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Filling the Gap Changes Everything for Your Patient
(Note: June 2016 – this post is now more than 3 years old. See an update below.) In the category of “life imitates career”…. In 8+ years of blogging, and with the exception of the personal experience that was the impetus for my career as Every Patient’s Advocate, (later the founder of AdvoConnection and the Alliance of Professional Health Advocates), I have rarely (if ever?) shared my personal medical experiences. Truth is, until now, they have been, thankfully, quite boring and not worth writing about. Yes, until now… because now, “the lump” has returned. Lump #1, discovered, excised, misdiagnosed as cancer, yet never treated in 2004, is the personal experience I mentioned above. (If interested, here’s the entire story). It was such a heinous and outrageous odyssey, it caused me to change careers to patient empowerment in an effort to do what I can to ensure that others would not suffer such a horrible experience. Of note is that Lump #1 was never accurately diagnosed. So, to this day, I have no idea what caused that original lump. And then… Two weeks ago, a second lump appeared – 9 YEARS after the first one. Very odd. So I’ve begun the journey to a diagnosis for this lump. So far, with the exception of the lump’s location on my body, Lump #2 seems physically the same as Lump #1. It’s about the same size (like a golf-ball), it’s the same hardness, by itself it does not hurt. As I go to the doctor, I would describe it exactly the same way as I described it those years ago. But everything else – EVERY OTHER ASPECT OF THIS SECOND JOURNEY – is entirely different. Why? Because I am in charge of what happens. This time around, I am empowered and emboldened. I am the one making the decisions. I am approaching the medical professionals as resources – not Gods. I have researched the possibilities, I have pulled together my old records (ensuring the same mistakes won’t be made again!), and I am making sure that each next step is considered by weighing…