Thursday, April 29, 2010

Decisions of a "General Contractor" - To Trust or Not to Trust


. . .The question in my mind is: is it necessary to do anything?

While I ponder that unceasing question, I have begun introducing bee pollen into my daily regimen. (As well as reading the "Beatles Anthology" from cover to cover - I'm up to the year 1965!) What the heck. It makes as much, if not more, sense than what I keep running into in the medical arena.
. . .

Well . . .

I have been pondering the question, and I have come to one decision: time to change Dr. GYN. It's sad - as I have been with this same group since 1995, and it may seem a bit reactionary, but I cannot overlook the historical facts.

Fact one: it was this GYN group that had put me on Paxil, and kept me on it during a pregnancy. Paxil is now known to cause birth defects and miscarriages. That pregnancy ended in a long & drawn out miscarriage as we watched the fetus's heart beat slowly slow down over time. At that time, I kept questioning what was causing this miscarriage, and if it could be the Paxil. Dr. GYN was adamant that Paxil had no known side-effects that would cause a miscarriage. In their defense, the public's knowledge of Paxil's side effects is just now becoming more readily accessible. My research at the time (1998) however, did uncover that there was indeed room for concern. I took myself off the Paxil and went on to conceive and give birth to a healthy baby boy three years later.

Fact two: it was this GYN group that gave me injections of progesterone for 6 months to treat my amenorrhea. This was after my mammograms and physical exams identified a palpable mass that was mislabeled as "dense fibrous tissue." The current information on progesterone is:

Scientists at Michigan State University (The team of faculty is part of MSU's Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center, one of four centers nationwide funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute. The center brings together researchers from MSU's colleges of Natural Science and Human Medicine to study the impact of prenatal-to-adult environmental exposures that may predispose a woman to breast cancer.) have found exposure to the hormone progesterone activates genes that trigger inflammation in the mammary gland. This progesterone-induced inflammation may be a key factor in increasing the risk of breast cancer. . . ."Progesterone turns on a wide array of genes involved in several biological processes, including cell adhesion, cell survival and inflammation," said physiology professor Sandra Haslam, co-author of the paper and director of the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Center at MSU. "All of these processes may be relevant to the development of breast cancer."

Fact three: This GYN group is the same group that did not question the identification of the mass in my breast as "dense fibrous tissue." The mass was initially identified in 1993 (while I was still in law school) and then again in 1995 when I was referred to the current GYN group (after we moved to the Southwest). The mass at the time was negligible in size (as compared to the 6.2 cm malignant tumor that was excavated from my breast in August 2009). Rather, they went with the radiologist's report. I did not know enough at that time to question the veracity of the radiologist's report myself! Hindsight is proven once again to be 20/20!

Inter script - ILC (invasive lobular carcinoma) can really only be conclusively diagnosed through an MRI. No one offered or suggested an MRI beginning in 1993. I did not know to ask. Why would they think to do so? Why would I ask? As far as Dr. GYN and I knew I had no risk-factors to direct us to think in terms of breast cancer. My issue, however, is that when I became acutely symptomatic in early 2009 (and it took me nearly 3 months to get an appointment with Dr. GYN) with minor research I discovered the need for an MRI as a definitive diagnostic tool, as opposed to the conventional diagnostic mammogram. Dr. GYN did not send me for an MRI, he sent me for a diagnostic mammogram.

Fact four: I am now being "diagnosed" with Ovarian Remnant Syndrome (OSR) although, again, my research informs me that this can only be definitively diagnosed by an MRI. Again, Dr. GYN did not suggest doing this. Why is this important? Well, in my own research of how ILC metastasizes, the ovarian area is particular susceptible. The MRI may be the only way for me to put to rest of what this "undefined residual tissue" really is.


(oh...btw...I am now into 1966 in the Beatles Anthology! Fabulous escapism!)


  1. As much as I read this blog, you too may be more popular than Jesus! Let us know how the doctor search turns out, a lot of us ladies are lookin for doctors in the valley! :)

  2. Ah. John was taken out of context. He was making a social comment regarding the trend of exclusion going on by the "Anglican Church" toward the young "60s" generation. He was not comparing the Beatles to "Jesus," per se.

    Regarding doctors in the valley. Aside from Brian Gawley (reconstructive surgeon) and Lise Walker (surgical oncologist), I am still searching. Keep ME posted if you find anyone good!

  3. TC, please let us know how you are doing! Any new info on the abdominal mass? Sending good energy your way.

  4. Hi Kimberly - Funny...I told my onc just last week that my GYN diagnosed "ovarian remnant syndrome." I shared and confirmed with her that an MRI would be needed to accurately determine this diagnosis. She scheduled me for a breast MRI instead, with a Pet Scan to be done between now and November. tThis is to "watch" the nodules found in the under crease of my right breast, as well as the lump in my right arm pit. I thought of "pushing" the issue - but after the last year, I really am not ready to "push" forward with more prodding. Besides, whatever these "masses" are, chemo and radiation is not on my

    I am so happy to know you are still out there. Thanks for all the good energy. It is truly felt and appreciated.