by Linda Tierney
When I was 32, my gynecologist told me that I had some abnormal cells and needed a cone treatment.
A cone treatment is used to treat very small, early-stage tumours. It is called cone biopsy because a cone-shaped piece of tissue is removed from the cervix.
I did the treatment thinking that was what I needed.
But not even up to a year later he told me the same thing again. I was very upset and told him I no longer had health insurance and I couldn’t afford the treatment this time.
I asked him what it meant to have abnormal cells. I said to him, “Isn’t that cancer?”
“Not really,” he replied, “just abnormal cells!”
“That is cancer!,” I said. “You are telling me I have cancer and I don’t have the money for the treatment!”
He told me that I should sell my house to pay for the treatment. That if I was his wife that’s what he would do to save my life.
I hung the phone up, crying and believing I had cancer and that I would die because we could not afford to save my life.
I had young children that needed me and I was still young; I didn’t want to die so soon, for my sake and my family’s.
I called another gynecologist and had another appointment set up.
I told the doctor what the other gynecologist had said and after a few days they told me I didn’t have anything wrong at all with me.
I was healthy, they said.
I was so angry, I called that doctor and told him I didn’t have cancer. That he just wanted to treat me for money and he wanted me to sell my house to get the treatment I didn’t need.
I told him that he was a horrible greedy man, that he had hurt me for nothing and wanted to do it again for money.
I told him I would never see him again.
He was lucky that I didn’t do more than that. But he left the area soon after.
I remember wondering and hoping the other women he did that too had checked with another clinic before they did something that could do a lot of damage to their body, or their family.
It would have destroyed my family if I had gone on to believe I had cancer and started the treatment right away.
Till this day I still wonder wonder what would have happened. I might have died.
So I always say to people, “Get that second opinion! Don’t always trust what a doctor says as gospel.”
I have had to remind doctors not to do things that have come close to killing me, all the time, because they forget it is not good for me. It might not be.
I have even fought with one doctor only to eventually be right. I was bleeding to death from an ectopic pregnancy. He said I wasn’t pregnant. But he made me get another pregnancy test.
Before he got the results, he found out my blood count was low.
He believed that I had a cyst that ruptured, until he operated on me and found that a baby 4 months along had ruptured twice in the tube.
So I always say to people: “Stand up when you suspect something is wrong, even if only slightly; it might save your life.”