Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thinking back on a misdiagnosis.

A friend asked me if I am upset with my doctor for telling me I have cancer, now that I know I don't. The answer is no, i'm not.

Here's the thing, the pathologist looked at the cells from my biopsy and saw spindle shaped cells. That led to the diagnosis of spindle cell sarcoma. The doc told me he was 80-90% confident in the diagnosis based on the biopsy, and the pathologist was getting a second opinion from the Mayo Clinic.

What I actually had, a neurofibroma, is also made of spindle shaped cells. So from my view, i'm thankful that he went with the worst-case diagnosis. While I am not sure anything can prepare you for the emotion and depression that comes with being diagnosed with cancer, that initial diagnosis made it possible for me to be treated by the best doctors in the nation, within a month. My surgeon is the best thoracic surgeon around. He and Doc Conrad are directors in their areas for the UW Medical School. These are the guys who are entrusted to teach their skills. I couldn't have asked for a better care team.

I'm ridiculously relieved that the first diagnosis was wrong, but at least I was prepared for the worst, and it opened the doors to top-level care. He followed my case very closely, even when I was out of his care. Our doctor here in Richland is fantastic, and I will continue to trust him with our care and recommend him to every family I can.

Doctors are humans, they do their best, and they do it in a high-pressure environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment