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Brain tumors, spine tumors and a comment about Cancer Treatment Centers of America

By July 26, 2009 - 5:06am
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Greetings to all.

I am a 39 year old angry female cancer patient.

I am one of those people who hoped NOT for a miracle but a fighting chance from Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA).

I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2008. I sought treatment at a local suburban hospital. I elected not to tell my then fiancee until New Years 2009 (insert your comment here.)

After I revealed my secret he moved my case to a very large, reputable hospital (ranked #31 in the USA by US News and World Report). Things were going ok but I had the fear that he would get tired of driving 40 minutes one way for each and every office visit or treatment. I discharged myself from the major hospital and sought doctors in another suburban community. However I told my now husband that the major hospital had arranged to have my testing performed in the suburbs and the major hospital would collect the data, evaluate and decide a course of treatment. I was too stupid to think my plan would work because my husband discovered the truth and chewed my ass out.

We went back to the major hospital as by now I had begun suffering severe leg pain.

What the major hospital told me is that I have a tumor on my spine and due to a pre-existing heart condition I am not a candidate for surgery.

I saw the TV commercials for CTCA and wanted to give it a try. So without discussing the issue with my husband, I telephoned to enroll. Then they asked for his insurance information so I had to tell my husband what I was up to (yep, got my ass chewed again).

Exactly one month ago we arrived at CTCA and I was full of hope and inspiration. This Monday I will get the official word from CTCA that they do not have the facilities/experience to deal with brain tumors and spinal tumors (Yes, I guess I picked up a brain tumor along the way).

Yes I admit my doctor shopping and secret manipulations may have cost me some valuable time. I am leaving CTCA very disappointed. Not once in their sales pitch/intro meetings did they say they could not handle all types of cancer (I am assuming my tumors are cancer. I will have a biopsy tomorrow of the spinal tumor).

If I need to move on to another facility, then so be it.

I called MD Anderson in my hometown of Houston (but not my current residence) and they told me they are unable to treat brain tumors.

I received a recommendation from a CTCA cancer buddy of Dr. Javad Hekmat-panah of the University of Chicago Hospital. http://www.uchospitals.edu/physicians/javad-hekmat-panah.html My husband did recommend this hospital mainly because of the rating it received from US News & World Report Magazine http://health.usnews.com/health/best-hospitals/cancer-hospital-rankings/

I decided otherwise because it's in an ugly neighborhood. I realize now I may not have a choice. I had lots of choices in the past but squandered every one of them.

What's going through my head? I will tell you. Why do I deserve all this at such a young age? Why did I deceive my husband? Will he forgive me? I have put that man through hell, why should I expect him to continue to be at my side because of how stupidly I acted? Will I be here to see Christmas 2009? Will I see our first wedding anniversary in February 2010?

I am open to comments, suggestions and criticisms.

Thank You for reading.

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EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for sharing your story and I am sorry to hear about your tumors.

My first thought from reading your story is that you’re a strong woman and didn’t want to burden your husband with your issues. Since he became so interested in helping you with treatments (driving 40 miles) should tell you that the man cares for you very much and only wants to see you get better.

I think understanding and opening up to him will help you and also make him feel more involved in your recovery. Any health issue causes a lot of stress in the person suffering and I think if you opened up more to him and let him help you (or have him feel like he is by being involved) may help your relationship as well as you mentally. It is ok to feel vulnerable. You don’t have to go through this yourself.

We, at EmpowHer, are also here for you if you want to share your feelings and we can certainly lend a helping ear. Can you do me a favor and keep us updated on your condition? I would love to hear more about the outcome of your story.

My thoughts are with you. Please keep us posted.

July 26, 2009 - 9:38am
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