CHAPTER 7 – #The-Second-Opinion

After receiving the news on February 25, 2015 I knew there was going to be lots to do. I decided to go back to work but in the meantime I was going to have a lot to organize. I wanted a second opinion. No, I needed a second opinion. The #oncologist in Istanbul gave me a referral and I immediately called and they booked me an appointment for the following Monday March 2, 2015. I called Cookie and booked my ticket and by Saturday Feb. 28th, 2015 I was in London. It was also on that day that Hannie finally told Azza (my sister) about what was going on. She had just finished her bar exam and so we both decided that it was time. Needless to say, she did not take it well it all. She #cried and I tried to console her. I told her not to worry it would be all right and she said, “#Why does everything always happen to you?” #Why indeed…


Azza was referring to everything that I had been dealing with over the past five years. In 2010 I had a #cyst rupture; I was diagnosed with #Endometriosis; in 2012 I had my first #laparoscopic #surgery; in 2013 I had a #vulvar #vestibulectomy; and in 2014 I had my second #laparoscopic #surgery. (I will explain more about all of this in later chapters). Let’s just say that it had been a shit time. It was years of surgeries, doctor’s visits, therapy, tons of medication experimenting, doctor’s visits. I mention that twice because there were A LOT. On average it seemed like at least once a week and I’m not joking. But I digress…

So I arrived in London and went to go stay with Cookie. We had a pretty relaxed weekend and then we were up bright and early on Monday to head over to the doctor’s office. I had my #PET scan with me along with the DVD, but guess what? The DVD did not work. I spent a good half hour on the phone with the Amerikan Hastanesi asking them to email the images directly to the doctor. Finally he got them and his diagnosis/prognosis was: Possible #contagious (because of the lymph nodes on the left side) Stage 2 and then wait for three months before doing another scan. Huh? How did it go from Stage 1 to Stage 2? Watch and wait my ass! Watch and wait to see if the #lymphoma spreads? And if it does then what? Within less than a week I went from somewhat hopeful to completely hopeless. It went from localized #radiation to possibly #chemotherapy!!! Fuck my life! I needed a third opinion.

In the meantime I had been talking to an old friend from high school and their mom about my situation. They were trying to get me seen and the MD Anderson center in Texas and so the fight with my insurance (Cigna) began. It would be a #grueling week ahead of endless phone calls and emails, but more on that later.

The next day, March 3rd, 2015 I returned to Istanbul. My siblings and I decided that it would be best for Hannie to come and stay with me, as my sister could not leave my niece. I was supposed to have my second surgery to remove the nodes on the left side that Friday but I cancelled it. I could not fathom having another surgery so soon. I was still recovering from the last one just one month ago! There was no way and I was not convinced that it was going to be the best decision. I wanted a third opinion. I needed an official diagnosis. A #final diagnosis. Furthermore, I did not want to step foot into the Amerikan Hastanesi after the bone marrow tragedy.

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