My Awful Six Months
I don’t know if I should do anything, and I need some advice. I don’t want to go to a lawyer, I don’t even know who to go to. I don’t know if I should be joyful or upset or truly angry.
I was misdiagnosed, seriously misdiagnosed. I was told I had cancer six months ago. This was, as it would be for anyone, the worst possible news. I had been having some bowel complaints, and when I went to my doctor about them, he sent me for some tests, which apparently (and I emphasize apparently here) came back positive for pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer, for those who don’t know, is one of the really bad ones. It’s not the light skin cancer or breast cancer sort with high survival rates. People live, but it isn’t that common.
I was terrified, of course, and my doctor calmed me down and told me to go on some new experimental drug that might keep cancer localized. He sent me to a specialist he knew who was doing drug trials.
I took my drug dutifully while I went about all the horrible things I thought I could put off for a few more decades: drawing up a will, making preparations to say goodbye to some people, writing goodbye letters, getting my possessions and finances in order.
The treatment itself I don’t want to go into. Let me just say it was traumatizing in its own right. The only way I made it through was thinking it was my only shot at surviving this horrible situation.
I did all this, and my bowel complaint continued. No easing of that problem. I just assumed that meant the drug wasn’t working, which was another stress in an already awful situation.
All of that went on for six months. Then, just last week, my doctor sent me for more tests. Amazingly, the tests came back negative! Completely negative! I was ecstatic when the specialist told me, but he was confused. He said the drug wasn’t supposed to get rid of cancer, only to confine it. I was all set to just assume it was a miracle, but after this specialist went prying through my records, it turns out it’s likely I never had cancer at all. I got what he called a “false positive.”
So, no cancer. I’ve never had it. All of this awful time and the issue is probably just inflammation of the bowels or something.
I have no idea whose fault this is. Should they have run more tests? Is it my doctor’s fault for not testing for something simpler first? Or the specialist? Or was I just thrown into this trial for the statistics? Was it some awful joke?
Right now, the question most on my mind is, how should I feel about this?
Relief, of course. Joy? I don’t know. After spending six months coming to terms with my mortality, saying goodbyes, preparing for the end, how am I supposed to pick back up like this didn’t happen? Should I be angry first? Vengeful?
I just don’t know anymore.