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Stepping through PTSD minefields by Elspeth.

Stepping through PTSD minefields by Elspeth.

Posted by ACH2015 on Mar 4, 2019 7:52 pm


I reproduced your journal entry here.I hope you don't mind. We can't respond to your journal the way it is.

Stepping through PTSD minefields by Elspeth.

I am slipping into a major Ptsd flashback due to this upcoming breast biopsy. I sadly come into this new path with absolute distrust and lack of faith in all things medical. I was left to "die" on my own, despite trying in vain to access medical help for myself with a condition I didn't even know I was suffering from. I was in the military, I was labelled as sick lame and lazy and for four years, the medical section, which was the only medical help I was authorized to access insisted that I was "Stressed". I tried without success for four years to get my symptoms looked into but nope, didn't happen. When at the end of my rope, I was prompted to try just one more time and this time I was given a chit to get an MRI done so I could prove to my daughter there was a physical reason for her mother deteriorating in front of her eyes.  It was/is a Tectal Glioma.....now 13 years forward, I have an abnormal mammogram and now scheduled for a biopsy. My terror comes in feeling that I will again have to "yell" at the top of my lungs and I still wont be heard by those who are in the medical field.... I need my daughter to be my number two to advocate for me in this...I don't know that I can do this alone after being left to die for four years in plain sight of everyone.

Response / Comment:

From ACH2015

Hi Elspeth,

The positive difference I see between your first experience, and the current situation is that you are getting immediate investigation this time.

Once the biopsy is completed, hopefully you will have an answer to move forward with. That may be treatment, or monitoring or a combination of both.

I certainly understand your feelings and fears. I've had some pretty upsetting issues during my treatments as well. But we can't paint every medical team with the same brush. What happened to you in the Military is just plain wrong. Its tough, but can I suggest you try to see the differences here. Today, a  medical investigation appears to be happening for you to determine what the abnormal mammogram means. This time your medical team has acted very much on your behalf with good follow up - the biopsy.

Perhaps even discussing your previous experience (the delay in getting medical attention before you were diagnosed with Tectal Glioma) may help your current medical team understand your concerns and justified fears this time around.

Have you discussed these issues with any mental health professionals? Certainly traumatic events like you describe don't just go away, but therapy can help us deal with these traumas as best we can.

I hope this helps, and please keep in touch here.

p.s. If you reproduce the content of your journal into the "Main Content" portion and "post it", we can then respond with comments to your journal. I hope this helps too.

Keep well

ACH2015 - Andy.


Re: Stepping through PTSD minefields by Elspeth.

Posted by Elsie13 on Mar 6, 2019 5:30 pm

Hello Elspeth‍ .  Glad you have found cancerconnection.  My real name is Elspeth, but here I go by Elsie13. I have some friends who are former Canadian military. The military really does not seem to do very much concerning their members health and mental health. Did you ever want to try and sue the military due to what happened? 
     I think ACH2015‍  is absolutely correct.  Your health team now is on your side. Perhaps you could ask your team to refer you to a psychologist, if the stress does not subside very soon? 

Re: Stepping through PTSD minefields by Elspeth.

Posted by Kims1961 on Mar 6, 2019 9:46 pm

ACH2015‍ Thank you for posting Elspeth‍ 's journal and your response Elsie13‍ .

Elspeth‍ ...Hopefully you will see a big difference between how your medical care is managed from your PTSD experience.  Unfortunately/fortunately the silver lining to "Cancer" is that it does trigger many protocols, guidelines and treatment options for patients.  So different from many mental health symptoms - which is not right.  A friend of mine is an RCMP officer with breast cancer.  She would agree with you in how she was treated for her periods of anxiety / depression due to job issues as compared to her current leave due to breast cancer.  Let's hope, with voices like yours and hers - things will change.

Having a support team is so key - so great you have your daughter on board. This community is also a great place to vent/share/ask questions.  As well most Cancer Centres have social workers that are available to help.  Certainly you previous health concerns in addition to your recent diagnosis, would have anyone feeling more vulnerable.

Let us know how you're doing.  So glad you posted.  Kim

Re: Stepping through PTSD minefields by Elspeth.

Posted by Elspeth on Mar 13, 2019 5:45 pm

The biopsy report came back...my dr. says the report says there is insufficient tissue to be able to make a call one way or t'other...so I am ptsd'ing majorly as this feels like a "do-over"  or "ground hog day" nightmare!!!   of trying to get medical help when I was dying with the Tectal Glioma Brain Tumour!  I am beyond---------I am writing letters to the patient advocate, the DBC, my dr. and any other place I can think of.... No second biopsy scheduled, really?  is that even a thing???  I am waiting since January to know yes or no...do I or don't I have breast cancer.....my Dr. feels the report is outside her scope so she is re- referring me back to the DBC,  the DBC (diagnostic breast centre) secretary says it will take up to TWO WEEKS to hear anything back from anyone.......  Not again on my watch!!!!!!      :(