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Misdiagnosed. How do you get over the anger?

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2012

My husband was first diagnosed with a brain tumor 10 years ago at the age of 27. He had surgery to remove the tumor (mixed glioma) but we were told there was 100% recurrence. As a result, we were extra vigilant about getting his MRIs on time from a provider with a good reputation in another state. Up until last year, I actually thought we were going to be the miracle.

He had an MRI in December 2010 and everything was fine. In January, he began having paranoid thoughts and was anxious. This wasn't normal at all so I insisted on another MRI. I filled out all of the releases and asked that the care be coordinated and the results shared with his out of state provider and vice versa. The results came back and we were told, it was nothing.

We went along for another 6 months until his next scheduled MRI believing it was "nothing". We found out in June that the "nothing" from January was actually the recurrence of his tumor. The scan was misread. If we had caught the tumor in January, he could have had surgery to remove the tumor. At this point, it's no longer operable and he is undergoing chemo and radiation. I feel like the provider who misread his scan has killed my husband. I'm so angry that I can't even "talk" about this without crying. With surgery, we might have had another 10 years tumor free. Without surgery, the average lifespan is 5 years. We've gone from talking about recurrence to talking about lifespan.

My husband says that everything has happened the way it was meant to happen. He is currently receiving treatment from an outstanding provider (not one of the two previously mentioned). My husband has a really positive attitude and I don't want to derail that by dwelling on this with him so I don't mention my feelings about this topic. We're both in our 30s and because of some idiot who couldn't read an MRI, I'm trying to balance being positive and getting him the best care I possibly can with making sure his bucket list is completed, just in case. I'm so angry, and I don't know how to get over it.

Minnesota Girl's picture
Minnesota Girl
Posts: 115
Joined: Jul 2011

I really can't imagine what you are going through, but my heart goes out to you and your husband. As hard as it is, you have to work to let the anger go. You CAN'T change what happened. Your husband needs you now more than ever and, as much as you try, holding on to that anger has got to make you even more stressed. I don't know if this even helps... you could easily think "that's easy for her to say."

My kidney cancer was found by accident when I had a contrast CT for something else. I had another CT (without contrast) about 2 1/2 years earlier. I learned that the radiologist was able to look back at the old CT and see a little shadow that was my tumor. So, I know that cancer was there at least 2 1/2 years. But, what good would it do to dwell on that fact...? I can't change it. I focus on my luck that it was still found relatively early.

Oh - and just let it out when you need to. Maybe journaling, or writing (and then destroying) a letter to that provider you want to strangle? I will pray for both of you.

grandmafay's picture
Posts: 1639
Joined: Aug 2009

My husband had three colonoscopies. We were told that the first two were clean, but we know that the cancer was there at the very least in the second one. By the time he was diagnosed with the third one, he had stage four colon cancer. We don't know if it was present in the first, but it is very possible. Doug died after a six year battle. We decided not to be angry, that would just be a waste of time. I even told the doctor who did the first two, " The last time I checked you didn't walk on water." Sadly, life and death mistakes are made every day. That first doctor assisted in Doug's first surgery. He was so upset after that surgery that he wasn't able to talk to us. The surgeon said he was devastated. Anger is understandable. It is the first step in your grief cycle, and you are grieving for the life you expected, for knowing that doctors are not always right. Vent if you need to do so. Then, hug your husband and tell him you love him often. Make memories. Celebrate the time you have now. None of us know what the future holds for us. Today really is the most important. We can't change the past or even predict the future. We can make today count. My thoughts are with you. Take care, Fay

Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2012

I am a delayed diagnosis breast cancer, the radiologist targeted the wrong areas for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. and than my PC doctor did not review the records but charted otherwise in my file. end result was 2 years later stage III infiltrating lobular carcinoma and DCIS. with matastisis. i am very angry i now lost my breasts and had to go through chemo treatment that would not have had to happen 2 years. furthermore, i feel like i have a time clock behind me at all times.

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