Trusting Doctors

After the incorrect reading of my chest xray and my writing to my doctor asking the radiologist read it again and compare to an old CT scan, she wrote and apologized. Then I sent her the response below:

"I appreciate your taking a second look at my chest xray and comparing it to my previous CT.

I understand there is a big change going on with the system. That's scary to think about. What if there are other patients who have medical issues that are not being recognized?

I realize as a physician, it must be frustrating to work in a situation like this. I would find it nerve-wracking. I consider the clinic to be superior and I sure hope the system changes get completed soon, for the sake of the professionals who work there as well as patients.

I try not let my trust issues affect me with new doctors, but it does come back to challenge me often. The previous situations that affected me and make me wary of having full faith in my physicians were unfortunate. One was an orthopedic surgeon who removed a "benign" tumor from my pubis. When it grew back in six months, he told me it was scar tissue and not worry.

It continued to grow upward inside my pelvis for two and a half years. I saw another orthopedic surgeon who took an xray and said nothing was wrong and that the pain in my hip was essentially in my head. I was age 22 but had enough sense to recognize that a cauliflower shape on the xray in my pelvis did not belong there.

I went to see another orthopedic surgeon who knew exactly what he was seeing (chondrosarcoma) and sent me to an ortho oncologist. This resulted in an internal hemipelvectomy with seven recurrences over eleven years. I'm lucky to be alive and doing okay. People didn't have such a high survival rate in the 1960's.

That's why I take such an active role in my health care. I appreciate so much your understanding about my concerns and writing me."

Note to reader: That's why I think it's important to learn everything I possibly can about leukemia. Ah.... a new educational experience in the field of science. Am I up to it? I'm looking forward to learning all those new aspects of science and genetics. Hope I will understand!

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