I belong to a myeloma e-mail list, and somebody posted a link to this article about a woman who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and treated for it for over six years ... and now it turns out she never had it in the first place.
Turns out her doctor didn't do a lot of important tests before diagnosing her, including a bone-marrow biopsy, which is one of the most important tests for myeloma. Myeloma's not diagnosed from any one, single test; doctors need to look at results from several different tests before they can make a final conclusion. A jury awarded the woman a million dollars. I'm sure she went through a lot of unpleasantness, and, man, that doctor doesn't sound too bright, but I'm wondering ... why didn't the patient question anything?
Why didn't she learn the basics about myeloma and find out what tests she needed? Why didn't she get copies of her results, check them out, and then ask what the results meant? Why didn't she get a second opinion before starting treatment?
So, here's my public-service announcement for the day: If you've been diagnosed with myeloma or any other awful health thing, you need to do all of the above-mentioned stuff. I'm not saying that you shouldn't trust your doctor, but at least get on the Internet for 10 minutes and make sure he/she ran the right tests, for goodness sakes. My doctor at the Mayo Clinic told me that she once had a patient who was told by his regular doctor that he had four months to live. She checked him out and ... there was nothing wrong with him. So you never know.
OK. I'm done. I've only received one silly children's song so far. Come on! You know you want to share!