Journey Through The Healthcare System

I have had many experiences over the years within the healthcare system, but none quite like my last one.

A few years ago I had what would be considered Ovarian Cancer Symptoms; however at the time I didn’t know that’s what I was experiencing, I did express concern to my doctor at the time but my concern was all but ignored.  I eventually decided that it was time to seek out a new Doctor; at around the same time I started to experience pain in my right hand fingers.  The new physician wanted to investigate further before prescribing Cortisone injections.  I did a bone scan, the results came back that I have arthritis but also that my right and only kidney was refluxing.  I went to my Urologist and was then sent to get an ultrasound, when the results of the ultrasound came back not only was my kidney refluxing but it appeared that I had a very large abdominal mass (14cm).

My urologist then sent me to get a cystoscopy, which once again confirmed the kidney refluxing and the large abdominal mass; the physician who performed the cystoscopy was very confident that once I get the abdominal mass removed that the refluxing would stop.  I then was sent for an MRI to rule out cancer; cancer was ruled out and you could have heard my sigh of relief in the North Pole. However there was another mass so I actually had 2 abdominal masses one that was approximately 14 cm and the other that was approximately 8 cm.

I was then referred to a Gynecologist who sent me for a blood test called a Cancer Antigen Test (ca125).  The ca125 test came back elevated, being proactive as I am I proceeded to do research and found out that the elevated ca125 can mean many things not just cancer.  I discovered that the ca125 can be elevated due to high levels of blood sugar and if you have a condition referred as a fatty liver, which intern makes the pancreas react to the high sugar levels.

I made a point of staying off sugar for a time; went back to my doctor and requested a blood fasting test and also test for my liver.  I did this and what do you know my ca125 levels where very low; the gynecologist then referred to a physician at the Cross Cancer Institute; I know what’s with all this cancer stuff right, well I was thinking the same thing and really frightened.

The physician at the Cross and my Family Physician both told me that it was very unlikely that I have cancer, so again what is with all this cancer stuff.  But I did relax somewhat. It was decided that the course of action would be to remove the masses; the gynecologist at the Cross thought it would be beneficial if there was a Urologist present for the surgery.      To everyone’s amazement I had the surgery on a Friday and was home by the following Monday.  Six week later I went to the follow up appointment, because there were to physicians present there were two Operating Room reports the Gynecologists report said that there was a stint placed in my abdomen but the Urologists report didn’t make mention of the stint, the gynecologist recommended that I contact the urologist to confirm whether or not there was in fact a stint in my abdomen; the urologist sent me to get an X-Ray because he didn’t remember if he placed a stint in my abdomen or not.  I went for the X-Ray and there was no stint in my abdomen; moral of the story is don’t panic, get good care, ask questions and do your homework.


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