I’m alive for two major reasons:
- Because I didn’t take a lot of advice I was given. I had been misdiagnosed and had some bad doctors.
- Having learned my lessons the hard way, I did my homework and sought out the best doctors for whatever needed to be done.
In earlier surgeries, I tried to make life easier for people to visit me, including a working husband. Now, I find the best, most respected surgeon … even if he or she is a long drive from home. It’s my life on the line.
Dealing with breast cancer in both breasts — two unrelated tumors — and ultimately getting Boston’s best surgeon and plastic (rebuilding) surgeon was complicated, but I found a doctor who was a friend of Garry’s brother (who lives in Minnesota, but the doctor lived in Boston). The “local” surgeon had 30 surgeries and told me what I was going to do. No choice. She believed she already knew what I needed.
I spent a month finding someone with hundreds of hours who was head of the women’s surgery unit in Boston. It was a very nerve-wracking month hoping cancer wouldn’t grow much while I sought the best doctors I could find.
There is a lot of advice I wish I had gotten but didn’t. Instead, I got some excellent advice from myself.
The most critical information I can give you is to make sure you are using the best doctors and hospitals. Local doctors may be able to set a broken leg, but for anything more complicated, they might kill you if you let them.
I took my own advice which is how come I’m here to tell the tale. I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t been my most powerful advocate, I’d be an ex-blogger.
This is my best advice.
Life is unexpected. Shit happens. Cancer, heart issues, diabetes, arthritis. You name it, we get it. No matter how well you take care of yourself, you will at some point require medical care, maybe surgery, maybe other stuff.
Regardless of convenience, understanding the quality of the medical facilities within driving distance — even extended driving distance — are critical to surviving.
Do the research. Find out what available medical facilities and associated doctors and surgeons and support services are reachable. If you have to drive a considerable distance to obtain the best services and people, do it. Survival trumps convenience.
Your life is on the line. I’ve been there, done that, and lived to tell the story. It is absolutely worth it. You are worth it.