Monday, October 20

Mission 4 Monday # 2

Peggy, from Mission4Monday, is asking us to take on a mission each week. Last week I took on Autism because October is Autism Month in Canada. Well, October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this week my mission is to tell you about my Aunt May.

In 2005, Aunt May was diagnosed with breast cancer. She followed her doctor's orders, had a partial masectomy and went back for all of her regular checkups. She was told she was cancer free and there was no need to worry. She was just to come back for her regular checkups.

In January 2007, Aunt May began having excruitiating pain in her left leg. She asked the doctor about it several times and he told her she had sciatica. She was suffering terribly and there seemed to be no end in sight. Now Aunt May doesn't complain unless something is extremely wrong. She has been frail all of her life and at the age of 75, she has learned to live with whatever life hands out. She was born with a rare blood condition and has been in and out of hospital her entire life.

In April 2007, Aunt May was walking into the kitchen when the phone rang. She turned to go back to answer it and her leg broke as she turned. No warning except for the pain. When she got to the hospital, they admitted her, took x-rays and told her she had bone cancer and it had completly eaten away her left hip.

For the next 5 months, Aunt May was in hospital. She underwent radiation and surgery to rebuild her left hip. The surgeon had to actually build it from scratch with rods and wire. No chemo was given at this time because they said with her rare blood condition, it would kill her.

In April 2008, they found that the cancer had moved into Aunt May's spine and brain. They told her they were going to give her chemo. She was frightened and didn't really want to take the chance that it might kill her. Without the chemo the prognosis was 2 weeks to live. With it...possibly 2 months. Now, 6 months later, Aunt May is still with us, but is suffering with pain constantly. She doesn't complain much and is still getting around. She tires easily, which is to be expected.

My Mission 4 Monday is to let women know that doctors aren't always right. After all, Aunt May's family doctor diagnosed bone cancer as sciatica until it was very advanced.

Women have been brought up to never question doctors and this is wrong. We are all responsible for our own bodies. If your doctor is not doing his/her best for you, get a second opinion. It could mean the difference between discomfort and debilitating pain or even life and death. So take up the challenge and spread the word. You may save a life.

I wish all of my friends and readers a wonderful week filled with all the joys of autumn. ~Blessings, Mary~


  1. Very true. I have heard frequently that you need to trust your gut instinct.

  2. Thanks for such an important mission my friend, love you.

  3. Very wise words of advice Mary.
    Your Aunt May has certainly been through some real health challenges.
    I've said a prayer for her.

  4. Excellent advice Mary! Bless you & thank you for sharing this incredible story of your precious
    Aunt May. How terrible that she has had to suffer so and yet complains so little. Such wisdom you have shared! You need to trust the signs and keep looking for a doctor that does more than less. I never have been one to just accept, I always ask questions and even get another opinion, if I do not feel right but I know that I can trust the doctor I have now back home, but any doctor can make a mistake or quick diagnosis without really checking out. It's such a shame that Aunt May's health was put to such a risk
    and progression of her illness for lack of prevention and the right prognosis. This saddens me! I pray that her pain will be taken and lessened each day as the Comforter & Healer wraps His arms around her.

    What a precious family, Mary! Thank you for sharing this with Mission 4 Monday...I pray it will serve as a alert to all women & their intuitions or gut instincts!

    Both Autism & Cancer awareness are on going concerns that affect more & more each day but so few seek out information or research as you do.
    We need to be kept aware & current!
    These are such important life missions especially when they involve your family or someone close. Again thank you for caring!

  5. Thank you for this information, Mary
    I hope you have a wonderful week ahead..

  6. Me again...I forgot to tell you how I LOVE YOUR BUTTON for your profile. I know it's you when I see it and it shows how much you love your grandson and care for him daily. He travels with you and you hold him in your heart. Praying that his school & life is treating him with more love & acceptance!

  7. Just wanted to say hey! We are home and doing some running around today .. Dennis is off till tomorrow...... I pray for your sweet Aunt May!

    Have a blessed week girl ! I will catch up with you latter......


  8. I am so sorry about your Aunt May, My prayers are with you and her. You are right about Doctor it is all about the money. I have lost my real Dad a nephew in law, and others to cancer. And have see the way things are done. They suffer way to much.

  9. Great mission and advice, Mary. Thank you. I tend to put off going to the doctor, and usually just ignore symptoms until I no longer can. And it's good to get a second opinion when it comes to health issues.

    Will say many more prayers for your dear Aunt May. I hope her pain will ease.

    Have a good evening.


  10. Oh wow! Thank you for telling Aunt May's story. She sounds like an incredible lady! I will be praying for her. Have a great week!

  11. You are so right in what you say. Some people are unable to be an advocate for their own health and then need someone else to do it for them. It is hard to challenge a medical opinion, but very necessary sometimes. My mother, aunt and first cousin all have had breast cancer and all are alive. My cousin is still having treatment and is only in her late 40's.

  12. Thank you for this information very important. I'm praying for your aunt.

  13. Your Aunt sounds like a fighter! So very true to trust your instinct! Always see a different doctor until you are satisfied with the results!

  14. Mary:
    a very powerful statement!
    I hold your aunt in my thoughts and prayers...
    please share my latest post with her because I too had breast cancer and absolutely we must be:
    advocates of our own health..early detection saves lives!
    Thank you for my birthday greeting!hugs

  15. Excellent post, Mary and very, very sage advice too! If I had listened to a local surgeon here, I would have had to endure at least six months more of the constant pain in my lower back and right leg -all of which was eliminated as soon as I had my colostomy! Amazing, isn't it? But the surgeon I go to now -down in Pittsburgh -(who my primary physician referred me to for a second opinion after the local surgeon had said "Oh, I won't do anything surgically for at least six months and then, maybe a colostomy.) didn't believe I actually had a mass in my colon but rather that it was an infection gone a bit wild. So he did the colostomy to give the intestine/colon a chance to heal and in doing that, it eliminated the pressure of the infection on my sciatic nerve. Still have other issues with the back and legs -mostly from either arthritis or radiation residue -but things are a heck of a lot better now than they were two years ago, thanks to the second opinion doctor!

  16. I'm here...finally. I need two days to catch up on friends' blogs.

    First, may I say that with your Aunt May, tho she is in so much pain, she seems to be a strong willed woman. One of strength and endurance beyond so many women and MEN! It's a downright shame that she has suffered so. And then, to have a misdiagnosis just irks me to no end. I've heard and read so much of the same scenarios that I've come to mistrust judgment of doctors. For the most part.

    We all now have an advantage over what your Aunt May has had previously....we have the world wide web. We can go in and type in some illness, get symptoms, graphs, charts, photos, and others' views of experience. We can then go to the doctor and discuss this in depths beyond even our mother's day.

    Yes, yes!! Mary, of course you knew I'd agree with your advise, but it's so so research, ask questions, get a 2nd and 3rd's all too important.

    You did one helluva post my friend.
    Your Aunt continues to be in my thoughts and prayers as is your family...when a member of a loving family sufferes, so you do.

  17. Mary
    Me again. I was told to accept I had a bad back and continue pain meds. I did not and now L5 is fix so it is not constantly swing back and forth on my spine. One doctor said 'You know the drill." which meant I knew all the procedures that they would have to do like steriod injections etc. and I told him very sternly "You are gonna have to think of something else as those are bandaid fixes." He sent me to the doctor who put in my rods and screws and unless I do something stupid my back and leg do not hurt. I was in CONSTANT PAIN before the 97 surgery. Now I am not. nuf said. Peace

  18. Yes always question doctors for sure..that is why I keep TRYING to find out what is wrong with my hips and legs. I keep on trying and trying!! I have never really had a diagnosis. It just comes in waves then leaves for awhile!!
    I do take Vit B-12 but not a lot of D. I will certainly look into that. i am off to the doctor Thursday..and as for depression..NOT at all!! I am a very happy person and that would not be it. I do have thyroid problems so maybe that is part of it..We shall see..NEW DOCTOR again...Thanks for stopping by again..I will get your scarecrow lady out when Fall is over so that I can enjoy her for a little bit more..

  19. Hello dear Mary:-)

    My dad's family doctor kept telling him he had gout in his leg...only to learn a year later he had bone cancer. So, your words of advice are important...get a second opinion!! My heart goes out to Aunt May, no one should suffer such pain:-(

    It was such a shame you couldn't join us this weekend, we really did have a wonderful "spooky" weekend! lol As I've said before, though, there will be plenty of other times:-) xoxo

  20. Mary!
    I love your special birthday greeting!Blessings to you and I'm sending smooches!!Thank you dearest friend.

  21. What a very important message and warning. Thanks for taking the time to let us know all of this.

  22. Hi Mary! I am feeling better and I am out visiting and trying to catch up on reading my blogging friends posts.
    Your post is so true. Your dear Aunt May has really had some hard days. Keeping her in my prayers. Hugs, Grams

  23. Good advice Mary and prayers to your Aunt May. My aunt, who lives in Florida, has lived with bone cancer for about 12 years now. She's went into remission 3 times but it comes back. That is why anyone who has ever had cancer and is currently experiencing pain, should always get a second opinion - because relapse should always be suspect.