't go through notifying her and they didn't call her even though they suspected she has cancer. 

 

Guess we'll just have to wait. 

Link to comment

Got a response from a doctor friend…will give it to you privately…don't worry that it means it is horrible news, just seems appropriate to take it confidential when it is an intelligent response.

 

In fact rereading it, I think it is reassuring.

Edited by calmoriah
Link to comment

Wow.

 

High protein...bone marrow biopsy..

 

If it is a bone marrow cancer, like Multiple Myeloma, (which, btw, is what I have) then a two week wait isn't going to mean anything one way or another. Really, it's not. As long as your friend isn't having the problems that MM (or other diseases like it) cause, the two weeks will not make a difference to her health. She COULD, in fact, simply have something like MGUS...that doesn't need treatment at all.

 

But I do understand the stress and the waiting. Believe me, I do. All I can tell you is this: if the doctors are not rushing her into the hospital RIGHT NOW, it's actually pretty good news. It means she doesn't have kidney disease, hypercalcemia, liver disease or any of the other nasties that CAN come with stuff like this.

 

In other words, if they are waiting, that means they can wait. If it is Multiple Myeloma or some other disease (and there are many) that raise the protein levels, then there are a great many things that can be done. People are living long, high quality life spans with most of 'em.

 

This...I also know. It can be a challenge, but it's doable.

Link to comment

because they are sadists?

 

there might be legal issues to informing over the phone…what if someone passes out or has an heart attack or misunderstands and hurts themselves?

 

that it is two weeks seems to indicate to me it is not urgent though.

 

As my wife said not long before she died - All they do is stick needles in you and don't do a d*** thing.

Link to comment

I have a resource for you. It's wonderful...I learned a lot from here.

 

http://www.myelomabeacon.com/

 

If it turns out that it is a bone marrow disease, this is a great resource.

 

In fact, if you have all her lab results, you can post them there and real doctors and people who absolutely know what they are doing can, and will, explain them to you.

Edited by dianaiad
Link to comment

Wow.

 

High protein...bone marrow biopsy..

 

If it is a bone marrow cancer, like Multiple Myeloma, (which, btw, is what I have) then a two week wait isn't going to mean anything one way or another. Really, it's not. As long as your friend isn't having the problems that MM (or other diseases like it) cause, the two weeks will not make a difference to her health. She COULD, in fact, simply have something like MGUS...that doesn't need treatment at all.

 

But I do understand the stress and the waiting. Believe me, I do. All I can tell you is this: if the doctors are not rushing her into the hospital RIGHT NOW, it's actually pretty good news. It means she doesn't have kidney disease, hypercalcemia, liver disease or any of the other nasties that CAN come with stuff like this.

 

In other words, if they are waiting, that means they can wait. If it is Multiple Myeloma or some other disease (and there are many) that raise the protein levels, then there are a great many things that can be done. People are living long, high quality life spans with most of 'em.

 

This...I also know. It can be a challenge, but it's doable.

 

I have a resource for you. It's wonderful...I learned a lot from here.

 

http://www.myelomabeacon.com/

 

If it turns out that it is a bone marrow disease, this is a great resource.

 

In fact, if you have all her lab results, you can post them there and real doctors and people who absolutely know what they are doing can, and will, explain them to you.

Thank you!  If I can get a hold of her, I will ask if it's posted on her digital chart.  She has been really nauseous lately and had to make a choice between paying for her medication or her phone/Internet bill.  Her phone and Internet both got shut off.  :(  All she has been able to find is a part-time job and is making $400 a month, plus she's losing her home.

 

Also, her kidneys aren't functioning well, but it could be from her diabetes.  She wasn't on meds for that for years because she had no insurance.  Now she's on Medicaid.  They cover her diabetes and asthma meds, but not the anti-nausea meds.  Another symptom is that she has been extremely tired - more than usual.  She has Chronic Fatigue Syndrome too.  All this crap going on and no family to depend on, never been married, has no children, etc.  We basically became her family, but now we had to move an hour away from her.  :(  She also had uterine cancer quite a few years ago and said if she got cancer again, she wouldn't go through chemo again. 

Link to comment

Cancer is a sucky disease, and part of that is the wait.  Every test, every scan, has to be interpreted, like when a radiologist looks at a CT scan, then none of the nurses will release the info to you until the doc has had a chance to review it.  And a lot of them just want you to come in. 

Luckily, I have a good relationship with the oncology nurse at my docs office. So much so that the few times the doctor himself called me, I knew it was bad news. 

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

She got her phone turned back on today and called me with the results - multiple myeloma - aka bone cancer.  They think they caught it early and want her to go through chemo, telling her this type won't be so bad.  Then they want some kind of stem cell treatment.  I can't believe they made her wait 2 weeks to hear this "too complicated" news.  :angry:  I can't even do much for her at all right now.  I'll be having my baby within the next few weeks. 

Link to comment

Yes, It is possible they can have such a waiting time before her coming in. I work in the medical industry for years and you would be amazed at how inappropriate it can be, even in serious matters as cancer. I also know cancer as I have a few family members to it and found my own battle with it last year. Cancer is the worst of the worst. If she does get diagnoses with cancer, if she can do it, get a second opinion asap and a course of treatment. Also, have her pray alot. God took care of me last year and I know with God, even cancer can be destroyed. My best to your friend.

Link to comment

Happy for you that you beat cancer!  My friend is still looking for a job and losing her home.  So much for her to deal with at once.  :( 

Link to comment

Forgive me if you had already wrote it and I have over looked it here, but what kind of support from family / friends does you friend have in all of this? I don't have any family that support me, not even last year in the cancer battle I was in. If it was not for the support of church friends, I would of been alone physically with my cancer battle. If she has supportive people, could they help her with options to stay above water or at least with recovering from somethings?

 

I will keep your friend in prayer. Just know this as I have learned it many times... God can do way more than what people can so the impossible is always possible with God. I hope your friend has a good relationship with God.

Link to comment

She has no children, no husband, both her parents died this year, and her siblings all live far away (and aren't able to support her financially).  We were the closest thing to family in town until we moved an hour away from her.  :(  I'm hoping she can build more of a bond with people in the ward.  She has been horribly depressed and avoiding people quite a bit.  I know there are plenty of people who want to help.  She has just been upset with the number of people who ask, "You STILL don't have a job? Have you tried x, y, and z?" 

Link to comment

I actually do understand your friends depression and the reasons why she has it. I have been there and it’s very horrible. I hope your friend can get to a point where she is strong enough to stand up and fight for her life. That is a moment that really makes a difference. Fight and become very proactive in your physical and mental healthy is a key to making things happen for the better ( not perfect, just better ). My best to your friend.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

My friend just started training for a demanding job at the Post Office, but they start you as a contractor.  They can fire you for any reason within the first year unless they offer you a job after 90 days.  She was at work today when her doctor called and said, "I want you to start chemo today." She said, "I can't do that."  He said, "Then tomorrow."  She's telling me she wants to put off chemo for 90 days in hopes she gets the job offer. She said since they caught it early, it's a chance she's willing to take, plus she doesn't have any symptoms except for nausea and vomiting.  I didn't even know what to say.  If we had a bigger place, I would tell her, "Just tell your boss and see what they say.  If they fire you, come stay with us while you go through chemo."  She said when she gets well, she needs to have a home to live in.

 

Reality is, as things are, she will have a very hard time moving as quickly as they want her to and she will get fired anyway.  :(  I feel so terrible for her.

Link to comment

She is entitled to take leave for the chemo under the family medical leave act, probably ---- they cannot fire her for that (even if they can fire her for anything).   She isn't thinking straight.   She needs to take the time and do the medical stuff.  (Though, of course, no one HAS to accept chemo anyway, and in 90 days, they may have a more targeted chemo for her that causes less havoc in her body.)    Tell her that she must ask her boss for whatever accommodations she needs, in order to get them.

Edited by rpn
Link to comment

She would have to take unpaid leave though because she just started last week and she has no sick days or vacation yet.  She's desperate for money.  She hasn't even received her first paycheck yet.

Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...