I debated on sharing this story because it has very little relevance to The Far Corner, and is a bit personal. However, if my experience can encourage just one person to have routine medical testing that can detect early signs of cancer, then it’s worth sharing. I am not fond of going to doctors. We go once a year for bloodwork and prescription refills. Now, I have a great admiration for my doctor, Bob Lewis. He has been our family physician for over 20 years. He has been there for everything from ear infections to broken bones. He has compassionately been there in times of death, but in spite of all that I decided to self-diagnose my problem. Recently, I discovered a little knot close to my right arm pit. It scared me but I kept hoping it would just go away. A couple of years before I had a torn muscle close to the same area and it made a little knot until it healed. Even though this one felt different, it was easy to convince myself that it was the same thing. After about five months it was still there. I kept telling myself when the water goes down and I got time to be sick I’ll go. Well, the water never went down so I finally made an appointment. Doc said he has heard a lot of excuses, but I was the first for waiting on the water. He scheduled me for a mammogram for the following Wednesday and said he didn’t think it was too much to worry about, but I am a worrier. My husband, Mike, says I have the Chicken Little complex (The sky is falling!). I began to search the internet. That was a mistake! I found out one can look up hiccups and find information that may lead you to believe you have a brain aneurism. According to my research I could have cat scratch fever, we had adopted seven cats from the Natchez barn cat program. After lots of scratches and a few bites, I had tamed three of them or it could be Lyme disease because I had been bitten by ticks. The scariest of all was cancer. Mike sarcastically asked me “If all you have to do is google your symptoms, why do doctors go to medical school?” My list of internet hypothesis was growing. My sister-in-law, Molly, finally suggested I needed to seek a second opinion. Heck, I hadn’t even gotten the first opinion. Why choose Field Memorial Hospital? I don’t know what makes folks think the quality of care changes if you go to a big city hospital. I now from past experiences, the doctors at Field Memorial will refer you to a specialist, if you need one. Wednesday finally came and would you know it, the levee blew out that morning. Lock Leven would soon be under water. By the time I reached the hospital, I was a bundle of nerves, but Courtney Moore Sharp, Brittany Bass and Mallory Vine were so supportive and professional that soon my fears had subsided. The following Wednesday Mallory called and scheduled a sonogram for the next morning. Fear struck me again. I felt like a defendant waiting for a verdict in jury trial.
Finally, Monday, the verdict was in. I didn’t have cancer nor did I have cat scratch fever, Lyme disease or anything on my list. I have a fibrocystic cyst. I didn’t even bother to research it. If my doctor says all I need to do is come back in six months for precautionary test, then that’s what I am going to do. However, I will be going to a different hospital, the new Field Health System.