It Should Have Been Me

It Should Have Been Me
A Lump in the Road column   It should have been me, honestly! I should have been one of the women Dr. Michel Choueiri described, when we talked recently about patients who typically don’t get potentially life saving second opinions after a cancer diagnosis. Dr. Choueiri trained at MD Anderson Cancer Center and University of Southern California San Diego, and now splits his time between Houston and San Diego. He’s also the founder of cancerdocs.org, a website that helps patients access second opinions and seek answers to their concerns. The system, such that it is, did its best to force me into the ranks we discussed, and if it would have succeeded, I would be dead now. My husband would have lost his wife, my daughter would be motherless, and my extended family and friends would be grieving. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy this glorious day. I’m talking about disenfranchised women. Those of us who are poor, rural, under-educated, of color. Those of us who don’t speak English well, who come from a different culture. And for good measure, I’ll throw in one more risk factor the doctor and I didn’t talk about but that comes from my own experience: those whose background includes abuse. We are the ones who often end up not getting our due at the doctor’s office, and when those factors coincide with cancer, the results can be deadly. Some people might look at me, a white blonde woman, and wonder how I could consider myself among the
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