|My Uncle Rick, Aunt Lisa, Christina and Evan... Such a beautiful family!|
My initial instinct told me it couldn't be possible. Here's a man who devoted his entire life to his family. He is by far one of the sweetest men you'd ever meet. When I was growing up, because of the large age gap between my dad and him, he was the coolest uncle around. I clearly remembered rocking out to the Police in his car... "Roxanne, you don't have to put on the red light." He was always a rockstar in my eyes, and the thought of his light fading shook me.
Without getting into the details of his "mis"diagnosis, they told my uncle he had cancer that metastasized or myeloma, which is cancer of plasma cells. He went in for back pain and before doing the extensive testing, this was the diagnosis he was given. For almost a month, our entire family has been on edge because of this diagnosis with a terrible prognosis. But today, after nearly all the tests came back he's been told there was no cancer. It was really just an orthopedic issue. I know what you're thinking... You can't be serious!
I can't begin to tell you how many times I've been told stories of misdiagnosis. I hear it all the time at my heart conferences and support meetings. In fact, my WomenHeart of West LA co-facilitator and friend Alisa Becket was told her heart failure was asthma or depression. I know, crazy! Stop just listening to your doctor and speak up. If you don't feel like something is right, follow your gut. Ask questions, bring a friend or family member to your appointments and record each session. Stop heading straight for the internet and succumb to your death sentence. Be your own advocate, and hold faith that it could be just that, a "mis"diagnosis. Also know that if that diagnosis is real, you can deal with it. Uncle Rick's story should inspire you that miracles happen every day!