Before Breast Cancer Diagnoses
For more than fifty years, the only OLOGIST in my life was the GynecOLOGIST.
Annually, I scheduled appointments for three health care examinations. One with the GynecOlogist; and, the other two were for a yearly physical examination and mammogram.
For years, I chose to ignore the potential health hazards of being:
- a smoker;
- an exercise abstainer;
- stressed out;
- sleep deprived; and
- spiritually undernourished.
In 1993, I was diagnosed with two chronic conditions — Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Now, I needed a second “OLOGIST,” the RheumatOLOGIST.
With these two diagnoses, the frequency of visits for health care treatment increased from three followup exams per year to monthly followup visits, bi-monthly lab testing, and a host of prescribed medications.
After being diagnosed, with two chronic health conditions, I made some healthy lifestyle choices. I —
- no longer smoked,
- found outlets for spiritual nourishment, and
- committed to a formalized exercise program.
But, I failed to address some of the other health hazards —
- Weight Fluctuations; and
- Sleep Deprivation.
Despite the continued health hazards in my life, for more than fifteen years, my two chronic health conditions were adequately managed and controlled with —
- Self-Management Tools;
- RheumatOLOGIST Medical Management; and
- Lifestyle Changes.
Then, the Breast Cancer diagnosis came in 2008.
After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Medication Side Effects
Between 2008 and 2013, I was diagnosed with five different health care conditions.
Each diagnosis, including breast cancer, was attributed to a side effects from a different medication; and, all were prescribed to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis.
To treat these conditions, I had to add five more OLOGISTS to my healthcare team:
- PsychOLOGIST; and
There may even be a sixth OLOGIST, after my consultation visit in two weeks with a DermatOLOGIST. A cluster of bumps appeared on the right side of my face several weeks ago. This may be a side effect of a new Rheumatoid Arthritis medication; which, was added to replace one that was discontinued because of a side-effect that affected my lungs. I will share the results of this visit in an upcoming post.
Despite the side effects and added health care conditions, I AM Thankful for the OLOGISTS in My Life
And, when, I Grow Tired of the OLOGISTS, I
- EXPRESS GRATITUDE
And, quietly say, “I LIVE Because of the OCOLOGISTS in My Life.
What I Want for Everyone
I WISH that every underinsured or uninsured person, in this country, one day will have access, like me, to OLOGISTS and other health care providers.