Friday, June 21, 2013

Be Your Own Advocate!

Taking charge of your health is so very challenging. When I was diagnosed with Medullary Thyroid Cancer I thought I would be referred to a doctor with experience. What a shock I was in for! At this point I haven't been able to find a doctor in my HMO with any experience. My endocrinologist hasn't seen anyone with MTC in her 30 years. I am the first patient for 4+ doctors with MTC. 

I am on the hunt because SOMEONE has to have some experience. I am also requesting to be referred out for a consultation by doctors that deal with MTC frequently. I have to go through a process with my HMO for a referral, so I am going through the very slow process. Luckily right now I have time to go through the motions. 

I have been educating myself the best I can on MTC. I didn't think there would be a time in my life I would know more about my cancer than my doctors. I am sure my doctors are getting sick and tired of hearing from me. When I get something in my head I don't stop. I rally all of them up until they realize I KNOW what I am talking about. Luckily they are very good about listening to me and talking to each other. I am sure there are times they are banging their head on their desk. I won't stop though! I will continue to push for what I think is best for ME. 

It is almost time for a CT scan again. There has been arguing about how the scan should be performed - with contract, without contrast, just chest scan, full body scan, etc. One doctor thinks I need just a CT scan of my check, another doctor things I need a PET scan and the 3rd is like yeah whatever the other ones want. Well I think I need a full body scan NOW for the future. I need a scan for the doctors to look at down the 5-10 years to verify there is no cancer anywhere else. I had an ultrasound and it showed my liver was clear. What if a spot was missed that could show up on a PET scan? Contrast works for some cancer, but not always for MTC. Should they expose me to the radiation and if so how often. A

In July 2011 I decided it was time to lose weight. I recently some negative feedback about the HCG diet and how it wasn't good for you. I learned after round 1 it was the right diet for my body. It worked! I had never experience that type of success with any other type of diet. I also learned about my body through the entire experience. I learned the good foods to eat, how to maintain my weight, started exercising and how I really feel sugar is the devil. Sugar is in almost every single thing in your fridge and cupboards. It is unnecessary to have that sugar in everything. 

I also think when I was going through the HCG diet back in 2011 my body was starting to tell me there were problems. At the time I just didn't know it. I thought my body was reacting to the diet. I had a lot of stomach issues which I thought were from the HCG drops or all the veggies. I do not believe that now. 

It is important for each of us to be aware of what we think is going on with our bodies. Talk to our doctors and push for the answers we need. If I hadn't of pushed that something was wrong my cancer could have continued to grow. My mom always said if I would use my stubbornness in a good way I could go a long way in life. My advice to you is if you think something isn't right with your health push for your doctor to listen to you. Ask them to order tests. If the doctor won't switch doctors! Do not ignore health issues. Go get any issues handled right away. You are never too busy to take a day off for a test. Putting off a test because of a busy schedule could lead to you being off for a lot more than 1 day. You are your best advocate for your health!